In a break before beginning the series next arc in Scotland, Fables #138 gives us a glimpse at the evil machinations of Gepetto who has grown tired of his recent position on the Farm and regain a bit of the power now lost to him. To that end he sends a small wooden soldier into the magic grove which he is barred from entering to retrieve the villain a bit of magic which may aid in his mischief somewhere down the line.
Presented mostly from the view of the noble and faithful knight Gepetto sends on a suicide mission (whose real purpose on the tinkerer truly knows), we see the wooden solider fight off a variety of obstacles (or to his view vicious monsters) before entering the heart of the grove and leaving with a tiny bit of magic which he returns to his master.
Slow simmering, the single issue lays the groundwork for Gepetto’s possible return to power sometime down the line while, as he notes, all eyes in Fabletown and the Farm are on threats elsewhere. Worth a look.
Following the attempted assassination of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella continues to search for answers as to the identity of the person in control of the rat men’s attacks on Snow White and pulling the strings of the assassin sent to dispatch her godmother. Jumping around the globe, Cinderella will reunite with an old lover, finding a moment of peace in the eye of the storm, before also discovering that an old friend and enemy both mixed up in things.
The end of the issue brings Cinderella face-to-face with her stepsister (who has just shot a second person Cinderella cares for in front of her) setting up what should be a not-so-nice sisterly reunion next month.
Fairest #23 also gives quite a bit of time to one of the house rats turned into a man for Cinderella’s ball who has stayed human all these years (no turning back into a pumpkin for him) and may be the first real clue as allow Cinderella to discover what is going on. Worth a look.
The Camelot storyline comes to an end as Rose Red chooses her first six new Knights of the Round Table (Brump, Wellstuffed, Bo Peep, Reynard, Maeve, and Lancelot), we see the power of her actions begin to manifest, and Lancelot discovers (much to his dismay) his role this time around.
Although the arc comes to an end, and much of the focus is on Red and her quest, the perspective of the issue is from that of Snow White‘s intriguing daughter Winter who is simultaneously both a small child wanting to protect her mother and a wise and immensely power creature of nature slowly building her own forces should there come a time when Rose Red and Snow White’s dispute turns violent.
Fables #136 also foreshadows the return of Bigby with the completion of his statue (except from a tiny piece made into a ring) and some ominous words from Winter suggesting that the wolf’s eventual return may not be the cause for celebration all may hope it be. Worth a look.
Believing her fairy godmother to be the most likely suspect behind the rat men’s attacks on Snow White and herself, Cinderella heads to Ultima Thule where the witch has spent the last several years caged in the dungeon (or so everyone thinks). Finding the godmother’s wand but not the woman herself, Cinderella and Dickory head to Amsterdam to usher the absent-minded old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s out of a smoky pot den right before being attacked by another group of rat men.
The mystery thickens as the fairy godmother, not Cinderella, proves to be the target. And the woman pulling the trigger is someone whom she once knew quite well. Fairest #22 offers a couple of pieces to the puzzle, but none that give away anything about the reason behind the attempted assassinations and why a defenseless old woman was on the hit list.
Once again Marc Andreyko and artist Shawn McManus offer a fun adventure for Cindy and her mousey pal but we’ll have to wait at least one more issue to discover the identity of the man who has hired Cinderella’s step-sister as an assassin and what his end game entails. Worth a look.
Revelations and discoveries are the major theme of the latest issue of the “Camelot” as the Lady of the Lake takes time to clue Rose Red in on some possible ramifications to her attempt to recreate Camelot which include new versions of the feuds that ended’s its first run, the possible interference of the Fates, and Rose Red’s true purpose in the undertaking.
Fables #136 also finally reveals the identity of the woodsman who, as suspected, is indeed one of King Arthur’s former knights, and (far more obscure than anyof the other reveals) offers a revelation for the Lady herself whose own fate is sealed when she comes face-to-face with one of Snow White‘s sons.
A very strong issue that continues the current story while laying the foundation for ramifications down the line by suggesting the evil to destroy the new Camelot is already in place. The issue also several times refers to the never-discussed parents of Snow White (who could play the role of Morgan le Fay this time around) and Rose Red as having some huge consequences of its own. Worth a look.
For two years, since learning of the upcoming Fables spin-off, this is the storyline I have been waiting for. My initial foray into the Fables Universe didn’t come through the main title but a pair of mini-series featuring Cinderella. I immediately fell in love with the princess turned spy and I have been patiently (well, mostly patiently) awaiting her first appearance in Fairest. The wait is over.
Attacks on the life of Snow White and Cinderella’s shop bring the two Fables together (after Cinderella extricates herself from a group of trolls involved in sex trafficking) for the first issue of the series’ latest arc. Fairest #21 gives both female leads an opportunity to kick some ass and get their hands dirty as I’m sure the following issues will delve deeper into who is targeting them, and why.
I love the choice of returning artist Shawn McManus to draw the character (as he did for both Cinderella: Fables are Forever and Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love) and I’m looking forward to see where he and writer Marc Andreyko take Cinderella from here. Best of the week.
Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.
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After last month’s look in at the afterlife of Bigby Wolf, Fables jumps right back into the Camelot storyline with Rose Red meeting those wishing to join her new Round Table as Knights of Hope. Despite the heavy turnout, there are still quite a few obstacles standing in Rose Red’s way including Snow White who has not forgiven her sister for recruiting Prince Brandish as part of her undertaking.
Other than her sister, Rose Red still has to come up with a method of choosing her knights and deal with the wide assortment of volunteers ranging from all sizes of both a wide variety of creatures and humans. There’s also the matter of the quiet man of the hills whose true name and purpose for journeying to the new Round Table has yet to be revealed.
With the near completion of Bigby’s shattered crystal form we find one crucial piece still missing (in the hands of a mysterious woman) which must be recovered if the witches’ magic has any chance at returning him from the dead. What dark forces are working against Bigby and his return? Worth a look.
A single issue interlude in the “Camelot” storyline centers around the afterlife of Bigby who has been living out his days in a forested realm without remembering the series of events which led him there. Visited by Boy Blue, and one other important visitor, Bigby is roused out of his dream state to consider and question what happens to the legendary Fable going forward.
Although Blue doesn’t show him the way, his conversation to Bigby implies the wolf can return to the land of the living if he so desires. Or, if he believes that life is finished and is happy in his new surroundings, the wolf can stay in his new realm for eternity.
Bigby’s abscence in the comic has been felt, even before he was turned to crystal and shattered by Prince Brandish. This issue suggests that his return has more to do with the wolf’s decision and will than the various magics of Fabletown tirelessly working to put him back together again. The issue ends on a sweet, if melancholy, note, but I expect we haven’t seen he last of the wolf. Worth a look.
Prince Charming and Nayalani’s story arc concludes with some background on Singh, the former maharaja who is responsible for all of Charming’s recent troubles, and a final showdown between the pair that leaves the villain dead and Charming with a roguish pirate look.
From the epilogue it appears Nayalani and Charming are both staying together and sticking around. I’m looking forward to the pair heading to Fabletown, and an inevitable confrontation with Charming’s ex-wife Snow White.
Although I thought “The Return of the Maharaja” got a little bogged down in the middle issues of what I felt was an unnecessarily long six-issue arc (four would have done just as well), the storyline ends with a pair of strong issues and characters I will look forward to seeing more of in the wider Fables universe. Worth a look.