Offering a brief interlude to the rising tensions between sisters, Fables #147 takes Rose Red back home to the house she grew-up in and offers her the opportunity to choose a peaceful path in nature rather than continue the road to war begun so many issues ago. Although momentarily tempted, Rose chooses forbidden knowledge
The issue’s other storyline involves Fabletown attempting to bring the immortal Prince Brandish to justice for the murder of Weyland Smith. Choosing trail by combat Brandish squares off against, and is quickly decapitated by, Lancelot. However, the prince’s unique medical condition doesn’t allow the contest to end causing serious confusion as to what happens next.
Should the pair be still dueling when Rose Red returns you have to wonder what her reaction to the odd scenario might be and if Lancelot’s realization that he is indeed Guinevere may come to pass as his attempt to take down a guilty knave his queen has pardoned might actually quicken the fall of the new Camelot. Worth a look.
As the race towards sisterly civil war moves closer, Rose Red and Bellflower step-up in an attempt to kill the out-of-control Bigby who neither realizes is being controlled by the unseen hand of a powerful sorceress. Although the pair make for a formidable team, they are unsuccessful in Fabletown’s second attempt to stop the half-crazed monster.
The Camelot reborn storyline continues (even with a sword stuck in a stone) and it seems less and less likely that Rose Red and Snow White‘s battle of wills won’t end in bloodshed. As foreshadowing of just that, the issue opens with three pages involving a secret meeting between Snow and Cinderella whose unique skills will apparently be put to the test against one of the hardest assignments she’s ever accepted. As for Bigby, with the series winding to a close (and the magic used to effect Bellflower’s dagger) one would suppose that someone might come to the conclusion of other forces being at work. Worth a look.
Along with the continuation of Reynard‘s storyline in which Meghan discovers the truth about her new lover while on the run, Fairest #30 features multiple mysteries on the Farm where Clara and Wilfred are on the case to discover who stole one of the Glamours from the Pumpkin House before the lottery, why someone would vandalize the Beehive, and just how the two cases are connected.
Although Reynard’s storyline continues to sputter on following the series of misunderstandings that put the two on the run (foreshadowing another run-in between the fox and the woman’s family), the mystery involving the dragon in the form of a raven and a diminutive policeman delivers a far more interesting B-story in which the pair eventually narrow their suspect pool, connect both crimes, and arrest the Fable responsible.
Despite the fact that the theft is narrated from the culprit‘s point of view, Mark Buckingham makes the story work not revealing the truth (in proper mystery fashion) until the final pages of the issue. Worth a look.
Still unaware that the recently resurrected Bigby is being controlled by an outside force, the pair of Ozma (dressed like teen superhero) and Beast housed in the Big Damn Golden Armor) set out to stop him. Along with a giant castle appearing in the middle of Manhattan, the resulting chaos creates one of the funniest lines of the series as a New York cop exclaims “What in the bloody fuckhole of America is going on here?”
Despite magic and armor on their side both Beast and Ozma find defeating (or even slowing down) the wild Bigby impossible. Trying to fight the voice in his head, Bigby has no choice but to eventually murder both Fables continuing his bloody path straight to Fabletown and his wife.
With Bigby’s story in full swing the rest of Fabletown prepares for his arrival, as does Snow White who prepares to meet her husband for what might be the final time. Where Fairest seems to have lost its way a bit, Fables #144 provides a strong tale with an enjoyable back-up story offering the final fate of the Three Blind Mice. Worth a look.
The latest issue of Fairest splits its attention continuing to examine Reynard‘s misadventures with the angry family of the beautiful farm girl he bedded in their barn (who may not be quite as much of Deliverance cliches as the previous issue suggested) and the continued clamor of the various Fables of The Farm over the five available glamours which will soon be up for grabs in the coming lottery.
More intriguing than Reynard’s tale, the main story on The Farm this month centers around Owl and his wife the Pussycat whose dreams of traveling with her husband to various exotic locales have only intensified since the news of the lottery for the five new glamours.
The Owl and Pussycat story is worth picking up, especially given the husband’s sweet attempt to give his wife a small taste of what she’s been missing for hundreds of years, but even with the twist Reynard’s tale is taking up far too many pages of the series limited number of issues for my liking. For fans.
Continuing to gear up the end of the series, the return of Bigby Wolf creates new problems in Fables #143. Unaware that the feral creature is being controlled by the mysterious woman whose true motives have yet to be revealed, the out-of-control Bigby is slowly leaking magic into the outside world destabilizing the illusions that keep Fabletown hidden.
Things aren’t slowly down in the growing conflict between Snow White or Rose Red as both women choose names for their swords and take one step closer to inevitable conflict. And, proving Snow a better judge of character than her sister, Brandish takes advantage of the confusion to murder Weyland Smith exacting a bit of revenge and earning a measure of freedom as his exact role in the coming conflict is still very much undecided.
The strong issue also includes the very last story of Babe the Miniature Blue Ox who reminds readers of previous adventures and then threatens them not to finish the issue thus allowing the series to continue. If only that was the case. Worth a look.
Continuing to mirror the events in Fables as both series move towards their end, Fairest #28 offers more of the animal uprising on The Farm where the non-human creatures demand the glamours promised to them. The creation of a handful of glamours chosen by lottery passifies the angry mob (at least for now).
In the comic’s other story, we witness Reynard be forcefully rejected by Snow White only to find some love, and much more trouble, on a farm not far removed from the Fables’ home.
Fairest #28 is a solid issue, but it still lacks the strong female lead that the series was built upon (unless Reynard’s new love interest turns out to be more than she seems) making it feel much more like an issue of Fables which bothers me a bit as the spin-off doesn’t look like its going to get a chance to go out on its own terms. A short interlude focused on the odd Mr. Webb is actually far more interesting than either of the main plotlines of the issue. For fans.
While those behind the scenes, including Maddy, continue to push Fabletown into a war between Rose Red and Snow White, including a spell which puts the two women in off-setting pairs of magical armor, White is far more concerned with the news that an out-of-control Bigby has been sighted in the Mundy world. In a world where symbolism matters far more than it does it ours, it is important to notice Snow White is cast in the black armor suggesting (at least in the view of the person behind the spell) that she has apparently been cast as the villain in Fabletown‘s downfall.
Despite Snow White’s statement of having no interest into going to war with her sister the comic continues to push the story forward. We are also offered more of Lancelot as Rose Red’s lover (and his role as the possible Guinevere in the new story who might betray her to… Snow White?). The shattered Bigby’s return muddies the water a bit (or is it the distraction needed to cause the final wedge between sisters?), and we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for Fabletown’s various magic users to discern the missing piece of the great wolf is being used to control him. Worth a look.
For the first time in the comic’s two-year run an issue of the Fables spin-off series centers around a non-female character. Reynard takes center stage here with his tall-tales to the fellow animals of The Farm of his exploits as a knight of Rose Red‘s new Round Table. Although almost completely fictitious (Reynard is hardly proving himself worthy of his selection in a human form that lacks any of the cunning or charm of his natural state), the fox’s near incessant bragging pushes the occupants of The Farm into action demanding that they too be given glamours to assume a human shape and be able to move freely in the outside world (as Charming promised them in the recent elections).
Fairest #27 plays very much into the winding down of the series. Although he’s an odd choice for a series which until this issue has focused solely on female protagonists, as a fan of Reynard I’m curious to see what mischief the fox can get himself into before the series comes to an end. The revolution of The Farm should play into the struggle between Snow White and Rose Red and the coming confrontation which has been teased in Fables over the last several months. Worth a look.
The final ten issue of Fables begin here as writer Bill Willingham and artist Mark Buckingham continue the storyline of the broken relationship between Snow White and Rose Red while picking up several loose threads from the series concerning Geppetto‘s tucked away army of Boxers who begin to break from their containment in favor of a more interesting host and the character of Grimble (a former troll now trapped in the body of a bluebird) who seeks out Cinderella for assistance.
Bigby‘s return is also teased and discussions of the 13th Floor over the current state of things in Fabletown lead Maddy to being the first to choose sides and support Snow White for what the cat believes is an inevitable all-out war.
It’s obvious the conflict between Rose Red and Snow White will play a huge role in the issues to come, but the idea of Geppetto’s old sorcerer weapons taking refuge inside Rose makes for an interesting twist. We’ll have to wait and see how Bigby’s return and the role of Grimble will play into the battle yet to come. Worth a look.