Fables #151 – Bill Willingham, Writer; Mark Buckingham, Artist; Steve Leialoha, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: After a 150-issue run and countless spin-offs (mostly by frequent Willingham collaborators Lilah Sturges and Chris Roberson), Fables came to an end with an expansive epilogue that seemed to be the end of the road—until now. A recent team-up of Bigby Wolf and Batman didn’t make many waves and was hard to place in continuity, but now the original series returns for a twelve-issue engagement with the original art team on board. Does it hold up? The original series had a brilliant first third, but many felt it became scattered and overly dark and cruel afterwards. This revival doesn’t have those problems, and does a good job of reacquainting us with its very complex world. It helps that there’s a good entry point—Fabletown has just been exposed to the world after the epic final battle, and King Cole has to welcome the Mundys within its destroyed walls and explain to them what they’ve been missing. And at the same time, a lot of new and old players head on to new adventures.
The introduction of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, some of the biggest characters missing from the original story, is intriguing. He seems to be cast as a lawful-neutral character coming to clean up Gepetto’s messes. Far more in-depth this issue is a plot centering around a character named Jack in the Green, based around an obscure English folk tale. A young girl named Gwen seeks out her destiny as the old Jack in the Green, at the same time the old retired version sits in his treehouse. Is there any connection to the more famous Jack that played a huge role in the original series? We’ll see. And then there’s Snow, Bigby, and their Cubs as they settle into a new world—seemingly occupied by Red Panda critters named Hesse—and some of Bigby’s bad old ways seem to be making a comeback as he claims it for his own. Then there’s an unexpected return in the last page. It’s as chaotic and dense as it ever was, and based on this issue at least, it’s good to have it back.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.