Fables #157 – Bill Willingham, Writer; Mark Buckingham, Artist; Steve Leialoha, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: One of the most interesting things about Fables as a series is that it’s one of the few books that regularly plays with time. These are characters who, for the most part, have been living for hundreds or even thousands of years, and the timeline can be unpredictable. This issue starts out by resolving the last of the missing cubs, as Winter’s journey in the Teacup world comes to an end. Trapped and powerless at the whim of the South Wind, the young wolf cub tries to escape—but is ultimately rescued by her parents in an unpredictable and kind of hilarious way, which also displaces her traveling companion. Things seem to be coming to an orderly close—and then the timeline abruptly flashes forward five years, leaving a whole lot of plots dangling in the air and lot of characters’ fates undetermined. The multi-month gap between issues probably helps to smooth this transition a bit, oddly.
So what does the world look like five years later? For one thing, the cubs are all on the cusp of adulthood. Some have formed romantic connections—in one case, with a rival of Bigby’s. Ambrose is now a scholar who has made a friend out of his odd kidnapper from early in the run, and the two are now founding a college. Others have taken on new and more daring adventures. But as for Jack in the Green, she’s been held without trial after essentially being framed for the murders committed by Peter Pan. As for Pan, he’s still out there—but Jack’s fate takes some unexpected turns in the last few pages. The ending twist is a huge surprise and throws the future plans for our core characters for a loop. Overall, this is an odd series and one that makes the most of its unpredictability, but its huge cast sometimes makes it difficult to know who to connect with.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.