Rating: 3/5 – An OK entry in an otherwise stellar series.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
With no exaggeration, I can say that Fables is one of my favorite comic book series of all time. That no one previously had the idea to take characters of childhood lore and build a world around them seems at best an oversight. Writer/creator Bill Willingham and a host of artists have created a rich tapestry over 140 issues that rivals any one of the stories from which its characters originate. One of my favorite things is that every few issues, nestled within the main narrative, Willingham takes a break to explore quiet corners of this world and paint intimate pictures of secondary characters.
This issue is one of those pauses in the main action. As Fables heads towards it’s grand finale later this year, it takes a break to explore what has become of Boy Blue’s band since their fearless leader passed away. Trading in their instruments for weapons, they strike at a small corner of the Homelands to depose an evil witch, fulfill a prophecy, and reclaim their lands. Unfortunately, as epic as that sounds, the story is rushed, the characters flat, and in the end I did not feel that anything of great significance occurred. Briar Rose, who has been featured numerous times in the series, provides for some humor to the story, but is otherwise underutilized. Puss in Boots could be an interesting character, but is fairly one-dimensional here. The other members of the band are regrettably forgettable. The pencils by Steve Leialoha (who has been the inker for most of the 140 issue run) did not help with this as I found it hard to distinguish between the members of the band unless referenced by name. The villains suffered from the same lack of character development and design.
Overall, I found the story and art here to be a bit generic. Had the story developed over more issues, perhaps the outcome would have been different. But as it stands, there were none of the usual twists and turns, no surprises, and very little reason for the story to exist. Boy Blue was one of the best-developed characters in Fables and “the boys in the band” deserved their moment in the spotlight. I expected more from this issue, especially as the series nears its finale.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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