Graphic Novel Review: Finally Finished Fables

Ok, so I haven’t completely finished the Fables graphic novel series by Bill Willingham, but I did finish the first story arc which spans 11 volumes, thank you very much. Today I am reviewing the last two volumes. You can read my review of volumes 1-3 , volumes 4-6, and volumes 7-9, if you want a bigger picture. But warning, *SPOILERS*. It is impossible to review the end of a series without spoiling the story telling for the first bit of the story.

That was convoluted, but basically don’t read a review of the 11th volume if you don’t want spoilers for the 1st volume. I think this is common sense, but as *that* seems to be an antiquated idea rather than reality for most people, I thought I would make it really clear. Again:

Now for the conclusion of my reading of Fables, volumes 10 and 11. These two volumes bring to a head and conclusion the story of The Adversary’s attack on the Fables, Fabletown’s response, and the aftermath of a war. I enjoyed the conclusion to this story arc and greedily grabbed for the next volume. Flycatcher finds his true calling, Blue Boy is a hero, and Snow White and Bigby try to raise their brood of monsters in a world that is falling to pieces. So many excellent characters, a whole lot of excellent story telling, make this comic book series a definite must read.

Vol. 10: The Good Prince

Summary: This was my favorite volume of the 11 volumes in this arc. Seriously. I loved the story of Flycatcher, aka Prince Ambrose. Here is a man who has had his memories wiped to save his sanity, working as a janitor, and living in a closet who finds out that all his family is dead, in a horrific manner. Then, while dusting in the library Buffkin watches as the Forsworn Knight’s Armor falls apart, and Lancelot appears to Flycatcher as a guide to redeem his past corruption. So Flycatcher takes up the armor, straps on Excaliber, and he jumps into the Wishing Well with his guide. Flycatcher is able to don the armor and take up Excaliber because he is the only genuinely good Fable to enter Fabletown, he did not have anything that he ran from in the Homelands.

My Thoughts: This was quite a hefty volume and delved deeply into a lot of issues that have been tangential to the story line previously. In addition, Bill Willingham begins to explore the role of fate and destiny in the lives of the Fables. Prince Ambrose (as I can only think of him now after reading this volume, and that says a great deal) not only comes into his own, but he drags along a whole lot of evil and ambivalence and turns it good. He learns his lesson, he applies it, and he lives his learned lesson to the end. While Prince Ambrose has a large part in the felling of The Adversary, it is not in the way one imagines a Prince of Fabletown, as he refused to take sides. But Ambrose is a true white knight, he knows what is best, and it is grand. My favorite volume. I loved it!

Vol. 11: War and Pieces

Summary: At the Farm, Prince Ambrose extends an invitation to the animals to come and live on his land, Haven. Blue Boy transports everyone with the witching cloak, Prince Charming has a plan up his sleeve to reorganize Fabletownand fight a war, and Cinderella has a mission to find an important package that could determine the fate of the war. The War has started and Blue Boy is the one who sees the big picture, he travels between Fabletown, the Farm, and the Homelands. Bigby is sent to defend the Beanstalk, Fabletown’s last retreat, Sinbad and Prince Charming are to bomb all the gates from the Homeland to this world so that they cut off The Adversary’s traveling abilities, and even Briar Rose has an important part to play. And then things begin to unravel for the Fables.

My Thoughts: The biggest surprise for me was how much Prince Charming changed while carrying out his duties as Mayor. He becomes Operations Manager with King Cole is back in the mayoral seat. Prince Charming manipulates things, but this time it isn’t necessarily in his best interest. He is one charming guy. Bigby is a force to be reckoned with as usual, but Snow White fades into the background, in a slightly disappointing manner. I’m also mad about Boy Blue’s bit in this part of the story, once again this amazing hero is relegated to transportation and isn’t allowed to fight. But all in all a satisfying ending to the story arc of a retelling of famous fair tales. I loved it. Plus, I stopped hating graphic novels, so I grew also, which is the best thing I can say about a story.

3 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: Finally Finished Fables

    • Lily, thank you for commenting. I’m glad to see another Fables fan. In my opinion the new series on television, Once Upon a Time is not a rip-off, but another lovely retelling of fairy tales. In fact, I started watching it because of Bill Willingham’s response to the show. He wrote a lovely posting I think you will enjoy. In it he explains, “Remember, stories aren’t automatically in competition with each other. If I like Batman, it doesn’t mean I have to dislike Captain America. I’d hate for “Fables” to be the only fairy tale-based story out there. If that were the case, I’d have nothing to read or watch for pleasure in this genre I love. I want more of what I want. Snacks are nice, but a feast is better.” I have to agree with him! You can read his whole interview (with himself) here:

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