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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: Fables #126

Things take a decidedly sinister turn in this month's issue of Fables.  How does the story continue from the intriguing cliffhanger from the previous issue?  Does this issue continue the trend of being new-reader friendly as established in Fables #125? Read on to find out!


"Snow White" takes a dark turn in this issue as Prince Brandish shows he is not as kind as one would expect a handsome prince to be.  In Haven, on the other hand, Geppetto and Beast prepare for the arrival of the Blue Fairy.

When Fables #125 ended on such a surprising note, one knew things would probably not turn out well for Snow White.  Prince Brandish shows his true colors in this issue and, while it feels a bit expected, I have to say that I am truly excited to see the places Bill Willingham will take this character.  It is well established in the world of Fables that princes very rarely live up to their name.  Prince Charming, despite proving to be an invaluable member of Fabletown, was a womanizer who upset each one of his wives in some way.  With Ambrose being the only positive example of what it means to be a prince in this series, it should come as no surprise that Brandish is not all he is cracked up to be.  There is a lot going on with Brandish that we don't know about, and it makes him a rather mysterious character.  The fact that he believes Snow White's word as a child solidified their bond as husband and wife does not really look great in terms of Brandish's sanity.  It would also seem that there is something very supernatural about Brandish in a moment that proves interesting for him as well as the character of Leigh Douglas. Overall, though, I'm very excited to see where the arc of "Snow White" is going to take the prince.

If you are a new reader to Fables, the scenes in Haven may have been a bit confusing for this issue.  While I could easily explain the scenario between Beast, Geppetto, and the Blue Fairy, I think it would be best if one took the time to read through the series.  Willingham continues the trend from the previous issue, however, in making these scenes accessible enough that questions should be at a minimum.  

Something else which new readers should know about this series: sometimes we get hints for things that are to come in Fables that will take quite a while to come to fruition.  Look no further than these scenes in Haven.  It is about time that we finally got some development on the Blue Fairy front.  The arrival of the Blue Fairy several issues back (at least 10) seemed like it would be an incredibly interesting plot twist.  Ever since being removed as the Adversary, there has not been much for poor old Geppetto to do in this book, so I'm glad that we are finally getting some development for him.  I just wish it had not taken so long for this to happen.

There is also something very subtle that happens in this issue with Geppetto that I absolutely love.  Geppetto is seen in several panels carrying around a plant of some sort.  While this would normally seem like some throw away moment to get him out of the castle, I found it worth noting that the plant he was carrying looked like a sapling.  Knowing Geppetto's penchant for creating things with the wood of magic trees, this subtle moment is a great hint on the part of Bill Willingham that Geppetto's Adversary days may not be far behind him.

Meanwhile, Bigby and Brock continue their search for the cubs.  While I understand why Bigby was sent away at least for the first part of this arc, the one scene with the two characters in this issue feels somewhat pointless. I did get a good laugh, though, from Brock attempting convert some animals to his Boy Blue religion.

One of the things Willingham does so well in this comic is making sure that each issue of an arc is important.  No one issue in a story arc is a "throw away" issue that will ultimately not matter in terms of the entire story.  This is a problem many comics have, but Fables is always great about making sure that each issue is moving the story forward while also developing the characters.  

On the art front, there is not much I can really say.  Mark Buckingham is the Fables artist so of course this issue is great.  Buckingham is great at drawing facial expressions, making it very obvious what kind of person each  character truly is.  This especially helps in such a character-revealing issue as this one.

Overall this is an entertaining issue that keeps the momentum of this arc going.  There is a huge conflict coming between Prince Brandish and Bigby Wolf.  As Bigby is my favorite character, I will be extremely excited to see how this conflict develops.  Let us keep in mind, however, that this arc does not bear Bigby's name, so it will be interesting to see how Snow White grows in this story.

Rating: A

Summary: As "Snow White" barrels on through, Fables #126 has interesting character-revealing moments while also setting up two large and intriguing conflicts.
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