Saturday, April 24, 2010
While the Fables had been dealing with events in the Homelands and receiving delegations from the Arabian Fables where had Bigby been and what was going on with him and Snow and their brood?
Wolves is a 2 part story which largely concerns Mowgli's efforts to locate Bigby and convince him to come back to Fabletown. His payment for this mission will be the liberty of his friend and mentor Bagheera from captivity on the Farm. The problem is that if Bigby doesn't want to be found he's a damn hard man/wolf to track down. Having been raised by wolves Mowgli is better equipped than any other Fable for the job, though. He does eventually find Bigby living in the Alaskan wilderness. Bigby agrees to come back with Mowgli, leaving Sarah, the woman he's taken up with. We don't find out a lot about the attractive native girl (she looked like an indigene to me), but I sensed that there was more to her than met the eye and maybe more than even Bigby realised. I doubt it's the last we've seen of her.
Back on the Farm the cubs are growing like weeds, they even have names now: Darien, Conner, Ambrose, Blossom, Winter and Therese. The artwork and the writing give the 6 of them very distinct personalities that suit their appearances and you can see definite traits from each of their parents within them. With their help of Auntie Rose they're trying to learn how to control their dual natures and their abilities so that in the future they can leave the Farm and live among the wider Fable community out in the Mundy world. The North Wind decides that it's time he went back to his own domain and once again Snow has to explain to her children why the men in their lives keep walking out, little does she know that a certain scruffy wolf is headed back her way.
The main story acr covers the extravaganza that is the comic's 50th issue. Using one of the magic beanstalks that grow on the Farm Bigby climbs up through the clouds and meets his former agent; Cinderella. With the help of a friendly giant (Cindy has developed an alliance with them) Bigby is taken to a gateway between the Cloudworld and the Homelands. Just like back in the war Bigby drops in behind enemy lines.
He's attacked and retaliates savagely in his wolf form, he's ably assisted by his son. Obviously their seventh child located his father and was assisted with controlling his nature and powers.
The purpose of Bigby's mission is to confront the Adversary and explain that any attack on Fabletown will be met with immediate and devastating retribution and to exact some measure of revenge for what happened when the Adversary's wooden soldiers marched on Fabletown. Mission accomplished Bigby arrives back in Fabletown to a low key heroes welcome and collects his payment.
Rose takes Snow out to the area of the Farm that was previously inhabited by the sleeping giants (they're now the Three Little Pigs) and she sees Bigby there. It's a joyous reunion and shows that whatever their previous relationship they are now deeply in love with each other. As payment for what he did in the Homelands Bigby has been gifted the land on the Farm and if Snow wants to they can move the cubs there and raise a family. The reunion between Snow and Ghost (the zephyr child) is touching and beautifully handled.
Sometimes comic book weddings seem overblown and over the top, not this time. The marriage between Bigby Wolf and Snow White was perfect and didn't overdo anything, including the appearance of many of the Fables that the readers had met on the way. It's going to be a real adventure watching how these two deal with married life and the challenges that raising seven very unusual and talented offspring will bring.
The last story in the collection, entitled appropriately Big and Small was about how Cinderella set up the alliance between the Fables and the Giants. I like this feisty secret agent gal that Willingham has turned the former princess into. Beside Mark Buckingham and Lan Medina atist Shawn McManus has followed the style of the Fables the best. In fact, despite his overdone smiles, if I had to choose another artist besides Mark Buckingham for the series, it would be McManus.