Thursday, April 22, 2010
Homelands is a collection of 7 issues, 5 are the title story. 1 is a one shot featuring Jack and the remaining story is an interlude which helps to set up the next collection.
In Jack Be Nimble readers find out how Jack stole the contents of one of Bluebeard's treasure rooms and what he did with it. The story is actually the creators way of transitioning Jack out of Fabletown and into his own spin off book. The artwork was by David Hahn, it was adequate, but I find that only Lan Medina and Mark Buckingham can do Jack properly.
The interlude features one of Bigby's 'tourists'; Mowgli, from the Jungle Book. He's all grown up now and works for Charming as the new Mayor of Fabletown. He agrees to take on a job for Charming as long as the prince will help his friend Bagheera regarding the panther's part in the uprising on the Farm and involvement in the attempted murder of Snow White.
The title story is set in the Fables Homelands and concentrates mostly on Boy Blue. With the aid of the Witching Cloak and the Vorpal Sword he's set himself up as a Zorroesque avenger. He's out to do two things: kill the Adversary and rescue Riding Hood (the real one this time). The initial view we get of the Homelands confirms the Fables stories about it being a dark place with the people firmly under the thumb of the Adversary. Blue attacks and kills the Adversary's goblin soldiers cum tax collectors.
The masked and cloaked avenger cuts a swathe through the Homelands getting ever closer to the capital and the Adversary. The capital is an interesting contrast. It looks like a fairy tale city and is quite beautiful, the people work hard, but they don't seem cowed, the only real sign of an outward totalarian style dictatorship is the abundance of soldiers on the streets.
Blue gets the drop on the giant armoured figure that he believes is the Adversary, but is unable to make his getaway, being encased in a block of ice by the Adversary's bodyguard; the Snow Queen.
When Blue comes to, he is in an oversized birdcage, he is also face to face with the Adversary. This is a real Oh My God moment. I never saw it coming. The Witching Cloak is armed and because the Adversary wants it and can't use it without Blue he tells Blue what he wants to know and also agrees to bring the real Riding Hood to him. Once Ride is there with the help of Pinocchio (he was hidden in the cloak) Blue makes his escape.
He's put through the wringer back in Fabletown and then it's revealed that he was working for Charming all along. He can provide details about the Adversary's identity and importantly that the Fables from other cultures have not yet been taken over by the Adversary.
Fantastic collection. The unveiling of the Adversary, we got to see a different side of Blue. The only minor criticism is that most of the Fables we've come to know and love weren't shown.