Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fables 17 - Inherit the Wind

After the events of Fables 16 - Super Team things should have been rainbows and puppies for our favourite story book characters. The evil Mr Dark had been defeated, and they were free to live their own lives back on the farm.

However things never work out like that in the Fablesverse, and ending one threat only seems to uncover another. Mr Dark was beaten, but his apprentice, the new slimline version of the former Mrs Spratt, was still in Fabletown, and plotting her revenge.

One of the casualties of the fight against Dark was Bigby Wolf's father; the North Wind. With one of the Winds gone there's an imbalance and someone has to take his place. The North Wind's servants contend that it's too much power for any of the other Winds to have, Bigby doesn't want it, and his brothers aren't suitable. It falls to one of Snow White and Bigby's cubs. My thought was that the seventh child; Ghost, being a wind of sorts, was the perfect fit, but he's not even supposed to be alive, so couldn't very well take up his grandfather's mantle.

The kids are put through a series of tests and one of them proves their worth to take their grandfather's place. The other Winds all have problems with this, and are still jockeying to see who of them can bring the chosen one around to their way of thinking when the book ends.

The story of Rose Red and her compatriots returning from where ever they had been back to the Farm was largely incomplete and fairly pointless. I can only assume it will also be concluded in the next book.

The story I liked most was that of Bufkin the flying monkey as he and his friends, especially Lily Martagon, the game Barleycorn Bride, journey through an Oz under the iron fist of the Gnome King, who has taken the opportunity to fill the void left in Oz with the defeat of the Adversary. That story too ended on a major cliffhanger.

I always look forward to a Fables collection. I have to confess to being disappointed by this one. The last one came out in December, I picked this up in June and we don't seem to be getting as much content as before. Maybe they need to alter the schedule so that there's only one a year. I felt a little short changed this time. I probably shouldn't. Willingham's story and Buckingham's pencils are as good and solid as ever, but there seemed to be remarkably little substance here, and it was only 4 fairly short issues packaged together as well.

I wasn't particularly enamoured of the shorts either. The Christmas story; All In A Single Night was downright depressing, and things in the other short In Those Days were strangely off.

I hope for something more in Fables 18, which judging by the current release schedule will be out sometime before Christmas.

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