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Fables: Werewolves Of The Heartland s/c

Fables: Werewolves Of The Heartland s/c back

Bill Willingham & Jim Fern, Craig Hamilton, Jim Fern


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

“Can it really have been more than sixty years, Bigby? A lot of strange waters under the bridge since then, eh?”
“Sure. We’ve both led strange lives.”
“I wonder which of us has more blood on his hands in these long-lost years, though.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Fans of big bad wolf Bigby will probably lap this solo tale up, as he hits the road in search of a new location for Fabletown after recent ructions. Thus neatly informing us right at the beginning that this story takes place after the most recent events of FABLES VOL 17. What he unexpectedly finds has ties to his own past, when he fought on the side of the Allies in WW2, in the form of mundy (human) American special forces soldier Arthur Harp, who by rights ought to be very long in the tooth by now.

Well, he is... but only because he’s now a werewolf, whereas in his human form he doesn’t seem to have aged a day since Bigby last saw him, when they were on a covert mission together to blow up Castle Frankenstein and foil a fiendish Nazi plot. It turns out that the mortally wounded Harp received an accidental transfusion of Bigby’s own blood, which unbeknownst to either of them, restored the soldier to life amongst the ruins of the castle several days later, as a werewolf. Roll forward 60 years and there’s now a whole community of werewolves, living as humans in their own town, Story City, in the middle of nowhere.

Bigby’s first unwelcome discovery is that the lycanthropes were until recently receiving regular covert cash from Bluebeard to assist them, much like the Fables, in living hidden from the rest of humanity. But, absolutely no other Fables were remotely aware of them, so it’s clear it’s probably not going to be a happy get-to-know-the-family tale for Bigby and his by now somewhat extended family tree of over twenty thousand descendants, most of whom view him as a near-divine being.

Lovers of FABLES will undoubtedly enjoy this, despite the extremely – searching for the precise word here – cursory probably covers it best, art. It’s decent enough but just looks in several places like it could have done with some more inking over the pencils, it’s a bit sketchy is what I think I’m trying to say. Given one person has done the layouts, two others the pencils, four people the inks and finally someone else the colours, I am not wholly surprised that are some... disparities, despite I think, the intention being for it to be a continuous style throughout. Anyway, that grumble aside I also certainly don’t see the need or justification for Vertigo to put this out in a hardback, it could actually easily just have been another FABLES arc, but then Christmas is coming, I suppose.
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