Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Mark Buckingham
an old anecdote Orson Welles told to Peter Bogdanovich that
goes something like "I was in a play once, doing the
Star Part. You know what a Star Part is? I did one called
"Mr. Woo", and, maybe for the first forty five minutes,
everyone kept saying "Yes, but I wonder what will happen
when Mr. Woo gets here?" and "Oh, what'll Mr. Woo
say about this?" and, just before the end of the first
act, the small figure of Mr. Woo crosses a bridge in the background
and everybody says "Ahhhhh
Mr. Woo!" and the
curtain comes down and the audience goes out and says "Wow!
Isn't that actor playing Mr. Woo great?!""
may not realize it, but this is the exact thing that makes
Fables such an addictive book. We have the love, lust,
hatred, betrayal, greed, fear, and compassion, but, more than
anything, we have The Adversary; the most enthralling unknown
villain in recent comic history.
after two years of mystery, some more clues are tossed our
is tending to her morning duties on the Fabletown Farm Annex
when word comes to her that Baba Yaga's chicken legged hut
has been on the rampage all night and nobody can stop it.
The strange part is that the hut is loaded with enchantments
to prevent it from doing this exact thing, so what's making
it try to escape the farm?
in Fabletown, Boy Blue is still in the clutches of the counterfeit
Red Riding Hood and her three Wooden Soldiers. Bruised and
bleeding, it's unclear what Blue may have revealed concerning
the relics remaining in the Fables' possession. However, it
seems to be enough to satisfy Red, who, after chastising her
servants, is herself reminded that they are "True sons
of the Emperor
Carved in his image". Unimpressed,
Red tosses them across the room with her spooky mind powers
before deciding to return Blue to the Fables, getting one
last use out of him in the process
for her, Bigby Wolf has already found the Fable garrison at
the Canadian gate between worlds dead and the gate itself
opened from the other side. Knowing an attack is imminent,
he has Snow White order the immediate lockdown of Fabletown,
but will it be enough, now that so many soldiers of The Adversary
have come through?
the Fables special "The Last Castle" came
out, the tone of the book changed forever. The Adversary was
no longer just some remote threat spoken of in old tales;
he was real. Still unseen, his forces had become more than
just spectres or forgotten monsters, and, sure enough, Willingham
didn't wait long to finally bring that threat into the present
and the result has been great.
keep up this tension forever? Probably not, but when you consider
that it's been two years and we STILL don't really know anything
about our big villain, it doesn't look like he much cares
about wrapping up the main conflict. We've seen Fables
do turns as a murder mystery, a war of secession story, a
caper, a love story amidst a tale of political intrigue, and
any number of other things. Anything but an epic battle of
good and evil, that's for sure. Now that Bigby's set out to
collapse the Canadian gate, it's anybody's guess if that battle
is ever coming.
that note, Fables makes a keen observation: people
just don't want to go to war. It may only seem like common
sense, but consider all the stories you've ever read where
someone took out an enemy they had no reason to fight, aside
from past quarrels and the possibility of future strife. Now,
try to resolve that with the way the average person thinks;
we, as societies, just aren't wired like that (though certain
individuals may run against the herd).
despite all their powers and outlandish origins, are no different
than us, hiding for centuries from a foe they knew to be out
there, but never making any plans to amass an army to take
back the Fablelands, much less any kind of force to defend
themselves. Simply put, they thought their fight was behind
them and they settled in to the quiet life, content that The
Adversary had forgotten about them.
that change now that The Adversary has finally broken through?
Will the Fables choose to fight? Is The Adversary really some
kind of non-living being in human form like his Wooden Soldiers
suggest? Why does he press the Fables for their relics so
much when he's never shown the slightest interest in crossing
over to our mundane world before? Is the war finally coming
I know, but isn't it exciting?!