Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Review of Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Fairytale retellings are big these days. They are literally all over the book market, and I couldn't be happier about that. The only downside is that, with so many, it's really difficult to sniff out the good from the bad. And so I rely on recommendations...and so I decided to try Fables, even though I rarely go for graphic novels.

The basic premise is that the fairy tale characters we're all familiar with (Snow White, Jack the Giant Killer, The Big Bad Wolf, and so forth), were forced to flee their homelands when they were attacked by a mysterious and vicious adversary. Now they reside in New York City, under a secret government with Snow White as the Deputy Mayor. This book is mostly a murder mystery, when Rose Red (Snow White's sister), goes missing amidst a great deal of blood. Bigby (the once Big Bad Wolf), is the detective in charge of solving the mystery.

Positive Comments

I liked the twisted, jaded view of these characters. Snow White is divorced from Prince Charming, who is shown to be quite the tool. Jack is full of get rich quick schemes. Bigby is portrayed as sort of werewolfish, but is also very smart and awkwardly charming. This is a world with a big cast and a lot of potential, and it knows how to use it's characters in a twisted and amusing way.

Critical Comments

As far as the actual story goes, it's a little meh. I'm not big on mysteries, so I wasn't that invested. I wasn't bored, because it was amusing enough just to watch these characters exist and interact in our world. But the plot by itself? Not so fantastic.


Fairytale fans, this one is for you. It's clever, unusual, and just plain fun. Even if you don't normally read graphic novels, I'd recommend this one. 4.5 stars.

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