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Bill Willingham – Fables, Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons

October 25, 2008

133. Fables, Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Tony Akins, and Jimmy Palmiotti (2005)
Fables, Volume 5

Read my Review of:
Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Vol. 2: Animal Farm
Vol. 3: Storybook Love
Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers

Length: 168 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

Started: 21 October 2008
Finished: 22 October 2008

Bigby and Snow’s kids
tear them apart. Fabletown
goes from bad to worse.

Summary: Volume five opens with a short piece concerning Cinderella and her true allegiances, followed by a slightly longer war story focusing on Bigby during World War II – as a group of soldiers infiltrate a German castle where the Nazis are planning something sinister – and supernatural. The main arc, “The Mean Seasons”, opens on a pivotal day in Fabletown: Snow White’s in labor, and the citizens are voting for their new mayor. When Prince Charming wins the election, and Snow White’s babies turn out to be slightly less than normal, it’s clear big changes are in store. Charming must get used to administration quickly, and as he proves less-than-adept for the job, the Fable community starts to fall apart. Meanwhile, Snow White must move to the Farm to raise her children – the one place Bigby, their father, is never allowed to go.

Yeah, you and me both, lady.

Yeah, you and me both, lady.

Review: Dudes! Comic books are *not* supposed to make me cry! Well, I didn’t cry, exactly, but it did seem to get oddly dusty and allergenic in my house while I was reading (….twice.) This is a lot more personal of a story than most of the previous volumes, focusing more on individual characters (I love the portrayal of Cinderella as a ditzy, bitchy blonde) and less on the ongoing story of the Adversary, although those pieces are still moving in the background. Willingham keeps adding elements to the story while continuing to juggle past additions successfully, moving each bit forward with a panel here, a line of dialogue there. I loved the directions the story took in this one, and it’s an incredible testament to the power of the writing and the story that I care enough about the characters to actually get misty on their behalf. In a comic book! 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Very, very good – this series really does just keep getting better.

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Other Reviews: Everyday Reads
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2008 10:54 am

    Sigh, I know. I teared up as well. I didn’t see that coming, but then everything made sense and it was just SO sad.

  2. October 26, 2008 9:25 am

    Nymeth – I’m glad it’s not just me getting misty over the comic books. :)

  3. November 2, 2008 7:53 pm

    Ackk this sounds awesome! As terrible as it sounds, I’m not a huge fan of babies – but I cannot wait to read about Snow and Bigby’s pups :)

  4. November 3, 2008 10:47 am

    Joanne – Nah, not terrible at all. I mostly like babies that are quiet, cheerful, not stinky, and that I can give back to their parents when they start violating any of those three. :)

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