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Bill Willingham: Fables Vol. 13: The Great Fables Crossover

May 14, 2010

50. The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Mark Buckingham, Tony Akins, Russ Braun, Andrew Pepoy, José Marzan Jr. (2010)
Fables, Vol. 13, Jack of Fables, Vol. 6.5

Length: 224 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Metafiction

Started / Finished: 02 May 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Confirmed Fables junkie over here, remember?

What can be so bad
that the Fables are willing
to make nice with Jack?

Summary: Jack, the Page sisters, and the rest of the refugees from the battle at the Golden Boughs are holed up in the desert, and Jack decides it’s only fair to let the rest of the Fables – now all living at the Farm, after Mr. Dark destroyed Fabletown – about the newest threat: Kevin Thorne, erstwhile journalist and currently pissed-off Literal, with the power to rewrite the entire universe as he sees fit… or to erase it altogether. Kevin has recruited the Genres into helping him out, and even with Bigby, Snow, Jack, and all of the other Literals working together, how can they ever hope to stop him from rewriting their stories forever?

Review: I was sort of surprised at the balance of stories in this volume. Because it’s listed as Fables Vol. 13, but not Jack of Fables Vol. 7, I was expecting the focus of the story to be primarily on the Fables storyline, with Jack & Co. as supporting characters. In reality, it’s exactly the opposite; the story focuses almost exclusively on the things that have been happening in Jack of Fables, with the Fables story mostly sidelined – Mr. Dark is only even mentioned once or twice. While this surprised me, it didn’t actually bother me – I think the Literals are the most interesting thing to come out of the Jack of Fables series, and spending time with their stories was certainly interesting, enough so that I’m sad to see that arc come to an end. On the other hand, I can see this uneven focus really annoying a reader who had only been keeping up to date with Fables and not Jack of Fables – I don’t know whether anything that goes on in this book would be at all clear without knowing who the hell all of these characters are, and what they can do. For those in the know, however, this was a very satisfying volume – thicker than normal, with a greatly satisfying story arc, some real pathos (nothing on the level of The Good Prince, but still pretty intense), and tons of hilarious bits (watching the Genres interact is cute, Babe gets in a few good pages, and Bigby has the worst day ever.) 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Required reading for Jack of Fables fans, for sure. For those who just read Fables, I can’t really say yet if this one is skip-able if you really dislike Jack, or if any of the developments here will become important later on, but I thought it was enjoyable enough to be worth reading anyways.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: “When things look darkest, Blue will return to the sound of a thousand mighty trumpets!”

Cover Thoughts: I like the concept, but I wish we could see more of the folks in the crowd. Those who we can see do give the impression that this is primarily focused on the Jack storyline, however.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2010 8:13 am

    I have only just read my first Fables book, but I did love it. Glad to hear there are so many more.

    • May 17, 2010 10:14 am

      vivienne – Welcome to Fables Addicts Anonymous; there’s lots of us in the club! Personally, I think they get better as you go, so you’re in for a treat!

  2. May 14, 2010 8:59 pm

    I’m not sure if I’m going to keep reading Fables – I don’t love the new villain man. I think it might have been more interesting overall if they’d made the journalist man the main source of conflict after the enormous Adversary battle was over. Don’t you think?

    • May 17, 2010 10:16 am

      Jenny – I do agree, but that’s what this volume is… Kevin Thorne became really important in the Jack of Fables series, and that whole storyline is wrapped up here. It’s easily my favorite part of the Jack books.

  3. May 15, 2010 12:17 am

    I’ve yet to start on this again. The last available volume I find here is V11 and I’ve yet to get the remaining available compilations :(

    • May 17, 2010 10:16 am

      Lightheaded – Well, at least you’re stuck at a good stopping point in the story? Small consolation, I know.

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