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Graphic Novel Twofer: Fables, Vol. 16 & Chew Vol. 4

January 27, 2012

3. Fables, Vol. 16: Super Team by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Eric Shanower, Terry Moore (2011)
Fables, Volume 16

Length: 160 pages
Genre: Fantasy

Started / Finished: 10 January 2012

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? New volume in my favorite graphic novel series!

Summary: After Frau Totenkinder’s dubious success (and eventual failure) in containing Mister Dark, Pinocchio has a plan to rid the Fables of their new enemy for good. Inspired by the comics he loves, he’s assembling a team of Fables with super powers to do battle against their seemingly unstoppable foe. We also get a peek inside the (still-missing) business office, and a quick look at Sleeping Beauty’s continuing adventures.

Review: This volume wasn’t bad, and certainly had some nice moments (particularly with Bigby – and hooray, Ghost gets a mention!), but it also didn’t make much of an impression with me. Part of that might be because Pinocchio’s not my favorite character, and that was especially noticeable after a volume that focused so heavily on Frau Totenkinder, who I find much more interesting. Part of it might also be that I prefer fairy tales to super hero stories, and the blend of the two didn’t sit entirely comfortably. It also might be that the story as a whole didn’t quite have the narrative or emotional ooomph that I want (and expect) from Fables. But again, it wasn’t bad, just not quite as thrilling or moving as most of what’s come before. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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4. Chew, Vol. 4: Flambé by John Layman and Rob Guillory (2011)
Chew, Volume 4

Length: 120 pages
Genre: Science Fiction

Started / Finished: 10 January 2012

Summary: Tony Chu is a cibopath – he gets sense impressions and memories from the things (or people) he eats – which makes him one of the FDA’s top agents. Unfortunately, his boss keeps sending Tony and his half-android partner out on cases that have no obvious connection other than their extreme likelihood to get Tony killed… but somehow they all seem to come back to the giant flame-letters that have mysteriously appeared in the sky all over the world.

Review: This series has a lot of things going on, all of them are exceedingly strange, and a lot of them don’t always seem to fit together. It may be my fault for having a terrible memory and losing a lot of the details between trade paperbacks, but I’m starting to feel like the series is getting away from me, and that the weirdness is not resulting in enough satisfying payoff. It’s clever as heck, and there are some truly funny moments amid all the weirdness, but I’m at a point where I think I might be better off waiting until Layman & Guillory wrap up the series/story arc, and then starting again from the beginning… although that’s going to be a lot of strangeness to take in at once. 3 out of 5 stars.

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

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2012 10:28 am

    Oh, yay, some one else has finally read Fables 16! That’s too bad you didn’t enjoy it a bit more, though. I have to admit I generally prefer fairy tale characters to superheroes normally, too, but I did like the mix of the two in this book.

    • February 23, 2012 3:27 pm

      I’m also not a Pinocchio fan, I think was probably part of it, too. At idea when the next ones coming out?

  2. January 27, 2012 12:46 pm

    I read Super Team earlier this week and felt the same way as you. I mean, I still enjoyed it (it’s Fables, after all, and there are so many characters I’m attached to by now), but it lacked a little something most previous volumes had. Also, if this is really the end of the Mr Dark story arc, I can’t help but find the whole thing a bit of a letdown. Of course, the ending does raise some very interesting possibilities for the future of the cubs.

    • February 23, 2012 3:28 pm

      And I do love the cubs, so that’s good… Although I totally hear you on the Mr. Dark thing.

  3. January 29, 2012 9:22 pm

    I thought the Super Team angle was highly amusing, I guess it helps being a fanboy from the times the book is trying to recreate. They haven’t got much to do with FT ever since she went a huge makeover in her attempt to finally contain Mr Dark, The side story that interested me most was Bufkin’s actually.

    • February 23, 2012 3:33 pm

      I did like the story of the business office, for sure! And there are a lot of books where I feel like I miss something because I was born in the wrong era… I’ll add the golden age of comics to the list.

  4. February 1, 2012 4:29 pm

    I’m only on the second volume of Fables, but I’m really enjoying the series. I read the first volume twice before it was due back at the library. (I’m pretty sure this is a graphic novel series that I will want to own, but I haven’t make the decision official yet. ;))

    Chew is a new series for me (and the library only has the first two volumes: curses!) but I’m really looking forward to it…I have these two for only a few more days, which normally I find a bit frightening, when the duedates start to close in (!) but I’m excited in this case, because it promises a great evening of entertainment when I do sit down with them.

    • February 23, 2012 3:35 pm

      They are both fast reads, so hopefully you got though them ok!

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