Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review of Fairest, volume 1

Book 28. Fairest, book one: Wide Awake, collecting issues 1-7. By Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges, with art by Phil Jiminez, Andy Lanning, and others.

You have to feel sorry for Sleeping Beauty – you stick yourself with a needle, and then you fall asleep (and anyone within a radius of you) until you are awakened by the Kiss of True Love. The first arc of “Fairest” tells the backstory of Briar Rose, and how Ali Baba and his blue imp sidekick kissed her back to her life. 

And he kissed the Snow Queen back to life at the same time. 

What could go wrong with that plan?

Willingham and Stuges tell a compelling story, with rich and compelling characters. The dialog is terrific, such as when the Snow Queen feels she is being talked into something unwise by Ali Baba. “I know you’re a rogue and a thief and a rake. I can live with that. But please don’t turn out to be an a-hole.” 

Focusing on the female characters in the Fables-verse is an interesting new direction to take the franchise. There are some of the strongest characters in the story, and outside of the war story that dominated Fable for 75 issues, this title gives them an opportunity to shine on their own.

The collection also includes the one-off issue #7, told as a noir-ish detective story. As dark as the art style was, the story itself was darker. It was an emotional tale featuring Beauty, Beast, & the Bag Bad Wolf. It was the kind of single-issue stories that more comics need to use.

The Adam Hughes covers, both for the individual issues and the collection, are a real treat. He is one of the most skilled comics artists around, in terms of presenting beautiful women who could exist in the “real world.”

No comments:

Post a Comment