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Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages

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Winner of Fourteen Eisner Awards Collateral Damage The great war between Fabletown and the mighty empire of the Adversary is over, and the victorious free Fables have brought their defeated enemy back from the Homelands to join them in exile. Their celebrations, however, are destined to be short-lived. As it turns out, not even beloved storybook heroes can escape the law of Winner of Fourteen Eisner Awards Collateral Damage The great war between Fabletown and the mighty empire of the Adversary is over, and the victorious free Fables have brought their defeated enemy back from the Homelands to join them in exile. Their celebrations, however, are destined to be short-lived. As it turns out, not even beloved storybook heroes can escape the law of unintended consequences. In the post-war chaos of the Adversary's former realm, a terrible force is about to be unleased - an evil that threatens not just Fabletown but the entire mundane world. Collecting: Fables 76-82


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Winner of Fourteen Eisner Awards Collateral Damage The great war between Fabletown and the mighty empire of the Adversary is over, and the victorious free Fables have brought their defeated enemy back from the Homelands to join them in exile. Their celebrations, however, are destined to be short-lived. As it turns out, not even beloved storybook heroes can escape the law of Winner of Fourteen Eisner Awards Collateral Damage The great war between Fabletown and the mighty empire of the Adversary is over, and the victorious free Fables have brought their defeated enemy back from the Homelands to join them in exile. Their celebrations, however, are destined to be short-lived. As it turns out, not even beloved storybook heroes can escape the law of unintended consequences. In the post-war chaos of the Adversary's former realm, a terrible force is about to be unleased - an evil that threatens not just Fabletown but the entire mundane world. Collecting: Fables 76-82

30 review for Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I did wonder what was going to happen now that the war of the Fables has been won. I did have faith in Bill Willingham and this marvelous series, but I couldn't figure something out. Well, our friend Bill certainly came through for us. There is a new big bad on the loose and its as a result of a power vacuum created in the fairytale lands. This dude is set free and he is one black magic baddie. All the magic that Fabletown has been using seems to be connected to this dude. It's really interesting I did wonder what was going to happen now that the war of the Fables has been won. I did have faith in Bill Willingham and this marvelous series, but I couldn't figure something out. Well, our friend Bill certainly came through for us. There is a new big bad on the loose and its as a result of a power vacuum created in the fairytale lands. This dude is set free and he is one black magic baddie. All the magic that Fabletown has been using seems to be connected to this dude. It's really interesting and changing the story in a whole new direction. Boy Blue has such a sad storyline this time. He find out there are consequences from the war for him. It broke my heart. Ghephetto has become a funny character in some ways. He is now in Fabletown and he's no idiot, but he hates the modern world and people hate him. I though this was an excellent follow up to the last one story. I still say this story gets better and better and deeper and the characters change and the story twists and it just keeps going. It's an overlooked work in a lot of ways and this needs to be a Netflix show. It would be a great fantasy show and better than Once upon a Time. This is fast becoming one of my favorite series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    The Dark Ages have begun! After the events of Vol 11, the Empire has fallen and Gepetto is now stuck in Fabletown subject to their rules and regulations. However, all is not well. Much like the collapse of the Roman Empire is popularly thought to have ushered in a "Dark Age" of chaos, the Empire's demise lead to ancient evils being unleashed. It gives another side to the idea of the Empire as merely an instrument of oppression. It seems the Empire played a stabilizing force for dozens of worlds, The Dark Ages have begun! After the events of Vol 11, the Empire has fallen and Gepetto is now stuck in Fabletown subject to their rules and regulations. However, all is not well. Much like the collapse of the Roman Empire is popularly thought to have ushered in a "Dark Age" of chaos, the Empire's demise lead to ancient evils being unleashed. It gives another side to the idea of the Empire as merely an instrument of oppression. It seems the Empire played a stabilizing force for dozens of worlds, it's destruction means a single power system has been fractured into multiple power centers, never mind whatever ancient evils kept at bay by the might of the Empire. This was a very ironic look considering the euphoria of the victory from the previous volume. The Fables reacting to an overall instability in their reality as well as the introduction of "Mr. Dark" has taken the arc is a completely different direction. I am interested to see where this is headed and even after 12 volumes, Willingham is still going strong with a fun and entertaining story. The art was also really well done and I rather liked the style. No more spoilers. If you are a Fable fan read this new arc starting in the post-imperial reality. If you are new to this, Vol 12 is not the place to start unless you care nothing about the entire background. Go read Volume One. It's well worth it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Boy Blue has some insights into Rose Red’s love life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I think that this volume more than others in the series conveys such a powerful sense of loss and risk. In fact, it feels very melancholy. No doubt that was Willingham's intention. A character dies and it feels like an enormous hole is left in the Fable community. This volume touches on how someone can be such a part of your life and you take them for granted, until they are gone. I don't know if I will get over the loss of this person, and in that I feel I identify with the characters. The same I think that this volume more than others in the series conveys such a powerful sense of loss and risk. In fact, it feels very melancholy. No doubt that was Willingham's intention. A character dies and it feels like an enormous hole is left in the Fable community. This volume touches on how someone can be such a part of your life and you take them for granted, until they are gone. I don't know if I will get over the loss of this person, and in that I feel I identify with the characters. The same has happened to me in my life outside of the pages of books. Right now, theme of loss and death is hitting me hard, after having lost people and my beloved pets so recently. I feel that this is probably therapeutic for me, but it hurts, much like when a doctor debrides an infected wound. Along with the harbinger of loss, there is a harbinger of a cloud of doom over the heads of the Fables. They have rejoiced in conquering the Adversary, but someone has awakened a sleeping giant who makes the Adversary look like a schoolyard bully. I really hope the Fables can band together and deal with this thread without losing more beloved members in the process. I think this is another five star read. I find myself scared to pick up the next volume, honestly!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    it turns out there are some unintended consequences to defeating a centuries old empire in The Dark Ages. Parts of this are just gutwrenching. (view spoiler)[You're my boy Blue! (hide spoiler)] Mister Dark is creepy as hell and epitomizes the boogeyman brought to life. Plus, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. it turns out there are some unintended consequences to defeating a centuries old empire in The Dark Ages. Parts of this are just gutwrenching. (view spoiler)[You're my boy Blue! (hide spoiler)] Mister Dark is creepy as hell and epitomizes the boogeyman brought to life. Plus, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    The Dark Ages is the perfect combination of things I love in any story: pathos, tragedy and a glimmer of hope. My personal favourite types of stories are not those full of nothing but despair and pseudo-grit but really those with a conflict between darkness and light. That is what this volume of Fables has. Following the defeat of the Adversary in the previous volume, things look set to improve. The most interesting thing about the beginning of this volume is how Geppetto, once a tyrant and sorce The Dark Ages is the perfect combination of things I love in any story: pathos, tragedy and a glimmer of hope. My personal favourite types of stories are not those full of nothing but despair and pseudo-grit but really those with a conflict between darkness and light. That is what this volume of Fables has. Following the defeat of the Adversary in the previous volume, things look set to improve. The most interesting thing about the beginning of this volume is how Geppetto, once a tyrant and sorcerer, now has to readjust to life in Fabletown, among people who strongly dislike him. Things go from bad to worse however as in the Homelands a new evil emerges from captivity under the Adversary. (view spoiler)[Fabletown ends up in ruins and everyone ends up heading up to the Farm, which leads to a bit of conflict as Bigby can no longer be the force in the Fabletown community that he was previously. (hide spoiler)] Again, it remains up to the individual to decide whether they like the look of this as a series. To me it remains remarkably consistent from novel volume to volume with the odd volume being better or worse. Again, I would liken it to a television show which has differing strength on an episode to episode basis but a strong overall narrative arc. Curiously Once Upon a Time seems to have been slightly inspired by this, but obviously take their own approach to fairytales (which I love).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    This book kicks off with a new threat being unleashed, one that threatens the Fables. The artwork is very similar to the Hellboy pages and this is one of the best books in the series, more a reboot after Adversary conclusion. There are a few characters that meet bitter ends here and while it is shocking, it is clearly building to the next story arc of the series. The series is unpredictable and you never have a clear indication where it will go next. Great storytelling and an interesting series This book kicks off with a new threat being unleashed, one that threatens the Fables. The artwork is very similar to the Hellboy pages and this is one of the best books in the series, more a reboot after Adversary conclusion. There are a few characters that meet bitter ends here and while it is shocking, it is clearly building to the next story arc of the series. The series is unpredictable and you never have a clear indication where it will go next. Great storytelling and an interesting series arc.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Arie

    ohhhh no this is not ok, not ok at all. (view spoiler)[ Seriously, Blue??? Did it HAVE To be Blue?? And did it have to happen like that??? (hide spoiler)] Willingham is a cruel writer indeed. ohhhh no this is not ok, not ok at all. (view spoiler)[ Seriously, Blue??? Did it HAVE To be Blue?? And did it have to happen like that??? (hide spoiler)] Willingham is a cruel writer indeed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    [Name Redacted]

    Wherein we see the Adversary try to adjust to life after empire; bid farewell one last time to Prince Charming; learn what the fall of the Adversary means for different strata of Fabletown society; see a terrible new enemy unleashed by a pair of not-so-subtly familiar characters; witness the relase of Baba Yaga and the death of poor Kay; witness someone finally read the spoiled, self-centered Rose Red the riot act without caring what she thinks; and a hero dies needlessly, giving birth to what m Wherein we see the Adversary try to adjust to life after empire; bid farewell one last time to Prince Charming; learn what the fall of the Adversary means for different strata of Fabletown society; see a terrible new enemy unleashed by a pair of not-so-subtly familiar characters; witness the relase of Baba Yaga and the death of poor Kay; witness someone finally read the spoiled, self-centered Rose Red the riot act without caring what she thinks; and a hero dies needlessly, giving birth to what may be a new Fable religion. This was an incredible volume. I love Mister Dark so far, and I think I'll enjoy him as the new central enemy. I also thought that his introduction was handled very deftly and believably. A series like Fables doesn't need a "big bad", not now that it's become as much about the characters and their lives as it has about warfare, but the explanation for Mister Dark's existence, release and rise makes perfect sense in context and helps explore the aftermath of an empire's fall.

  10. 4 out of 5

    توفيق عبد الرحيم

    don't get me wrong i really like where this is going but i don't like the stalling and the prolonging and the milking of the series and it looks like thats where we are headed a lot of events that isn't really important for the story at hand the new enemy is great he is invincible he is nuts he is pure evil the only down side is who the hell is he? right? in a graphic novel full of fable celebrities we get a villain that isn't really that famous if he was famous at all speaking for myself am not s don't get me wrong i really like where this is going but i don't like the stalling and the prolonging and the milking of the series and it looks like thats where we are headed a lot of events that isn't really important for the story at hand the new enemy is great he is invincible he is nuts he is pure evil the only down side is who the hell is he? right? in a graphic novel full of fable celebrities we get a villain that isn't really that famous if he was famous at all speaking for myself am not sure if he is a legendary character or not i liked the small adventure in the end and i would have liked if it was a little longer maybe skipping the gepetto tour of fable town in the beginning would have been better for this issue and last but not least we have to say RIP and goodbye to our swashbuckling hero boy blue he died with a broken heart as most of us live with broken hearts

  11. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    There's some good bits here - good buildup of tension for a new threat after a somewhat underwhelming conclusion of the previous one, some shenanigans with a cranky old retired tyrant, cameos of some of my favourite sword & sorcery heroes, and Mr. Dark chatting with said heroes - but on the whole it's another small step down. The writing is less than solid, the characterization at a gradual decline, and the art is inconsistent: the story both begins and ends with guest artists who do a plainly t There's some good bits here - good buildup of tension for a new threat after a somewhat underwhelming conclusion of the previous one, some shenanigans with a cranky old retired tyrant, cameos of some of my favourite sword & sorcery heroes, and Mr. Dark chatting with said heroes - but on the whole it's another small step down. The writing is less than solid, the characterization at a gradual decline, and the art is inconsistent: the story both begins and ends with guest artists who do a plainly terrible job, and there's been very little art in the story that I've actually liked, barring the usually good background and scenery.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frances

    I’ve always had a soft spot for fairytales: real fairytales. Fairytales are not “sweet”at their core; nor do they “happy endings”. Those tailored by Disney for children are just that -tailored/fabricated. I’ve always thought of them as cautionary tales. Fairytale characters are just like us -fallible, gullible, fragile. (view spoiler)[In Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages, one fable will see her true self -not through an enchanted looking glass, but through the eyes of a good friend. I hope that thi I’ve always had a soft spot for fairytales: real fairytales. Fairytales are not “sweet”at their core; nor do they “happy endings”. Those tailored by Disney for children are just that -tailored/fabricated. I’ve always thought of them as cautionary tales. Fairytale characters are just like us -fallible, gullible, fragile. (view spoiler)[In Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages, one fable will see her true self -not through an enchanted looking glass, but through the eyes of a good friend. I hope that this experience makes her into a stronger and wiser person. A new foe is coming. Will the fables come together again to oppose it? Or will their history of animosity and their physical differences keep them from working amicably? (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    A new chapter a new status quo. World: The art is great, nothing much to say here, the framing and the character are just marvellous, Buckingham is a God. The world building here is great, it takes all the pieces and the consequences of the last arc and adds and builds upon it. It also opens up new little things we did not expect and the world is so much more interesting with this new arc. The status quo changes with this book and so does the overall world. Story: I love that we had a little lull A new chapter a new status quo. World: The art is great, nothing much to say here, the framing and the character are just marvellous, Buckingham is a God. The world building here is great, it takes all the pieces and the consequences of the last arc and adds and builds upon it. It also opens up new little things we did not expect and the world is so much more interesting with this new arc. The status quo changes with this book and so does the overall world. Story: I love that we had a little lull in the tension to give us some comedy and some lighter moments. After a war this was needed and those character interactions were great. Of course this is comics and the next thing has to happen and the natural progression of it is done well and a very interesting one. I love that larger implications that Ghepetto was hinting and and this is the result and it makes his argument and him as a character all the more interesting. The new status quo is interesting it’s jarring on purpose and I liked it. Then there is the two things that happen here that I won’t spoil but readers will now what I’m talking about. Heartbreaking and so wonderfully done that it lingers and changes things so much for the world and it’s characters. A great new direction. Characters: I can’t talk about the obvious character cause that needs to be experienced, but I will say it was heartbreakingly good. The ripple effect of it was be amazing to read. The characters here get both a new direction and also a new purpose and I like that. I am being vague I’m sorry but yeah these characters are awesome and what they choose to do post war in interesting and what happens is interesting and I can see new arcs being formed for these characters and it makes me smile and shed a tear at the same time. A new direction and a new arc begins here. Onward to the next book!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Volumes 10 and 11 ("The Good Prince" and "War and Pieces") were so strong, that I was a little let down with "The Dark Ages." Because volume 11 brought a resolution to the series-long storyline of Fabletown vs. the Adversary, I saw volume 12 as the beginning a new storyline, with a new villain being introduced. Mr. Dark doesn't seem to be as compelling as the mystery of, "Who is the Adversary?," however he seems to be a formidable opponent for our Fables. For me, the highlight of this volume was Volumes 10 and 11 ("The Good Prince" and "War and Pieces") were so strong, that I was a little let down with "The Dark Ages." Because volume 11 brought a resolution to the series-long storyline of Fabletown vs. the Adversary, I saw volume 12 as the beginning a new storyline, with a new villain being introduced. Mr. Dark doesn't seem to be as compelling as the mystery of, "Who is the Adversary?," however he seems to be a formidable opponent for our Fables. For me, the highlight of this volume was Frau Totenkinder's conversation with Stinky the badger about the Mundy world actually being magical, "in a different way" (p. 135-136). I am glad that they are addressing the fact that the Mundy world is the only world in which stories of the Fables exist. It is important to ask the question, "Did the Fables create the stories and those who have written them, or did the stories create the Fables?" Is the Mundy world an even more magical world than the others, as it is a world of story makers? Is there some sort of Master Storyteller? Some of this has been touched upon in the "Jack of Fables" series, however, I am interested in a further exploration of this topic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    R

    Even before the last war's dust has settled around Fabletown, new storm is brewing in a shadows lurking nearby. With their losses piling up, spirit of its dwellers hanging by the thread and their way of life not seeing any respite from string of threats, the Fabletowners are up for harder times ahead it seems. As Dickens may have put it, "It was an age of crushed dreams. It was an age of rising nightmares." Farm is about to get more crowded than usual and become centre of operations as Bigby and Even before the last war's dust has settled around Fabletown, new storm is brewing in a shadows lurking nearby. With their losses piling up, spirit of its dwellers hanging by the thread and their way of life not seeing any respite from string of threats, the Fabletowners are up for harder times ahead it seems. As Dickens may have put it, "It was an age of crushed dreams. It was an age of rising nightmares." Farm is about to get more crowded than usual and become centre of operations as Bigby and his team of Avengers continue raiding the Adversary's remaining minions back in Homelands. Hold on tight, the ride is about to get wilder...and messier!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Not sure how I can review this now. Kinda mad about a death. I hope something magical happens and he comes back.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy O'Toole

    You've defeated your arch nemesis and have emerged from war victorious. What happens next? If you're Bill Willingham, the creator of Fables, the answer is to not get too comfortable. There are consequences to the Fables' victory. The fact that the evil Geppetto was offered amnesty after his defeat, and is now walking around Fabletown as a free man is the least of their problems. In The Dark Ages new enemies emerge, and old ones resurface as our heroes deal with the consequences of victory. If Wil You've defeated your arch nemesis and have emerged from war victorious. What happens next? If you're Bill Willingham, the creator of Fables, the answer is to not get too comfortable. There are consequences to the Fables' victory. The fact that the evil Geppetto was offered amnesty after his defeat, and is now walking around Fabletown as a free man is the least of their problems. In The Dark Ages new enemies emerge, and old ones resurface as our heroes deal with the consequences of victory. If Willingham really wanted to, he could have ended Fables at volume eleven and I would have been pretty satisfied. At first, the fact that he decided to continue after the defeat of the Adversary had me a little nervous. The main storyline was technically over. Where could the series go next? By the time I had finished The Dark Ages, I realized that there was plenty left to explore. In many ways, the decision to continue the comic after it's natural end is very like Fables. The series has always been willing to embrace complexity, so it makes sense that they would recognize that even complete victory has it's drawbacks. For example, what's to happen to the dozens of worlds that were once held captive by the Adversary? Sure, many of the Fables might want to return to their Homelands, but what about the worlds they have no connection to? Is is appropriate to step in and take the spoils of war, or would that make them just as bad as the Adversary? Another one of the strength of Fables is it's large cast of characters. Given that we've stuck with the same cast for twelve volumes now, we've seen many of them grown and develop in impressive ways. We've seen Boy Blue (who plays an important role in this volume) grow from Snow's assistant to a reluctant war hero. We've seen Flycatcher change from pretty much a throw away character to one of the most compelling figures in the series. So while The Dark Ages is mainly about introducing the new villains who are sure to wreak havoc on the Fables in future volumes, it's also a very character centric volume that continues to bring our heroes to interesting places. For example, after finishing The Dark Ages, I couldn't help but feel curious about where Willingham is going to bring the character or Rose Red next. The artwork, done by Mark Buckingham continues to be impressive. Guest artists are brought it for the one shots that surround the main arc, and I found their work less compelling. This is especially true for Michael Allred's work on “Around the Town.” In this issue, the characters are drawn very differently than the style that I've grown attached to. Final Thoughts: The Dark Ages proves that even though the Adversary has been defeated, there are still interesting stories to be told in the Fables Universe. The realization that there are negative consequences, even to complete victory, is very fitting to Fables's complex world view, and what we see of the new villains here makes me eager to read more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was a bit worried about how Willingham et al would keep the Fables story going after ending the big bad war in War and Pieces. My fears turned out to be completely unjustified, as this was an amazing (albeit sad) book and perfectly set up the next great arc in the Fables saga. The book opens with Geppetto being escorted around Fabletown by Pinocchio, who's trying to get him adjusted to life after ruling the Empire. Not everyone is happy with the newest Fabletown resident, but I thought it was i I was a bit worried about how Willingham et al would keep the Fables story going after ending the big bad war in War and Pieces. My fears turned out to be completely unjustified, as this was an amazing (albeit sad) book and perfectly set up the next great arc in the Fables saga. The book opens with Geppetto being escorted around Fabletown by Pinocchio, who's trying to get him adjusted to life after ruling the Empire. Not everyone is happy with the newest Fabletown resident, but I thought it was interesting to hear Geppetto's side of the story. He believed he was acting for the greater good, so sacrificing a few thousand lives was worth it, because in the long run he saved billions, or so he claims... Now that the Fables have taken him out of power, he believes the other worlds will suffer even more. Geppetto's warnings seem to have merit, though, as back in a recently-freed-from-the-Emperor-land a pair of marauders unknowingly release a very powerful new enemy. This new adversary wants revenge on the Fables for taking away his magic and using it themselves, and he means business. The Fables are forced to evacuate The Woodland and move upstate to the Farm after the magic spells holding their community together begin to crumble. Baba Yaga comes back, and although she didn't get to do much in this book I'm curious to see what havoc she'll wreck in the next one. Even Frau Totenkinder is scared! The main purpose of this book seemed to be setting up the new big bad and the next event in the Fables series: The Great Fables Crossover (with Jack of Fables, an offshoot of this series that I also really enjoy). The other big part of the story was the death of a character (one of my personal favorites) that brought up questions of what happens to the Fables when they die. We've seen some come back (there are always three little pigs, for example, and Snow White managed to survive a gunshot to the head), so I'm hoping this character will reappear at some point, too. But it was still an emotional arc and really made me question just how great a surgeon Dr. Swineheart is. He seemed like a bit of a pompous jerk, actually, but that could've just been me projecting because of the way he was treating said beloved character. There was also a smaller mini-story that dealt with Mowgli returning to a jungle world with Bigby's brothers that was a bit more light-hearted and I nice diversion from the darkness in the rest of the book. Oh, and Flycatcher's back! That was one of my grumbles with volume 11, so it was nice to have him back...even if he is still clueless about his relationship with Red Riding Hood.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Reenie

    I've found, as I've gone through this series, that I like parts of Willingham's style less and less the more exposed I am to it (or maybe the problematic parts come through more and more, I'm not sure). I'm not fond of the tendency of a variety of characters to parrot bits of what must be the author's political stance on the 'mundy world' in the context of their own stories. I suppose this may be due to a dislike of the stance itself in this instance, and I may just not notice when these sorts o I've found, as I've gone through this series, that I like parts of Willingham's style less and less the more exposed I am to it (or maybe the problematic parts come through more and more, I'm not sure). I'm not fond of the tendency of a variety of characters to parrot bits of what must be the author's political stance on the 'mundy world' in the context of their own stories. I suppose this may be due to a dislike of the stance itself in this instance, and I may just not notice when these sorts of things agree with me, but I like to think not - in Fables it really does feel like author talking directly to the audience through his characters, and to be honest, I find that a bit tacky. Also, the parallel Willingham likes to keep drawing (in his notes and with his characters) between Fabletown and Israel makes no bloody sense. (At least not until Fabletown starts starting wars with its neighbours in its new home.) So why do I keep reading? Well, it can be heavy-handed (in the plot & characterisation itself, aside from my bitchy complaints about the use of the story as a pulpit) compared to other things from Vertigo, but it's still an enjoyable story that manages to keep you sucked in and wanting to know more. Mr Dark is a bit of a caricature, but the shape of his story as a new unforseen (and degrees of magnitude worse than what preceded him) is an excellent move, and his thing with the teeth is truly creepy. Teeth are. (I forget what the percentage of the population is supposed to be that has recurring teeth nightmares, but it's significant, and I'm definitely one of them.) And the art is generally excellent - particularly the covers, which are some of the most gorgeous things around in comics today. Pretty things will keep my interest up, it's true.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    And now the boogey man.... This was just okay. You can tell that the writer just doesn't want to continue this series, as it is kinda halfheartedly written. This villain would have been much better than Geppeto, and his puppet ruler. And now the boogey man.... This was just okay. You can tell that the writer just doesn't want to continue this series, as it is kinda halfheartedly written. This villain would have been much better than Geppeto, and his puppet ruler.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    3.5 There are things I really liked -- both in art and story -- and things I really didn't. Also, I has an angry and a sad. 3.5 There are things I really liked -- both in art and story -- and things I really didn't. Also, I has an angry and a sad.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Helen White

    The war has ended! Woohoo big party time ...or not as new baddies seem to appear. And they look worse than the war. Dammit.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    It's two stars partially because of the phrases Goodreads associates with star rating. It's an average volume of Fables, but I can't say that I "liked it." This trade covers four stories. At this point I’ve given up and accepted the quality of these stories as the status quo for Fables. It’s also done made me do some things I didn’t think I’d do. Agree with Geppetto, multiple times. I'm taking out an entire star for the idiot ball that the main characters hold. The first is “Around the Town” where It's two stars partially because of the phrases Goodreads associates with star rating. It's an average volume of Fables, but I can't say that I "liked it." This trade covers four stories. At this point I’ve given up and accepted the quality of these stories as the status quo for Fables. It’s also done made me do some things I didn’t think I’d do. Agree with Geppetto, multiple times. I'm taking out an entire star for the idiot ball that the main characters hold. The first is “Around the Town” where we get to see Geppetto adjust to Fabletown. He doesn’t. The one small comfort about the fact that ruthless dictator Geppetto is given amnesty, when none of his wooden children are given a chance, is that he hates Fabletown. The feeling is mutual. On a related note, Rodney and June seem to have been dropped from the story. Geppetto meets up with Snow, and she has a moment that I have mixed feelings about. Her “why-we-destroyed-you” speech is short and swift like the old, quick thinking Snow from the first volume, at the same time, it emphasizes her role of mother (Snow, he threatened your sister, husband, and friends too) and shows the issue that is going to get a lot of the Fables in trouble this volume: they don’t have a real plan for what to do with the Empire. There’s no time to take the cubs for a mystery birthday outing or have three people split hairs over the Geppetto mess when you have hundreds of worlds now rendered leaderless. The final major event of this story is that Kai meets Geppetto. Kai was sent to bump into Geppetto to find out the true extent of Geppetto’s evil. Kai is horrified, blinds himself, and seems to be forgotten by the rest of Fabletown. The art works, but Michael Allred makes no effort to keep some characters close to their original design. Pinocchio stands out the most, because he is drawn as just a boy in plain clothes with light brown hair; no square chin, tie, or jacket that makes him look like a wannabe mobster. Beauty suddenly becomes a brunette, her clothing seems more about emphasizing her beauty instead of the business wear she usually has. Frau’s features seem softer. The difference between his style and Buckingham’s is jarring. “Dark Ages” introduces a new villain, who creatively names himself Mr. Dark. Name aside, Dark has solid motivation for a strike against Fabletown, since some of their most powerful magical devices were made using his magic, and magic always has a price when dealing with a Dark One. (Rim shot). Mr. Dark is extremely powerful and is a touch crazy, and he’s targeting some of the most powerful Fables, so I’m cautiously optimistic about this villain. I have mixed feelings about his power set. On the one hand, the destruction of Fabletown buildings is a good entrance, but his power to corrupt children has no pay off in spite of getting a cut to the North Pole to show it. Granted, the struggle is still not coming to the Fables, as they’re able to successfully evacuate before mundane police can question them. Also, Boy Blue is suddenly dying. (view spoiler)[The magic arrow from last volume caused a piece of Witching Cloak to get lodged in his arm. Mr. Dark’s magic to destroy the cloak may have caused dangerous magic to fester in his body. (hide spoiler)] It’s a slow affair. He has a reunion with Pinocchio and Flycatcher. Red has abruptly married Sinbad in the time since the war, but the sight of an injured Blue thoroughly shocks her, and she receives a brutal treatment for the rest of the volume. Snow and Bigby get her to snap out of her depression and go see a dying Blue, and in the process Bigby threatens to cut her off from the rest of her family. I’d like to point out King Cole does have depressive and nervous fits but is given Fabletown on a silver platter and receives treatment that is much less harsher when he has trouble functioning than Red. She also gets a verbal beat down from a dying Blue, who accuses her of still being a romantic thrill seeker. I thought that she had gone past that after she got the responsibility of the Farm and broke up with Jack. Blue’s put down causes her to spiral into depression and divorce Sinbad. The latter isn’t important, because we’re told it’s just Red being impulsive. In spite of being the epilogue to “Dark Ages,” “Waiting for the Blues” is drawn with a drastically different artist who favors sharp lines, a cartoony style, and bright colors. This is set after the service for Blue. Stinky the Badger talks magic and stories with Frau and a young woman from the 13th floor, most likely to set up Issue 13. Frau requests that he study at the 13th floor, which is interpreted as an insult. It transitions to the reveal that, surprise, The Farm is not happy with the fact that it’s always ruled by human fables when it was made by human fables to hide the non-humans fables away from the mundanes. Stinky is convinced that Blue will return and lead the Fables of the Farm to equality because reasons. What has Blue done for The Farm again? Sinbad decides to work on surveying the former Empire because he’s sick of tending to Red and is an adventurer at heart. Not out of any sense of urgency to prevent more mysterious dark wizards from attacking Fabletown. Just because he got a divorce. There’s build up to a throw down between Beast and Bigby because Beast is enforcing the law, and that suddenly offends Bigby, who apparently can’t just stay in wolf manor anymore and finds it unfair that vowing to eat everything made the other animals distrust him, when they’re willing to keep Frau, Beast (who apparently has a body count), and Flycatcher. In spite of Fly being shown to only be willing to hurt a fly and gives the Farm fables a place in his kingdom, Bigby thinks that Fly is as big of a threat to the Farm because he has magic. “Return to the Jungle Book” is my favorite of the bunch. Mowgli and Bagheera return to their home world of “Indus” to see if it can be reclaimed. They’re given Bigby’s brothers as bodyguards. These six are atrociously characterized and come off as even more annoying, immature, and generic than the cubs. Bigby also some how isn’t severely questioned by the kids for giving them their uncles as goldfish then taking them away. The only reason he was questioned by Winter may have been to set up a reminder for readers. They meet the leader of the resistance in Indus, who is a clockwork tiger that served the “pale viceroys” before the Adversary attacked. I’d like to say I’m surprised that in Fables, white men rule the world of the Jungle Book, but I’m not. Just exasperated. Sure, it could be a reference to Rudyard Kipling’s nationality, but with the handling of Arabian Fables, I don’t feel like giving Willingham the benefit of the doubt. Mowgli is a clever agent, and doesn’t have an ego problem to the same degree that Cinderella had the last time the story focused on her. Like Cindy, he has fun with his job. Mowgli also comes up with clever plans to deal with the adversary in Indus. Bigby’s brothers are turning into monsters and terrifying the goblin soldiers, and they’re disguised as the Adversary giving false orders, and one is impersonating Mowgli to lure the goblins into a feast. Mowgli is confident they’ll take back Indus, although Bigby is upset that his brothers are now agents, and he can’t push them around.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kayla (onthefritz)

    Setting up the next arch in the series. I like the new villain seems very powerful and very evil. Seeing some more parallels from OUAT with the idea of finding "the storyteller." The magic doesn't make sense that it becomes unbound in some places and with some people, but not others - just something I have not not think too hard about. (view spoiler)[ 1/6 – Geppetto and the citizens try to get used to him being in Fabletown. Frau is slowly trying to undue his protection spells so that when he does Setting up the next arch in the series. I like the new villain seems very powerful and very evil. Seeing some more parallels from OUAT with the idea of finding "the storyteller." The magic doesn't make sense that it becomes unbound in some places and with some people, but not others - just something I have not not think too hard about. (view spoiler)[ 1/6 – Geppetto and the citizens try to get used to him being in Fabletown. Frau is slowly trying to undue his protection spells so that when he does break his amnesty, he can be executed. The blind man sees Geppetto and all of his wrong doings, he cuts his eyes out. 1/6 – In the Homelands, lands are a mess and looters are everyone. Blue is getting worked on still from the magical arrow, it isn’t healing properly. SOS – society of seconds, next generations of fables born in NY want lands back in the Homeland. Rose is sleeping with Sinbad. The looters open a locked box with a mysterious person inside. 2/6 – Mister Dark is getting his powers back, but a chunk of it is bound in the magic cloak that Blue has and to the witching well. Blue’s hand is getting worse. There are other locked boxes in the homelands that contain powerful items/people. The cloak is disintegrating, Baba Yaga escapes, Blue gets his arm amputated, there was a thread from the cloak stuck in his arm. 3/5 – Blue still isn’t feeling well, Mister Dark eats the teeth of the looters and unbounds his magic freeing the Blue Fairy and making certain enchanted places in Fabletown inaccessible. Everyone is to be evacuated just before the building explodes. 4/6 – Everyone is fleeing to the Farm assuming it is still protected. Rose get’s a premonition from the pig Collin – she is suppose to lead everyone to the light. Darkness is awaking everywhere, Rose and Sinbad are married and Blue finds out when sent to the farm. 5/6 – Mister Dark makes it to the city and summons the looters via a tooth from each one. He can summon then once per tooth. Mister Dark finds Kay (the blind man) and kills him, keeping his teeth. Fly shows up with the magic from the grove to heal Blue, it doesn’t work. The animals attack Geppetto, Mister Dark has his crew build a large castle from the remains of Fabletown. Rose red is depressed and divorces Sinbad. Blue give Rose the truth – that she is always drawn to the most exciting man in the room for a short time. Mister Dark want to take over the world, Blue dies and is buried at Haven. 6/6 – Post Blue’s funeral. Talk about the Mundy world may be magical in its own way, as having storytellers or a master storyteller who created the Fables and their worlds. People talk about when Blue would come back. The animals are getting restless again being told what to do by humans, some of them burry Geppetto. Sinbad leaves to build another flying ship. Beast and Bigby get ready to fight. 1/5 – Bigby sends Mowgli and Bagera with the protection of his brothers to scout his homeland jungle to see if it can be recolonized. 2/5 – The brothers find a large key. They meet a mechanical tiger and other. 3/5 – The tiger has been leading the resistance, the key is his to wind him up. Mowgli goes to “surrender” to the remaining Imperial goblins. 4/5 – Mowgli sneaks the brothers in and outwits the goblins. The brothers spy on the goblins getting intel, one of the brothers is a mowgli lookalike. The real one goes back with the tiger with Fly. 5/5 – The brothers change into the emperor and his team and tell the goblins to leave this world. Bigby plans to send the Fables who want to leave there. (hide spoiler)]

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    First of all, this probably is more of a three stars, but I think I am overrating it because Fables has not been great for some time. Entertaining, but not great. Well The Dark Ages is not a sure fire return to greatness for the whole series. In fact I hear terrible things about the crossover event, next trade. However, this story made me quite happy that the war was over and we were moving on. Willingham introduces the new antagonist, and he really surprised me with the character. Not in that it First of all, this probably is more of a three stars, but I think I am overrating it because Fables has not been great for some time. Entertaining, but not great. Well The Dark Ages is not a sure fire return to greatness for the whole series. In fact I hear terrible things about the crossover event, next trade. However, this story made me quite happy that the war was over and we were moving on. Willingham introduces the new antagonist, and he really surprised me with the character. Not in that it was an especially new and refreshing styled villain. It is a fairly typical direction, and would seem boring after the Adversary. I was just surprised how well he was able to make the villain stand out and make me honestly fear him. Willingham also gave me something to hold on to for later. I think the series was best when you felt that Bigby and Snow were the main characters, even within the midst of the diverse cast of characters. And that has been missing for sometime. But in this book there is hinting that a new character will be stepping up into a lead role. I think this could greatly help the book. As for the conclusion, I unfortunately got this spoiled for me, but there were still some surprises along the way. Overall the story is mostly just introducing a new status quo, but with a with a few major character moments to back it up. I am looking forward to where Fables will be going for the first time in a while. Or at least I will be once I have that stupid crossover event out of the way. Oh, right. And the art. Mark Buckingham does the main story (yay!). But they brought in a new inker that I sometimes like and sometimes don't (I think it is the inkers fault. I am not the best judge on such things.) He makes some things look almost Mignolaish, and others his big black lines feel like they weaken the image. Mike Alldred had done a previous mini-story for Fables that I had kinda liked the art for, and he returns for the Buckingham gets a break issue here. This is the first time I have seen his art since having read X-Statix, so it was interesting seeing him not as intentionally copying Jack Kirby. There were a couple other artists as well, who I am not remembering the name for. Both were fine, better than the old drop in artists they'd use.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is the first post-war volume. I was wondering what Willingham would do now that the Adversary has been defeated and the Empire has been destroyed. He ended up going with the "New Dark Lord" storyline -- so, the Empire had a lot of really dangerous, powerful, evil magics all bottled up while Geppetto was running things, and now they're being unleashed. Hence, a new Big Bad who right off the bat kills off a few notable Fables and then destroys Fabletown. And that's just in the beginning. While This is the first post-war volume. I was wondering what Willingham would do now that the Adversary has been defeated and the Empire has been destroyed. He ended up going with the "New Dark Lord" storyline -- so, the Empire had a lot of really dangerous, powerful, evil magics all bottled up while Geppetto was running things, and now they're being unleashed. Hence, a new Big Bad who right off the bat kills off a few notable Fables and then destroys Fabletown. And that's just in the beginning. While I enjoyed the story, and it was interesting to see the Fables beginning to explore more of the universe and their place in it, asking questions that haven't been asked in all the time they were at war with the Empire, I still wish it didn't look like we're just going to have another large multi-volume story arc in which they try to figure out how to defeat another super-powerful evil magical being. One of the virtues of the Vertigo line is that it can publish series that are long-running, but not necessarily endless. Whereas you know that the fundamentals of the DC Universe will never change permanently (they might mess around now and then with Superman's origin, marry him to Lois Lane, or even do a 12-issue miniseries where they "kill" him, but he's always going to come back and he's always going to be Clark Kent and Lex Luthor is always going to be his nemesis), in a series like Fables, there is no guarantee that it won't end eventually, and that things won't change radically along the way. Hence the actual end of the war that had been going on since the start of the series, and the destruction of Fabletown, which has also been a constant since the start of the series, in this volume. That said, since we have seen Fables return from the dead before, I'm not entirely convinced that the characters Willingham killed off will remain dead, since we know with supernatural magical beings, he can bring them back any time he has an excuse to do so. So anyway, the series is still good, but it's starting to recycle things just a little, so I hope it's not limping along in this vein ten years from now, still doing more story arcs with Big Bad IX.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    I'd feel bad about complaining that the last volume wasn't Grimm enough if this hasn't been written several years ago. Clearly the author didn't get a chance to see my comments before moving on with his plans, sour isn't my fault, guys, don't blame me! I guess I can't whine about how dark it gets when I'm given pretty much what I asked for, huh? It's a much better story for the turns it's taking, even if it is somewhat distressing at points. It's good to see Frau Tottenkinder at a loss too, we'r I'd feel bad about complaining that the last volume wasn't Grimm enough if this hasn't been written several years ago. Clearly the author didn't get a chance to see my comments before moving on with his plans, sour isn't my fault, guys, don't blame me! I guess I can't whine about how dark it gets when I'm given pretty much what I asked for, huh? It's a much better story for the turns it's taking, even if it is somewhat distressing at points. It's good to see Frau Tottenkinder at a loss too, we're in brand new territory now. I thought that post-war stories would be just that, pretty much just post-war stuff. And that's obviously going to be part of it from what we saw of the Mowgli story at the end. But it'll be interesting to see how the rest of this develops as well. I will complain about a technical thing. If different artists are going to do different comics, they shouldn't change big things like wardrobe at the same time that they change a character's appearance by a huge amount. Pinocchio is completely unrecognizable again (it's happened before in previous comics with the same artists) in the first story in this volume. If the penciler chose to draw him as a little kid instead of trying to draw him the way Mark Buckingham does, fine, but at least put him in a green shirt and jacket so we have an idea of who we're looking at. Everyone else looks pretty close to right, but there's this bizarre big-eyed kid in yellow and blue calling Geppetto, "Pops," who looks exactly like one of Snow and Bigby's kids. I just don't understand why they wouldn't at least use the right colors, if not try to make him look a little more like the other character.

  28. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    Unusual in that the crux of the entire storyline is here resolved already, one has to wonder, what will happen next if the series' raison d'etre has been suddenly poopy-pooped, the main villain defeated, and everyone looking peachy? Well, you can have a weird guy pop out of a treasure box and turn people into skeleton-slaves that he controls by eating their teeth, that's what. Oh yeah, and destroy everything. And kill off major characters. The only real weak part of this is the Rose Red bit. She Unusual in that the crux of the entire storyline is here resolved already, one has to wonder, what will happen next if the series' raison d'etre has been suddenly poopy-pooped, the main villain defeated, and everyone looking peachy? Well, you can have a weird guy pop out of a treasure box and turn people into skeleton-slaves that he controls by eating their teeth, that's what. Oh yeah, and destroy everything. And kill off major characters. The only real weak part of this is the Rose Red bit. She is so fleeting, fickle, and ignored as a character throughout this comic's entire run, that it's not really very believable to have her suddenly thrust into the limelight.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I still don’t like Michael Allred’s art, at all, and that issue was terrible story-wise too. This probably would’ve been a five star review, if that first issue didn’t exist. Notwithstanding, The Dark Ages was great, and the other guest artist’s interlude was fine. It was fun to see Peter Gross take the visual helm for a bit. This series often makes me miss Lucifer. Earlier tonight I said I’d take a break from Fables after this volume, but now that I’ve finished, I’ll probably pick up the next c I still don’t like Michael Allred’s art, at all, and that issue was terrible story-wise too. This probably would’ve been a five star review, if that first issue didn’t exist. Notwithstanding, The Dark Ages was great, and the other guest artist’s interlude was fine. It was fun to see Peter Gross take the visual helm for a bit. This series often makes me miss Lucifer. Earlier tonight I said I’d take a break from Fables after this volume, but now that I’ve finished, I’ll probably pick up the next couple books tomorrow after all.

  30. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    I can't say much more in the way of explanation or praise of this book than what the reviewers before me had to say. But I do have one thing to say... NO, BOY BLUE! WHY!!! But overall, this story was handled realistically, considering the 'death' of the Adversary and the ensuing chaos that happens without a ruler. I'm especially curious about Mister Dark, though... I can't say much more in the way of explanation or praise of this book than what the reviewers before me had to say. But I do have one thing to say... NO, BOY BLUE! WHY!!! But overall, this story was handled realistically, considering the 'death' of the Adversary and the ensuing chaos that happens without a ruler. I'm especially curious about Mister Dark, though...

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