Fables Vo. 9 Sons of Empire
By Zak Edwards
June 17, 2007 - 12:54
After the incredible events of the Wolves arc, Fables takes a little break to build up some future events and recap some past ones in the most recent volume of this Eisner award-winning series. Willingham’s imaginative remaking of classic fairy tale characters continues to shine as, what I believe to be, one of the best ongoing series of all-time. Seven Eisner awards seem to agree as this series continues to push the boundaries of graphic literature. That’s just what this is, literature. Themes, symbolism, challenging the audience, and most importantly, very enjoyable. But enough praise for past work and let’s look at this particular volume.
Sons of Empire feels like some sort of vacation from the usual stories that occur in Fables. This is basically a collection of short stories spanning across the entire universe of Fables packed with some light-hearted fun and charm. More light-hearted towards the end, bear that in mind. There is plenty screen time for all of the Fables characters, with the deep charcterization that has come to be expected of this series.
The first few stories are about what’s happening in the Homelands as they prepare to strike back at Fabletown and what’s happening in Fabletown itself. Flycatcher comes to the foreground in preparation for what’s going on in the series currently, and Willingham plays the Red Riding Hood aspect very well. Just enough to tease before moving on to the latest thing in the Mayor’s office. This arc gives some much needed info about the who’s who in the Homelands, it also allows us to see some more history about the main players. The four short stories in the back of each issue explore some of the other fables around with the classic re-imagining from Willingham and some different artwork by some other artists. Some are very funny, while others are very serious. They all serve to further flesh out this series.
Just when you begin to miss Bigby and Snow White, Willingham brings the Christmas fable around. It’s very heartwarming seeing the Wolf clan at christmas; decorating the tree, presents, and Santa Claus! I have to say, I love seeing all these messed up characters come together for the holidays, especially ‘Aunty Rose.’ The arc after is very endearing as well, although I’m trying not to give anything away. The ‘Burning Questions’ is for only the hard-core fans of the series, but it is filled with a wide array of light-hearted tales answering some fans questions. The artist of every story is different, adding to the fun.
Speaking of the art, Mark Buckingham continues to carry most of the workload, with a brief departure for the last three issues, which are handled by many other artists. Buckingham’s ability to draw grounded art with such a wide array of fantasy subject material adds so much to the series. The art for all the other stories is, for the most part, very interesting and well done, but with over fifteen pencillers, one is bound to miss occasionally. I really didn’t like the Bigby with colouring that made him look like a corpse, or the overly animated style of another ‘burning question.’ I did enjoy the art of ‘Porky Pine Pie’ and quite a few of the artists for ‘Burning Questions,’ so it’s mostly positive.
10/10 If you aren’t reading Fables, you’re doing yourself a great injustice. Just please start at the beginning, the future stories will still be waiting for you once you catch up.
Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53
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