#CBR4 Cannonball 15: Fables, Volume 12: Dark Ages by Bill Willingham

Fables: Dark AgesFables: Dark Ages by Bill Willingham
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dark Ages explored some interesting themes, but some of the artwork was just plain bad, and the skipping from artist to artist hurt my eyes.

This volume is mostly concerned with the aftermath of Fabletown’s war with the Empire. There was a lot of potential here to explore social and political themes, like what happens in a recently-freed land when the oppressor is gone and the people are left to fend for themselves. That was the direction I thought Willingham was going in initially, but, alas, I was mistaken. Instead, Willingham used it as an opportunity to introduce a new villain. I think that’s a missed opportunity, there.

Other than that, the action in this book is a little static. There’s a pretty significant tragedy in the book, but it feels a little bit manipulative and, in my opinion, doesn’t do much to push the book forward. Many of the other events are rather forgettable, although I’m sure Willingham will pick up those threads in the next volume.

It was still a decent read, but certainly my least favorite volume of the series so far.

View all my reviews


  1. […] Dark Ages is my least favorite volume of Fables so far. I thought there were a lot of wasted opportunities in this book. Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailDiggStumbleUpon Posted by Jelinas in 2 stars – an ok book and tagged bill willingham, dark ages, fables, fairy tales, Graphic Novel, volume 12 […]

  2. Who is doing the art in this volume?

    • Jelinas Said:

      It says Mike Allred and Mark Buckingham, but there were sections of it that were unrecognizable to me. Blegh.

      • You are both farther ahead than I am, but I just finished the first three deluxe volumes. One of the stories was about the Barleycorn Brides, and the art in that one was so different from the rest that it was hard to keep it in context, even though it didn’t do a whole lot to continue the main arc. Pinocchio and Snow’s looks changed a lot in those first volumes as well.

    • Jelinas Said:

      Yeah, they do it from time to time in other volumes, but there was so much different artwork, in three different styles off the bat, that it was extra-jarring. :/

  3. sevenstories Said:

    I hate it when there are lots of different artists within the same volume and the characters visibly change in appearance. It’s jarring and can also sometimes be confusing in a series with so many characters. Whilst I like the arc with Mister Dark (I think it gets stronger towards the end) I agree that it would have been nice to have more issues in between his introduction exploring the aftermath of the war.

    • Jelinas Said:

      I totally agree!!! I think Mister Dark has promise, and I understand the need to introduce a new villain, but I just thought it was mishandled in a lot of ways.

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