Posts Tagged ‘homelands’

#CBR4 Cannonball 11: Fables, Volume 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of EmpireFables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sons of Empire was a little up and down for me, but the little bonus at the end brought the volume as a whole back up to solid ground.

The Fables are continuing to prepare for the possibility of war against the Adversary, and the Adversary is now preparing his hostile takeover of the mundy world (that’s our world, y’all). This is especially tough for Pinocchio, who still loves his friends back in Fabletown, even though he’s under a loyalty enchantment to his father, Geppetto (also known as the Adversary).

Here’s one thing I don’t get: the wooden soldiers Geppetto creates to people his armies are so disdainful of “meat” people (humans). Yet, they hold their “father” in such high reverence. It doesn’t make sense to me that they’d think so ill of meat when their own beloved father is meat.

Snow & Bigby continue rearing their rambunctious brood of sons and daughters, and the kids are growing and learning all the time.

There are two special treats at the end of this volume. The first is a Christmas special, and we get to see the Wolf family take a special trip back to the Homelands to visit Grandpa: the North Wind. He and Bigby have a strained relationship, and we get to peek behind the curtain and see why.

By the way, the Wolf kids/cubs are absolutely adorable. Good job, artists.

The second special treat is especially fun. Over the years in which Fables has been in publication, readers have sent in thousands of questions. Willingham and the writers chose eleven questions to answer in one-page comics. Some of them are absolutely hilarious. This segment alone elevates an otherwise unremarkable volume.

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#CBR4 Cannonball 9: Fables, Volume 7: Arabian Nights by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights by Bill Willingham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

They say that too many cooks spoil the broth. I would say that, sometimes, it’s too many ingredients that spoil it.

Arabian Nights fell a little flat for me. I was excited when Willingham started including characters from the Arabian Nights world. But the storyline involving them wasn’t all that captivating. Also, one of the characters kept calling Sinbad, supposedly the head of this royal retinue, “sirrah.” I gathered that he meant it as a term of honor, but I couldn’t get over the fact that, in English, it has a negative connotation. If what they’re saying in Arabic is going to be translated into English, then shouldn’t that term be translated, too?

The one thing I will say is that Frau Totenkinder is pretty ossom. She’s the wicked witch of “Hansel and Gretl” fame. Her name is German for “dead children,” and she’s ossomly creepy, and Willingham uses her well.

There was a vaguely interesting secondary plotline involving a wooden soldier from the Adversary’s armies. Rodney, a wooden soldier, falls in love with June, a wooden “medic” — she repairs damaged wooden soldiers’ limbs. Together, they travel to find Geppetto and ask him to turn them into flesh so that they can marry and raise children. It’s a sweet, little love story, and a reminder that the soldiers in the enemy’s army are people, too, with cares and lives disturbingly similar to ours.

It’s a nice aside, but I still hope that the next volume gets back to top form again.

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#CBR4 Cannonball 8: Fables, Volume 6: Homelands by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 6: HomelandsFables, Vol. 6: Homelands by Bill Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This volume of Fables revolves mostly around Boy Blue. Unlike in the nursery rhyme, he’s actually a fierce warrior in addition to being a talented bugler.

His mission is to return to the Homelands, which have been taken over by the mysterious Adversary, and to rescue Red Riding Hood, the woman he loves, or die trying.

There’s plenty of adventure and subterfuge involved. Blue has stolen the Witching Cloak, a magical cloak that can teleport you to different places and hide items until you need them, and the Vorpal Sword, of “Jabberwocky” fame, which can vanquish any foe. He goes riding through the Homeland until he finds and confronts the Adversary.

We also get a short tangent about the life of Jack Horner, the “Jack” of all the fairytales and nursery rhymes. After the Battle of Fabletown, he steals a bunch of treasure from the Fabletown coffers, moves to Hollywood, and starts a production company (“Nimble Pictures”), which he uses to make a movie trilogy about “Jack.” The second movie, interestingly enough, is called Jack the Giant Killer. So, did I miss the first movie or what?

This volume is full of twists and turns, from the Adversary’s identity to Blue’s reunion with Red Riding to the truth about Blue’s quest into the Homelands. This series is going strong.

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