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Fables, Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons (Fables #5)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  16,313 Ratings  ·  501 Reviews
Winner of Fourteen Eisner Awards


With the Battle of Fabletown won, and the surrounding city of New York none the wiser, the Fables have gained a little time for rebuilding and reflection - in between interrogation of the Adversary's agent and the anticipation of Snow White's impending motherhood.

For Bigby Wolf, the father of her soon-to-be newborns, th
Paperback, 166 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Vertigo
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Required Reading Graphic Novels
206th out of 824 books — 1,567 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This book was a very important volume in the series in relation to the Snow/Bigby storyline. I gave it five stars because the storytelling is really awesome. I was really surprised at the direction Willingham took with their offspring. It totally makes sense. There is some angst associated with the situation because things aren't pointing towards a happy ever after so far for a couple who is starting to become one of my mega ships, especially in comic books. I just love the heck out of both Snow ...more
Nov 17, 2007 Melissa rated it it was ok
Remember that time when Bigby got a weird WWII flashback story and Snow got put out to pasture to raise a litter of cubs? Yeah, that kinda sucked.
May 15, 2016 Kaitlin rated it liked it
This volume had some shifts in artwork which I wasn't a huge fan of. I kept getting distracted and pulled out of the story by seeing a new character drawn in such a weird way, but luckily this died down after the first few issues within this and I adjusted.

I liked getting to see Snow White's storyline within this becuase a lot of her life is about to change and she is one of my favourite characters within Fabletown.

We also see a war stories issue which I wasn't a huge fan of becuase I don't rea
2.5 stars - Spoilers

Didn't enjoy this one as much as the last volume. I liked the Charming, Mr North, Cinderella, and Rose parts, the rest not so much.

Cinderella turned out to be quite an interesting character, with all her secret spy work. Bigby on the other hand went from being one of the best characters to one of the worst, his war hero past was so boring and cliché. And his hissy fit about Snow and the kids moving to the Farm was ridiculous. Did he really expect Snow to move to the wilderne
Mar 15, 2015 Gavin rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Volume 5 picks up in the aftermath of the invasion of Fabletown. This collection ushers in a great deal of changes, but first we discover a secret agent that Bigby has working, and how ruthless the big bad mofo will be to protect everyone else.
We then get a fun mini interlude, featuring Mr. Wolf during WWII as a spy, fighting the Nazis and a certain famous monster...who went to pieces.

The election results usher in changes, as Snow gives birth to about 6 babies, only to discover a major obstacle
Melissa (The Lit Queen)
Aug 31, 2015 Melissa (The Lit Queen) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, comics
This installment of Fables reminded me that I get overly attached to literary characters and am uncomfortable with major changes to their storylines when I like them. Beauty and the Beast are my favorites but I have grown accustomed to Snow and Bigby's place in Fabletown so I wasn't as happy with the story as one might think. As fantastic as the writing is I found my inner self fighting the changes the whole time I was reading them. This is why you should never trust Prince Charming, I'll take t ...more
*~Lan Lan~*
3 stars!

I didn't quite like this one compared to previous volumes. It was overall 'meh'.

The election is coming to an end and Snow is finally giving birth. I had expected something more than what was given in this volume. It was definitely setting up the plot to something big and I will of course keep reading this graphic novel series to find out, it is just don't expect much from The Mean Seasons.

Come check out my full review here on my blog:

Jun 15, 2016 Sud666 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Another excellent outing by Fables. We find out that Snow White and Bigby have had six, or is it seven?, children. The children will be powerful but five do not look human so Snow goes to the Farm, where Bigby can not go. We also get the tale of Bigby during his service in WW2 and it's a well done story. But the majority of it is about the kids and meeting their grandfather, Bigby's father, and learning their new powers.

As usual Fables is an excellent departure from the usual superhero comic. T
Jun 27, 2010 Bry rated it really liked it
This series is just consistently good. In this volume we see almost a year and several major events pass. Snow and Bigby's children are born, the mayoral election takes place, 4 murders take place, Boy Blue disappears, and basically Fabletown is going to hell in a hand basket.

Definitely glad I ound out about this series! It's innovative, with layered characters and a twisting plot. Highly recommended!
Nov 05, 2014 Derek rated it really liked it
I continue to enjoy this series more and more with each volume I read. Fables doesn't have the artful angst found in so many other Vertigo titles and that's something of a relief (and I say that as a longtime Vertigo fan). It's charming and never overwrought.
I'm still not quite sure why we got Bigby's World War II story when we did but so be it. Perhaps its import will become clear later and, if not, at least it was a solid bit of character development.
The one thing that still troubles me somewh

Following on from the battle aftermath of the previous volume, Fables: The Mean Seasons calms everything down with a slightly different tone. Yet, this compelling fractured fairytale adventure - with all its focus on the modern and society through the use of age old 'fable' characters - takes some interesting twists in this volume which keep the overall story moving forward strongly.

In Fabletown the election runs its course (view spoiler)
Jun 19, 2013 K rated it really liked it
(This review contains plot spoilers hidden by spoilers tags.)

I would have given this volume three stars, but the ending was too poignant and heartbreaking and drove me up a star.

This volume felt like it began with a mishmash of stories to distract the reader from the focus of the main storyline. While different and somewhat intriguing in the sense of getting to see what other denizens of Fabletown get up to in their spare time, Cinderella's little romp in Paris was just not interesting enough fo
Nicola Mansfield
Sep 28, 2009 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Comments: The book starts off with a single issue that features Cinderella. It feels purposeless at first but a little secret is revealed that later comes into play with a slight significance. Next is a two-issue story line featuring Bigby which flashes back to his World War II days and an ultra secret mission that he participated in. This was a great story line that introduced a new character who is living in Fabletown but I'm not sure whether he'll show u
A bit of a transitional volume with a lot of bits and pieces, but they were all pretty good. I liked the one about Cindy's secret life, it made sense and added a layer to the story about her boss and how he does his job. Bigby's war stories were good comics in and of themselves, even though they didn't add much to the overall story arc that's being developed since they took place in the past and didn't have anything to do with the battle against the Adversary. The rest was really just little mom ...more
Artemiy Nizovtsev
Mar 19, 2016 Artemiy Nizovtsev rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, vertigo
A very low-key volume, picking up pieces after the big fight in the last book and setting up the plots to come next. That is to say, not much actually happens here. Not a bad volume, but not a particularly exciting one, either.
As I progress through this series I have to admit I am losing interest... I did like the political turmoil but was disappointed by the paths taken by Bigby Wolf & Snow White. I'm going to try one more in this series before I abandoned it completely.
Dec 31, 2013 Bob rated it liked it
Now that I'm a few volumes into Fables, I'm beginning the see the general pattern of the volumes: Action-packed whole-story-arc volume followed by relatively slow pick-up-the-pieces/backlog volume. Following up the excellent March of the Wooden Soldiers would be tough no matter where the series went afterwards, and as a result The Mean Seasons is a bit disappointing. Compared Storybook Love, which was the last volume that followed a large story arc, The Mean Seasons isn't quite as good, but does ...more
Mar 10, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This series is really gaining momentum.Story line is becoming much clearer and more and more Fable characters are being introduced.The variety of the stories really keep you interested throughout.In this one you learned a little more about Bigby wolfs past.Which involved him fighting against the nazis and encountering Frankstein.Snow White had not one but count them six children all with special abilities.Prince charming aka "the asshole" of Fabletown became mayor and through 5 books i still am ...more
[Name Redacted]
Poor Blue Boy! Poor Bigby! Poor Bufkin! Poor, dear Old King Cole! This volume is not beloved by the fans, but I suspect that's because they're looking for non-stop action. Instead, this volume focuses on the aftermath of the last invasion, the death of a brave man, the shift of political power from the kindly King Cole to the smug Prince Charming, the birth of Bigby & Snow's children, the political fallout from the same, and the return of Bigby's father.

The stand-out for me was the way they
Jul 11, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This volume gives us the aftermath of the war with the Adversary (Emperor of the Old Kingdom) in Fabletown and the Farm. Snow White is in labor for 42 hours (I would go crazy during this amount of time, and I thought 6-7 hrs was a long time) and ends up giving birth to not one but six kids. Only they're not all exactly human, most are pretty wolfish, courtesy of their dad Bigby Wolf. He ends up leaving after a fight with Snow and she heads to the Farm (where the magical non-human creatures go) w ...more
The fifth collected edition of "Fables" is a much more subdued affair after the last one. It contains several shorter stories that advance many of the overall plot lines lingering about Fabletown.

Two shorter pieces show Bigby Wolf on a secret mission as a spy for the Allies during World War II titled “War Stories” and introduces us to the Frankenstein monster of the same story title. Even if the Fables have no loyalties to the mundanes, essentially, it's their world too, and worth keeping livabl
anthony e.
Jul 18, 2009 anthony e. rated it really liked it
One of the better collections in the series thus far. The incidental nature of the election for Fabletown mayor, and the mounting instability of the Fables' society under the new direction of prince Charming is interesting. Plus, the seven children of Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf promise some intense story-telling experiences. I'm hooked, at least for now.

The only downside, really, is that this series really obviously was meant to work as a monthly book. The transitions of time don't play wel
Feb 25, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
I am really enjoyinng this series. The stories in some cases are so heartwarming. Each one is hard to put down once I pick it up. I have a few favorite characters and a few characters I could do without. But most of all most of the characters are very good. And of course the humor.
Feb 10, 2016 Cristhian rated it really liked it
Este volumen es transición: nos prepara para el siguiente arco monumental que es Homelands y aprovecha para mostrar el nuevo Status Quo en Fabletown y en la vida de Snow White.

Also, The North Wind.
Back to Fables.

This book, like previous installments, was a bit more filler than it was pushing the story forward. You get Bigby with some World War II flashbacks, and the awkward banishment of Snow White and her children to the Farm. While it was intriguing, had some nice twists, and beautiful illustrations it just didn't... hold up as well as previous installments.

I know it'll improve shortly though, so there's that. Also, it hints at the start of Jack of Fables which should be a fun read in a
Jan 22, 2010 Josh rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Goldilocks Reviews
Way to have the creepiest babies ever, Snow White.

Feb 19, 2016 Ithlilian rated it liked it
Hit or miss again, there's not a ton going on that I'm really interested in currently. Don't care about the babies, don't care for the new management. Still not bad, but not as good as it started out to be.
Oct 03, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
SOOOOO CUTE!!!! Spoiler alert: the story around Snow's adorable babies just sucked me in, and was also totally hilarious. Yet another hit!
Mona Loise
Feb 28, 2016 Mona Loise rated it it was amazing
Seven... Oh Snow, I'm so sorry. :( He'll find Bigby, I'm sure of it. But where is Bigby anyway??
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*spoilers* Snow's Offspring 3 8 Jan 09, 2016 10:07PM  
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In the late 1970s to early 1980s he drew fantasy ink pictures for the Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert game rulebooks. He first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and drew. However, for reasons unknown, the series had trouble maintaining an original schedule, and Willingham's position in the industry remained spotty for many ...more
More about Bill Willingham...

Other Books in the Series

Fables (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
  • Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm
  • Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love
  • Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
  • Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands
  • Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights [and Days]
  • Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
  • Fables, Vol. 8: Wolves
  • Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire
  • Fables, Vol. 10: The Good Prince

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