Drew Patrick Smith's Reviews > Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers

Fables, Vol. 4 by Bill Willingham
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Jul 07, 2011

it was amazing
Recommended for: Everyone and their Dog
Read in February, 2011 , read count: 5

Review from the PFS Book Club...

What I Liked: This collection is basically the point where I said, "Oh, I get it." March of the Wooden Soldiers is basically where Fables comes into its own - it's a wartime story about a group of outcasts who have built, over the centuries, a world in the middle of our own. Willingham's great gift here is the ability to have the major plot twists laid out in a way that make sense (you might even guess them before the big reveals) but still manage to have surprises appear.

I do believe that Fables is its strongest when telling great war stories - here, every member of Fabletown grabbing a gun and defending their home against the assualt of essentially unkillable wooden soldiers. The surprises here aren't that the Fables win, but rather the small character moments that elevate cast members. Both Boy Blue and Frau Totenkinder make their entrances here onto the main stage of Fables, and boy, what great entrances they are.

You've got to talk about the evolving art of Mark Buckingham. The man is genius - that panel of a frog dropping a grenade while riding cow flying over the moon is a perfect example of storytelling within a story. Each page is detailed to perfection, with Buckingham easily taking on human and animal shapes without worry. Another great panel? A reflection of the battle between the imposter Hood and Totenkinder seen only on one panel in King Cole's eyes. We only get a hint of how horrible it is, but it's enough to be a great moment.

I've got to have a shout out for Klein (letters) and the colorists. The background colors change, based on mood, time of day, or shadows and the letters shift for several of the character in non-human forms. They simply add more detail to one of the most detailed works on the comic book stands.

What I Didn't Like: Um...well...this might be my favorite Fables collection, so pretty much nothing. It might be a bit too fanboy of me, but it's true.

Last Thought: Read it. If you don't like it, then you probably don't have taste.
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