Reenie's Reviews > Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages

Fables, Vol. 12 by Bill Willingham
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Sep 23, 09

bookshelves: comic, fantasy
Read in September, 2009

I've found, as I've gone through this series, that I like parts of Willingham's style less and less the more exposed I am to it (or maybe the problematic parts come through more and more, I'm not sure). I'm not fond of the tendency of a variety of characters to parrot bits of what must be the author's political stance on the 'mundy world' in the context of their own stories. I suppose this may be due to a dislike of the stance itself in this instance, and I may just not notice when these sorts of things agree with me, but I like to think not - in Fables it really does feel like author talking directly to the audience through his characters, and to be honest, I find that a bit tacky.

Also, the parallel Willingham likes to keep drawing (in his notes and with his characters) between Fabletown and Israel makes no bloody sense. (At least not until Fabletown starts starting wars with its neighbours in its new home.)

So why do I keep reading? Well, it can be heavy-handed (in the plot & characterisation itself, aside from my bitchy complaints about the use of the story as a pulpit) compared to other things from Vertigo, but it's still an enjoyable story that manages to keep you sucked in and wanting to know more. Mr Dark is a bit of a caricature, but the shape of his story as a new unforseen (and degrees of magnitude worse than what preceded him) is an excellent move, and his thing with the teeth is truly creepy. Teeth are. (I forget what the percentage of the population is supposed to be that has recurring teeth nightmares, but it's significant, and I'm definitely one of them.) And the art is generally excellent - particularly the covers, which are some of the most gorgeous things around in comics today.

Pretty things will keep my interest up, it's true.
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