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

Fables, Vol. 12 by Bill Willingham
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's review
Dec 16, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: yes-i-m-a-geek
Read in December, 2009

First of all, this probably is more of a three stars, but I think I am overrating it because Fables has not been great for some time. Entertaining, but not great. Well The Dark Ages is not a sure fire return to greatness for the whole series. In fact I hear terrible things about the crossover event, next trade. However, this story made me quite happy that the war was over and we were moving on.

Willingham introduces the new antagonist, and he really surprised me with the character. Not in that it was an especially new and refreshing styled villain. It is a fairly typical direction, and would seem boring after the Adversary. I was just surprised how well he was able to make the villain stand out and make me honestly fear him.

Willingham also gave me something to hold on to for later. I think the series was best when you felt that Bigby and Snow were the main characters, even within the midst of the diverse cast of characters. And that has been missing for sometime. But in this book there is hinting that a new character will be stepping up into a lead role. I think this could greatly help the book.

As for the conclusion, I unfortunately got this spoiled for me, but there were still some surprises along the way.

Overall the story is mostly just introducing a new status quo, but with a with a few major character moments to back it up. I am looking forward to where Fables will be going for the first time in a while. Or at least I will be once I have that stupid crossover event out of the way.

Oh, right. And the art. Mark Buckingham does the main story (yay!). But they brought in a new inker that I sometimes like and sometimes don't (I think it is the inkers fault. I am not the best judge on such things.) He makes some things look almost Mignolaish, and others his big black lines feel like they weaken the image. Mike Alldred had done a previous mini-story for Fables that I had kinda liked the art for, and he returns for the Buckingham gets a break issue here. This is the first time I have seen his art since having read X-Statix, so it was interesting seeing him not as intentionally copying Jack Kirby. There were a couple other artists as well, who I am not remembering the name for. Both were fine, better than the old drop in artists they'd use.
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