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Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

(Fables (Collected Editions) #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  134,282 ratings  ·  3,523 reviews
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. B ...more
Paperback, Trade, 128 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by Vertigo (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  134,282 ratings  ·  3,523 reviews

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Start your review of Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Legends in Exile is a fun (possible) murder-mystery with a fairytale twist.
As in, everyone in the story is a part of a fairytale. Their lands have been taken over by someone known only as The Adversary, and they've banded together here in our world as a tight community who are determined to keep their true nature a secret from outsiders.


Alright, so I read this about 12 years ago the first time around, and unsurprisingly, I remembered very little about the plot.
The actual mystery is good but is m
J.G. Keely
Nov 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, comics, fantasy
I remember being somewhat taken aback the first time I read an original Fairy Tale. They aren't child-friendly, in fact many of them were written to unnerve and frighten children. The characters in fairytales are usually half-mad, murderous, sexually-charged, and grotesque.

Authors have returned to them again and again for inspiration, exploring the history of storytelling, moralizing tales, propaganda, and archetypes. Gaiman's 'Sandman' is notable for some remarkable insights into the nature of
Emily May
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
I'd been wondering why lately I've had such bad luck with books. Almost everything I picked up went back down again and more than half of what I read through and reviewed was a disappointment. After reading this first volume of the Fables series, it hit me all of a sudden - Tatiana. Or lack of Tatiana and her excellent book-recommending skills. Thanks for the rec, T, I knew you'd get it right ^_^

The Fables series has been one I've wanted to start since I first heard of it. Adult retellings of cl
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore this series. I've read through it at least 3 times at this point. Bill Willingham hit on an ingenious idea. What if the characters from fairy tales were real? And they are currently outcasts on our world. The first arc Legends in Exile introduces us to our main group of characters. It's a murder mystery. Someone has killed Rose Red and the town Fables have to get to the bottom of what happened.

I love the reinvention of all these old fables and fairy tales. They were often quit
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Homelands where all the fantasy characters from human history(!) live was invaded by the deathly forces of The Adversary, and the war refugees like Snow White, Wolf, Beanstalk Jack, Old King Cole, Cinderella and many others now live in an enclave in New York - what a terrific concept! In this first volume the creative team introduce us to this reality by way of 'Bigby' Wolf and Snow White investigating the disappearance, and possible murder of her sister Rose Red! Delightful in so many ways, ...more
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Lovely lovely lovely.
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* by: Sean Gibson
Shelves: lets-get-graphic
3 Stars

So this Graphic Novel was very reminiscent of 'Once Upon a Time' for me. Our fairy tale creatures have been thrown into modern-day world and basically just have to deal with it... Awesome!! I love that shit.

Beyond being our introduction to the characters within the world, and some personalities that maybe don't exactly meet expectations, this first volume is a murder mystery.

Rose Red has disappeared, leaving behind an apartment splattered with blood and a big old mess.

Our unlikely She
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ by: Sean Gibson
Because Gibsy said so.....

I paid good money for these Gibsy. You and your pasty skin better hope you didn't steer me wrong.

Luckily, for Gibsy and all his friends acolytes, he will not be meeting an untimely demise via shrimp death.

Because I really liked this book.

The art is some of the most stunning art I have ever come across. And I'm not talking about Lan Medina's drawings which tell the story, though it was amazeballs too. I'm talking about James Jean's gorgeous wo
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Why am I just starting to read these? They are awesome
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham and a team of illustrators begin the Fables series of adult graphic novels.

This is a very imaginative extension of fables such as Snow White, Old King Cole, the big bad wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc. The idea is that the fables were exiled from their home lands by a common enemy, The Adversary, and relocated to New York but maintained a community of exiles called Fable Town.

Very entertaining and creative. One of the best scenes is a self-pitying monologu
Sam Quixote
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rose Red is dead – who killed her? It’s up to Bigby Wolf, Fabletown’s gumshoe, to track down the killer.

What I really like about the first volume of Fables is that it doesn’t read like a first volume of a multi-volume series - it reads like a standalone book. I’m sure Rose Red plays a big part later on but this book is concerned more with the done-in-one murder mystery than it is in explicitly detailing to the reader all about the world of the series, etc.

The genius of this approach is that Bi
Welcome, queer folk of the modern age, welcome!

The queer folk of the Fabled lands of legends are now living as exiles in your very queer world indeed and they seem to have adapted very well by creating this very secret society called Fabletown. Oh, don't bother looking for them for you will never recognize them.

From wearing pretty gowns and armour, from fighting against evil and saving princesses, these folks have changed tremendously. They have lost their touch with magic and true love for your
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I'm a huge fan of fairytales from all over the globe, it was just a matter of time before I started this charming comic series about a number of fairytale characters living in our world in exile after some "adversary" took their kingdoms (yes, all of them, one after another).

This first volume introduces us to the colourful and diverse community they have established which is basically run by Snow White. The day-to-day routine is interrupted when one of the Fables, as they call themselves,
Seth T.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Fables by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham

Fractured faery tales and contemporary reimaginings of the classic fables have proliferated over the last several decades. Perhaps marked by the playfulness of postmodern revisitation, traditional narratives have seemed a ripe harvest for gleaning new meaning from old stock. So with Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham’s Fables, we can’t really find ourselves wowed by the ingenuity of exploring third-millennium expressions of old yarns—after all, it’s not as if it hasn’t been done often and recen
Meredith Holley
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Meredith by: Andy
I was told this would be funny . . .


Maybe to some people character soup is funny on its own without any kind of actual cleverness? It seems like a pretty lazy form of humor, though, if that is actually humor. Is that humor???

THIS IS A MYSTERY, not a comedy. And a somewhat lame mystery without any comedic elements I could identify. I mean, I haven’t been that big of a fan of mystery story since I was like 10 and read most of the Agatha Christies. I think that was the same year I ate a tuna fi
Kristy K
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

I bought this after I saw high praise for it from a few people but the cover initially turned me off so I put it on my shelf for a few years. However, I ended up enjoying it. All of our favorite fairy tale characters are in exile in New York, living hidden lives while they long to return to their magical lands. This first volume revolves around a crime.
Rose red and Snow White are sisters. They have been chased out of their own lands into our world to survive. They they must live among us. The big bad wolf is the detective of the story. This is a who-dunnit story and it's good. We are meeting all the characters and the world they created among the mundy's who don't know they exist.

I don't think the art is anything special and I really enjoy the story. The art gets the job done. I hope they keep adding characters for this. They are combing all
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Excellent! The characters of fables have been forced to leave their enchanted lands and are living among us. In this story the wolf of three little pigs fame is a detective in human form. He is called to investigate what looks like the murder of Rose Red, sister to Snow White.
Great art work and writing. Loved all the fairy tale characters! 😊
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This was a pretty fun read, though since the premise was better than the execution, my rating is actually a 3.5.

Fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters are forced to make it in the big city after their worlds are overthrown by the mysterious "Adversary". Bigby Wolf owns a detective agency and he's hired by Snow White to investigate the disappearance of her sister, Rose Red. In this tale meant strictly for grown-ups, Jack, of Beanstalk fame, is quite the social climber, and Prince Charming turns
James DeSantis
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Years ago I tried to read Fables. I believe I got to volume 4 or so. Not bad or anything just didn't connect. Years later I'm trying once more. Results? Better but still lacking.

So if you don't know Fables, well where the fuck do you live? It's one of the biggest comics ever created, spanning over 20 volumes giving you a massive amount of storylines featuring some of the biggest named fairy tale character's ever created. In the first volume Snow Whites sister goes missing. Bigby (The wolf from
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I positively love fairytale retellings, so friends have been recommending this series of graphic novels to me for quite a while, and I finally decided to pick up the first two volumes from the library. I wasn't sure at first how much I would enjoy it, as it's drawn in a very "comic"-esque art style, which I'm usually not a big fan of (I typically prefer more artsy styles, circa the Saga or Monstress series). That said, this was a really fun read, and I loved how many classic characters were repr ...more
Norah Una Sumner
3.5 stars


Such an interesting and fun concept! I definitely enjoyed reading this volume which represents the perfect introduction to this story's characters and the world they live in. This volume is like one big investigation and I really enjoyed trying to figure out what happened to Rose Red. Also, Snow White is a bad ass. Love her. Looking forward to reading the sequel!
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I haven't read many graphic novels.

It's not that I dislike them . . . at least not at this point--I don't have enough experience to definitively state my feelings one way or another. *shrugs awkwardly*

BUT. I've been curious for awhile, and this seemed like a good place to start. I do like pretty pictures, and, hello, fables, so practically guaranteed to like it.


So I one-clicked, then I read the whole thing in a couple hours. I loved it. A LOT.


In this first volume

When I first picked up this graphic novel, the only thought running through my head was IT'S A GRAPHIC NOVEL FORM OF THE TV SERIES GRIMM OH MY GOD I'M SO PUMPED!!!

Turns out this was nothing like the tv series Grimm, but I still loved every bit of it anyway.

First of all, the backstory of the "Fables" is ingenious! Basically, all the fairy tales and magical creatures were living somewhat happily but divided in their "Homeland," but then this mysterious enemy called "The A
Nick Pelonia
May 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have finally caught up on the current 70 issues (Vol. 1-10) of ‘Fables’ and am at a loss of words about how great this series truly is. Willingham, Jean, and Buckingham have created a highly imaginative world of depth, maturity, and beauty in all possible aspects. They have managed to redefine and present characters in a universe I have grown to sincerely care about. I originally intended to write a lengthy spoiler-filled review but found I cannot, as I feel I should refrain until the series c ...more
Very, very entertaining. Classic fairy-tale characters; residing in a modern 21st century NY-setting; with a mature, straightforward way of presentation and exceptionally refreshing characterization; interwoven in a pure good old fashioned murder mystery plot (or more accurately disappearance mystery) developing with biting humor, brisk pacing and great writing-quality; all the while maintaining a vintage neo-noirish style of storytelling complete with a Humphrey Bogart-lookalike chain-smoking, ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bullet Review:

A VERY enjoyable read even for a mystery/who-dunnit (these are touchy for me).

Can't wait for the rest of the series!
I feel like reviewing each issue as I go, so take that, reader.

Fables: Chapter #1 -- "Old Tales Revisited":
There are times when everything is stacked against a work. For me, that time comes most often when everyone and everything is telling me that I should and will adore the work in question. Fables is my case in point. It is a multi-award winning, literature based satire/allegory that multiple reviewers, whom I trust, and friends have recommended, but Fables cannot survive that weight (at leas
Brian Hodges
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
Grabbed this comic off the bargain pile because the premise seemed promising: all the characters from fairy tales have been exiled in New York City because of some mysterious adversary that slaughtered their people and forced them out of their fairy tale land. If the authors had simply stuck to THAT premise, it would have made for a cool story.

Instead, the first volume disintegrates into nothing more than a comparatively lame murder mystery (in the style of "Clue") over "Who Killed Rose Red". A
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)
There is something irresistible about fairy tales to me. So fairy tale retellings that capture what I appreciate about the source material and take it in a new and interesting direction are greatly appreciated.

Fables is a great example of what a fairy tale retelling can accomplish. The artwork itself is beautiful and vibrant. Truly colorful and appealing--successful in using the visual medium to tell the story.. The writing is sharp and witty, and adult without veering into distasteful elements
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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 year ...more

Other books in the series

Fables (Collected Editions) (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm
  • Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love
  • Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
  • Fables, Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons
  • Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands
  • Fables, Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)
  • Fables, Vol. 8: Wolves
  • Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire
  • Fables, Vol. 10: The Good Prince
  • Fables, Vol. 11: War and Pieces

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