>> Thursday, September 5, 2013
Fables Volume 5: The Mean Seasons by Bill Willingham et al.
Genre: Fantasy (Graphic Novel)
Series: #5 in the Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Publication Date: 2005
The Short Version:
A transitional entry in the series which fills in some background on one major character and summarizes a year in the lives of others
Why I Read It:
I can’t stop with this series. Every one leaves me wanting more and I immediately get the next one from the library.
This volume 5 is a compilation of issue 22 and 28-33 of the comic series.
Spoilers for previous books in the series are inevitable but I won’t give away things about this particular volume beyond what is on the cover.
From the back of the book:
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 the 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, that means a visit with an old friend -- and a reminiscence of another, even deadlier war. For the Mayor of Fabletown, it means a rude awakening to the harsh realities of civic administration -- and its conflicting demands. As for Snow herself, it means a long, painful labor -- and a series of joyous, heartwrenching surprises.
Even though this one skims through the year following the Battle for Fabletown in Volume 4 and sets up a launching point for the next major step in the story it is not lacking in action.
The opening section fills in some rather surprising stuff from Cinderella. She’s quite the spy but the question is who she is working for. This issue was drawn by Tony Atkins and the characters are drawn a bit different than I was used to but it was still fun and surprising.
The next section called War Stories fills in a bit of Bigby Wolf’s background and his time in World War II. This is also drawn by Tony Atkins but because most of the characters are not ones we’ve seen before it’s not as jarring to see them drawn by someone different. I liked learning a bit about Bigby’s past. I think he’s the character in this series who intrigues me the most. I’ve always liked the bad boys and at least at this point Bigby seems to be a bad boy with a heart. Willingham may have things up his sleeve in upcoming volumes that may change that opinion but I’ll find that out when I get to them.
That’s one of the things I love about this series. Familiar characters are the basis for a whole new type of story and the inventiveness and continual surprises make this both fascinating and fun.
The final section called The Mean Seasons takes the citizens of Fabletown and the upstate farm through the transitional year after the Battle that ended volume 4. Many changes are afoot and the results of the Mayoral election bring new insight into many characters and a few learn that things might be a bit more complex than they thought. This is drawn by Mark Buckingham who has done much of the previous artwork in the series and I do love his work.
The stories both in New York and at the farm are left hanging just enough to make me not want to wait too long to start reading Volume 6: Homelands.