by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Bill Willingham, Art by Lan Medina
Published: November 2011
Last time on Fables we were promised a big reveal, and the mystery of Rose Red’s disappearance has finally come to a close. Issue 5 doesn’t disappoint. The attention to detail is a classic mystery move, reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes himself, and it’s deeply satisfying to watch Bigby lay it on the line for us. Not only does he solve the case, his parlour-style delivery of the events also gives us some greater insight into the characters involved.
Fables is good at this kind of multi-tasking. Within five issues, I feel like I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of information about the universe that’s being set up, the people who live within it and the tensions and egos that strain to be contained by it. The world-building in Fables is a great mix of fairy tale references, adapted to new, interesting perspectives, and it’s compelling as ever.
Fables has always mixed genres, too, in really fluid, engaging ways. The CSI-style detective flashbacks are framed in fairy-tale borders, creating a blend of cop drama and folk lore. By linking the stories of the past to those of the present, it makes a nice little parallel. All stories are connected somehow, and the act of storytelling is always reinventing itself. More than anything, I like that Fables seems to have a great love and appreciation for stories.
In this issue, things are wrapped up neatly, but not quite happily. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the current arc–not too much fairy tale, and not too much grim crime drama. Bigby and Snow White’s relationship continues to charm, and they make a good, no-nonsense team more than ever in this issue. While the current case has wound to a close, I’m more eager than ever for more adventures in this universe.