Home > Vertigo > Fables #25

Fables #25

May 8, 2004

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Our Right to Assemble Issue (March of the Wooden Soldiers Part Six)

Fabletown fortifies its defenses on the eve of the attack of the wooden soldiers!

Writer: Bill Willingham
Pencils: Mark Buckingham
Inks: Mark Buckingham & Steve Leialoha
Colors: Daniel Vozzo
Letters: Todd Klein
Editor: Shelly Bond
Cover Art: James Jean
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

In most comic books, the 25th issue means some big event commemorating the anniversary of actually lasting that long, an increasing rarity in today’s comic book market. In Fables, though, it is still buildup, as all good Fables come together to defend their adopted home from the brutal forces of the Adversary.

Last month the wooden soldiers issued an ultimatum to the Fables –cooperate with their master and turn over Pinocchio, whose father, Gepetto, is their creator. They revere the original wooden boy, who hasn’t aged a day in the centuries since the Blue Fairy turned him into a real boy (she took his wish too literally), and now he’s determined to go to the homelands where his father is in servitude to the enemy.

Virtually every character gets a chance to shine in this issue. Prince Charming fortifies the area to prevent the battle from spilling out into Mundane territory, while Snow White drafts the magic-users to minimize the fallout of the fight. Jack of the Tales is entrusted to keep Pinocchio from falling into enemy hands – at any cost – as his old flame Rose Red brings reinforcements in from the Fable farm. Goblins and trolls take on their true form and the Beast employs a rather inventive technique to ready himself for battle. The only major characters we don’t touch on are Bigby Wolf, still racing home from his trek to Canada, and Cinderella, who we learned a few issues ago is much more than she seems.

It’s all buildup, though, every single panel of it, and Willingham does a spectacular job of making it all feel necessary and exciting. War is upon us, and by watching the Fables prepare, we truly understand what is at stake.

Buckingham does his usual fine job with the artwork. The army of identical wooden soldiers looks menacing and goofy at the same time. Monsters look hideous, Snow White looks like a believable woman who is very pregnant, but still beautiful. I am absolutely in love with the page layout tricks he uses every issue, like shields for Prince Charming scenes, trumpets for Little Boy Blue and various magical symbols for the scene where Snow recruits the witches and wizards that are part of the Fable community.

I can’t deny it. This is my favorite comic book published today, and I have never been as excited after putting an issue down as I was for this one. Next month cannot come soon enough.

Rating: 9/10

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