Title: Downfall (Chapter Five of Super Team)
Writer: Bill Willingham
Pencils: Mark Buckingham
Inks: Steve Leialoha
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Todd Klein
Cover: Joao Ruaz
Editor: Shelly Bond
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
In the finale of Super Team, Bigby and his father have had a little heart-to-heart. And although the North Wind knows he should kill his grandson Ghost, the zephyr, he decides instead to face on the terrible Mr. Dark in Bigby’s stead.
The ending of this story isn’t quite what I expected, but it’s something wonderfully suiting this series. The battle that happens isn’t the one we were preparing for – in fact, the whole “Super Team” concept doesn’t at all go where it appeared it was going. In the end, though, the stuff that comes through is due to the very human emotions and decisions of Mr. North. In this really perfect scene, we see him not as the near-god he’s always portrayed, but as a father and grandfather who makes a very difficult choice that most good parents probably would do. For the first time, he really does transcend himself and take on a heroic status. Mark Buckingham, of course, has no peer when it comes to the artwork on this series, and the final confrontation is powerful and effective.
This issue ends yet another era for Fables, and as always, sets the stage for the next one. This is one book where it would be really disingenuous to get upset over a status quo change, because they seem to happen every year or two. The book isn’t what it was at the beginning, and it hasn’t been for a very long time. One thing it has always been, though, is one of Vertigo’s best.