I’ve been reading Fables since its inception, over five years ago. Even so, I was surprised that Fables: War and Pieces, written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Niko Henrichon, and Andrew Pepoy, was The End of the overarching story begun back in issue one. I’ve been reading this complex, funny, violent, tragic, comic for so long, and its story feels so eternal–I’d simply forgotten it must end.
“Fables” are the personifications of fairy tales who escaped long ago from the tyrannical Adversary and his warring Empire. They took refuge in the real, or “mundy,” world. Even there, though, they were not free from attacks and spies. In this book, the long term plans and stories of the characters come together in a final, huge battle. Prince Charming partners with Sinbad to captain a skyship, Cinderella is a killer spy on a dangerous mission, Bigby Wolf leads the last stand, and Boy Blue narrates, since he’s all over the place. There’s a satisfyingly big ending, and a short epilogue that balances things nicely. Page 172 shows a celebration in which I suspect a few of the “characters” depicted are actually the writers, illustrators, their loved ones, and DC Comics staff. I’m betting Willingham is the one holding the green bottle, and I’m curious why Rorschach would make an appearance. He’s not much of a party guy.
This story, of the Fables against the Adversary, is over, but the series will continue. There are still many stories to tell. I, for one, want more about Frau Totenkinder, one of the creepiest characters of them all.