Fables: Wolves (vol. 8)
By: Bill Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham (Illustrator), Shawn McManus (Illustrator)
Format/Source: Paperback; my brother’s copy
The community of Fables living undercover in our midst has endured plenty of suffering at the hands of their longtime antagonist, the Adversary. Now it’s time to return the favor and put the would-be conqueror on notice that the cost of subjugating this last stronghold of independent magic will be higher than even he can bear. The one Fable who can accomplish this mission, however, has hidden himself in the wild and will take some convincing—if he can ever be found. Luckily for Fabletown, there is something more than a trip behind enemy lines awaiting Bigby Wolf’s return…
Collects issues #48-51 in Bill Willingham’s Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series.
After developments in volume 7 of Fables (review), what else is there to do but to immediately read volume 8? The title alone is a bit spoilerish given developments in recent issues, but nonetheless made me even more excited 😉 Contains spoilers if you haven’t read the first 7 volumes of the series!
What can I say about this volume? After volumes of not hearing from Bigby and knowing that Mowgli was out there on his trail, we finally see not only some results but lo and behold Bigby himself. Admittedly I was pretty huffed to see him try to forget about everything by embarking on a new (albeit casual) relationship, especially seeing how much Snow sacrificed and worked to raise six children who clearly took more after their father (I expected her to smack him or something, at the very least), but nonetheless it was nice to see him in the story again. But of course we can’t have the happy reunion without a bit of work first…The mission he undertakes is an ambitious one, bringing him to places we haven’t really seen yet in the stories and bringing the whole Adversary story arc to a crossroads (end of another arc/phase of the war?).
But then of course there’s the reunion between Snow and Bigby, which was great and yay!, but I did wish the aftermath was a little longer with the preparations for the wedding. It felt a bit rushed. I also would have liked to see Bigby interact with his children first (aside from Ghost, it would’ve been nice, especially after they wrote all of those letters and sent all those gifts–plus, those kids were just so gosh-darn cute, I thought them complaining of how bored they were and how they were tasked not to shift forms or fly for a month was adorable). But the cap to this particular segment of their story was great ad rewarding after volumes of waiting and wondering 😛
Volume 8 is a changing point in the story (and evidently a good marker if you want to stop; I’m actually stopping as it’s a very long series–I may pick it up again in the future, but for now the buck stops here for me) both as a checkpoint in Snow and Bigby’s relationship and the change in Fabletown’s conflict with the Adversary. The question is of course whether Gepetto will heed Bigby–and Fabletown’s recommendation–and play nice, and there are still a ton of loose ends to be resolved moving forward, but it’s a fantastic issue to read nonetheless.