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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland





Title:
Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland





ISBN:
9781401224790


Price:
$22.99


Publisher/Year:
Vertigo, 2012


Artist: Craig Hamilton, Jim Fern


Writer:
Bill Willingham





Rating:
4/5





Bigby
Wolf embarks on a quest through the American Heartland to find a new location
for Fabletown, a secret society of exiled fairy tale characters living among
the "mundys." In his wanderings, Bigby stumbles across Story City, a
small town that seems to be occupied solely by werewolves. Oddly enough, they
seem to already know and revere Bigby, but at the same time they've captured
and caged him.





FABLES:
WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND tells an epic tale that began well before Bigby
Wolf set foot in the bucolic plains of the Midwest. It began long ago when he
served in World War II and became mired in a Nazi experiment that would change
nations. It's soon evident that murder in Story City is the least of their
sins, and unraveling the town's many mysteries may cost Bigby, the seventh son
of the North Wind, much more than his own life.





First
a warning - this is a violent, gore fest more often than not.  Bigby isn't a subtle man to begin with and
these folks pissed him off something bad and he lets loose on them.  Also there is a lot of nudity running around
these pages.  Male and female.  I wouldn't call it explicit persay--girls are
obviously girls, guys are obviously guys, but it’s pretty clinical overall.





FABLES
remains one of my favorite comics and barring something slipshod editor
deciding to butcher it, that's not likely to change.  I've looked forward to this book for a long
time mainly because Bigby is my favorite character, bar none (save Snow White
and Cinderella), and it promised to give us a bit of back story on the man
behind the wolf.  In that it didn't
disappoint.  Bigby has spoken of his time
in WWII, when he helped out the Allies (unofficially) to stop the encroachment
of the Nazis, but in this he reveals just what he did exactly.





The art
isn't anything to write home about, its not up to the usual standards of the
comic and part of that may be because most of the story arcs had one artistic
team (inkers, layout, pencils) throughout. 
WEREWOLVES has numerous inkers and in a comic book that can really fudge
up the artwork.  From a reader's
perspective, it made folk hard to tell apart (I kept mixing up Diana and Oda,
or Alwin and Carl for instance, which in turn confused me as all four had
separate agendas more or less).  The
werewolves, whether intentionally or not, were all colored basically the same
so even though Bigby was going through them wholesale at one point, I had no
idea who was dead and who was not.





Story
wise this was an interesting conundrum for Bigby.  He kind of helped create the mess and was at
a loss as to how to finish it. 
Technically no one in that town is a true Fabletown resident.  None of them came from the Homelands, or were
born from parents who fled the Homelands (such as Snow and Bigby's children),
and thus the charter didn't cover them. 
On the other hand they weren't exactly Mundys (humans).  He basically let it play out, hoping for a
graceful outcome, but knowing the outcome would be far worse then anything he
wanted to find.

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