Month: July 2010

Fables Countdown to #100: Bag O’ Bones

It’s Friday, and so it’s time for the next entry in our countdown to the release of Fables #100.  If you’re new to this, every Tuesday and Friday I will be re-visiting  each story in Fables.  This will last until issue #100 is released in November.  Today’s story is titled “Bag O’ Bones,” and it’s a single issue story about an adventure Jack had during the Civil War.  Continue after the break to read the recap.  But beware, there are spoilers after the break. (more…)

Fables Countdown to #100: Animal Farm

Animal Farm

Issues #6-10
Art by Mark Buckingham

Still enforcing their community service sentence from “Legends in Exle,” Snow White forces Rose Red to accompany her on administrative trip to the Farm.  Rose Red complains the entire trip, making Snow’s attempt to patch things up seem futile.  When they reach the Farm, they find everyone in the community at a secret meeting.  Snow finds out that the meeting is being run by Dun, one of the three little pigs, because the head official for the Farm, Weyland Smith, has resigned and vanished.  Dun explains to Snow and Rose that they were having a meeting about trying to retake the Homelands by force.  The Farm Fables are greatly interested in retaking the Homelands, so that they may once again roam free.  After Snow and Rose leave, Dun and Posey (little pig) ask Colin (another little pig) how his mission in Fabletown (appearance in “Legends in “Exile”) went.  Colin informs them that he was unable to get a key to the Woodland office, and unable to gather supporters for their cause.  In their room, Snow and Rose argue some more, until they look out the window to find Colin’s head on a pike.

Snow asks Dun about what happened last night, because she left him with Colin, but he doesn’t know.  Snow wants to bring Bigby Wolf in to investigate, but Dun reminds Snow of the Farm Charter, disallowing Bigby to set foot on the Farm, and that he himself will handle the investigation.  Goldilocks and three bears are shown burying Colin’s head and body.  Goldilocks talks about revolution against Fabletown, and the symbolism of putting Colin’s head on the pike.  They are discovered by Reynard the fox, who runs away before Goldilocks is able to do anything to him.  Posey, thinking that Rose may be sympathetic to their cause, shows here a massive stockpile of firearms.  Back in Fabletown, the Forsworn Knight, while sobering up, gives a prophesy about north fighting south, and sister against sister, but Bigby writes it off as things that have already happened.  At the Farm, Snow is unable to find the keys to their truck, or able to call out.  Rose informs her that this is not an accident, and that she’d better just stay out of the way.  Rose then joins the Revolution.  Goldilocks leads a search for Reynard, but he is able to escape and inform Snow about what is going on.

Goldilocks continues to lead the search for Reynard, also making sure to secure the skies so he is unable to send a message out.  Snow and Reynard try to make their way away from the Farm, and Reynard shows Snow a modified gun that can be used by a non-human Fable.  They are discovered by Shere Khan (Jungle Book tiger), but Reynard is able to distract him long enough for Snow to get away.  Snow isn’t able to get very far though, as Khan catches up to her after she passes three sleeping giants and a dragon.  Snow is able to kill Khan using the modified gun her and Reynard found earlier.  Further up the mountain, she finds a chained up Weyland Smith, working on modifying the firearms.  However, Rose, Goldilocks, and the others find them, and Rose arrests Snow.

Goldilocks wants Rose to kill Snow now, but Rose says that wasn’t part of their plan, so, with the advice of Dun and Posey, they agree to lock her up with Weyland.  In Fabletown, Boy Blue informs Bigby that he can’t get a hold of the Farm, and that a messenger bird has not returned. Bigby sends the following people since he can’t go to the Farm:  Boy Blue, Bluebeard, Prince Charming, and Bufkin, the flying monkey.  In the cave, Weyland informs Snow that the chains that are binding him are enchanted so that he continues modifying the firearms, and does not try to escape, or even help someone one help him escape.  Weyland is however able to make a key for Snow’s shackles.  Reynard, after meeting with loyal Fables, finds Snow and Weyland.  After many failed attempts at breaking Weyland’s chains, Reynard suggests that Snow use the key made for her, and it works.  Back on the Farm, Snow interrupts a mandatory meeting of the revolutionists, and orders their surrender.  Backing her up are the three giants she had seen earlier and the dragon.  The revolutionists surrender as Bigby’s cavalry arrive on the scene.  Just as they begin to search for Goldilocks, she uses a sniper rifle to shoot Snow in the head.

Snow wakes up in the hospital, six weeks later.  Over the course of her recovery, Bigby fills her in on what happened.  After she was shot, Bigby’s group and the loyal Fables restored order, but were unable to find Goldilocks.  Two weeks after Snow wakes up, the trials occur on the Farm.  Those that played a minor role in the revolution are given a sentence of hard labor, while the leaders are set aside to actually face a tribunal.  Some time later, as Snow is preparing to leave the hospital, Bigby informs her that today the revolution’s leaders are being executed.  Those include Dun and Posey.  Snow asks about her sister, expecting her to have been executed as a leader.  Bigby informs Snow that Rose joined the revolution in order to save Snow.  Weyland visits Snow to face his punishment for allowing things to happen.  Even though Snow doesn’t blame Wayland for what happened, she still has to relieve him of his authority.  She does ask him to stay up at the Farm and continue his work modifying the weapons, with the hope of one day being able to reclaim the Homelands.  Rose confesses to her sister that she dislikes her because everyone loves Snow, but have forgotten about her.  Rose is able to convince Snow to put her in charge of the Farm so they are once again equals.  Rose’s first official act was to change the three giants permanently into the new three little pigs, and the dragon Clara, was transformed into a raven that could breath fire, to be Rose’s bodyguard.

There were four main points established in this story.  First, the characters that live at the Farm are introduced.  Secondly, we learn why some of the animostiy exists between Snow White and Rose Red.  Thirdly, we learn that what keeps the Fables alive, and that there are varying degrees among the level of immortality among the Fables.  Finally, we varying degrees of the desire to return to the Homelands, and what some Fables will do to return home.

Up next, Bag O’ Bones

Fables Countdown to #100: Legends in Exile

To commemorate the 100th issue of Fables being released on November 24th, I will be recapping every Fables’ story.  Some will cover several issues, while others will only cover one or two issues.  We will be going over one story on every Tuesday and Friday.  Is it shameless advertising?  Maybe.  But more importantly, it is a trip through some wonderful stories, and a chance to get caught up with the series.  I had been looking for an excuse to re-read the series, and now I have one.  So, join me on this journey.  And oh yeah, there will be spoilers.  Wouldn’t be much of a story recap without them.

Legends in Exile

Issues #1-5
Art by Lan Medina

The story centers around the investigation being conducted by Bigby Wolf into the apparent murder of Rose Red, Snow White’s sister.  Bigby is informed about the attack by an out-of-breath Jack, Rose’s boyfriend.  Bigby informs Snow White, the deputy mayor of Fabletown, of her sister’s disappearance.  Being strong-willed, or stubborn, Snow insists on being a part of the investigation.  They arrive at Rose’s apartment and find that the place is mostly trashed, with blood splattered everywhere.  Bigby immediately puts Jack under arrest.

During Bigby’s interrogation of Jack, we discover that him and Rose had not been dating for four years straight.  A year ago, she had had a relationship with Bluebeard, whom she had left to return to Jack.  Bigby accuses Jack of being angry at Rose for initially leaving, but Jack claimed he was out with friends that night anyways.  From here, Snow and Bigby interrogate Bluebeard, who has been able to maintain most of his wealth from at the expense of other Fables.  During this interrogation, Bluebeard reveals that he wouldn’t have killed Rose because they were contracted to be married.  He had paid her a dowry, and she had signed an engagement contract that Bluebeard was to keep secret for a year.

Back at Rose’s apartment building, Bigby has Flycatcher and Boy Blue re-create the murder scene.  Meanwhile, Snow fills in the mayor of Fabletown, King Cole, on Bigby’s investigation, reassuring him that the case will be solved by Remembrance Day.  For the investigation, Bigby has Snow go through Jack’s computers, looking for anything that they can use, while he goes to check up on Jack.  When Bigby gets back to the Woodland (main building), he finds that Bluebeard has gotten into Jack’s room.  Bigby’s true nature as a wolf comes out as he commands that Bluebeard stand down.  Bluebeard is placed under arrest for threatening Jack.  Bigby later learns that 5 pints of Rose’s blood was in her apartment, and informs Snow that Rose is likely dead.

With Jack’s assistance, at the Remembrance Day celebration, Bigby reveals that Rose Red is still alive, by removing her disguise.  Bigby explains that a year ago, Rose and Jack had not broken up, but instead had staged the break-up.  Jack had lost money from an Internet investment, and needed money.  After their staged break-up, Rose signed the contract with Bluebeard, and giving the dowry to Jack.  Unable to pay Bluebeard back, they faked Rose’s death.  Knowing that Bigby would be able to tell if it was Rose’s blood or not, they had drawn blood from her over time, storing it in their freezer.

To pay back Bluebeard’s dowry, so that he does not become angry, Rose used funds gained from the sale of Prince Charming’s title and inaccessible lands in the Homelands.  Bluebeard is unhappy about the marriage being called off, but Snow informs him that he broke the contract by revealing it before the year was up, so it is void.  Prince Charming is not happy about getting so little of the money that was gained from the lottery, but Snow doesn’t care.  She suggests that he buy back his title from Jack.  Jack and Rose are sentenced to service at the Farm, and a fine that can be paid back by the money the Prince will use to buy back his title.

Being that this is the first story, a lot of themes were established.  Most importantly is why these fable characters are living in New York.  It’s revealed that a villain called The Adversary has taken over most fable realms through the use of force.  All Fables that either look human, or can afford magic to make them appear human are allowed to live in Fabletown.  All others must live at The Farm, in upstate New York.  The other big issue is the amnesty that each Fable has received.  When Fabletown was formed, everyone signed a charter, that would absolve them of previous sins, and allow them to start over.  Another important part of Fabletown is that the town is pretty poor overall.

Aside from the main characters of the story, we learn a few things about some others.  We learn that Prince Charming is Snow White’s ex-husband, and will charm anyone, and then take advantage of them.  We also meet Beauty and the Beast, and learn that Beast’s humanity is dependent on his wife’s love for him.  Pinocchio is introduce, angry about still being a small boy even after hundreds of years.  Another fact established is that even though King Cole is the Mayor, he is only a figurehead, and has Snow make all vital decisions for the community.  Two other characters that get introductions are Boy Blue and Flycatcher, and while their roles are not currently important, they will grow to become major players.

Up next:  Animal Farm

A Little Late, Batman #701

Were you one of the people who complained about Batman R. I. P. ending in a cliffhanger, and then having to read Final Crisis to learn what happens to Batman?  Were you one of the people who complained that they didn’t fill in the blanks between R. I. P. and Final Crisis?  Were you left unsatisfied by the attempt in Batman #682-683 to fill in this blank?  If your answer was yes to all of these questions, then Batman #701 is the comic book for you.

With their previous attempt to bridge the gap between R. I. P., they show that Batman has been captured, and put into an isolation chamber that has been forcing Batman to relive moments in his life, in order to download Batman’s life and memories into “Lumps” to create copies of Batman.  In the end, Batman is able to turn the tables, and manipulate a Lump into helping him escape the chamber.  During the dream sequences, we get a page explaining that Batman did make it back to the Bat-cave after going down into the water at the end of R. I. P., and does speak with Alfred.  From there, we can piece together that after his meeting with Alfred, Batman investigates Orion’s murder in Final Crisis #1, and is captured sometime during the investigation.

Personally, that seems pretty simple.  However, someone didn’t think that was the case.  In Batman #701, we find out that Batman makes it back to cave, goes back out to search for Dr. Hurt’s body, has time to see everyone, and sleeps for 3 days before he is asked by Superman to investigate Orion’s murder.  And so, we leave issue #701 after picking very little new information.

It’s not a bad issue.  Grant Morrison’s writing is good.  Tony Daniel’s art is good.  It’s just the timing of the issue.  This is something that would have worked perfectly as a chapter in R. I. P. had they just expanded it beyond a 6 issue story.  But instead, we’re getting this story a year and a half later.  What could have been an interesting part of R. I. P. is now just filler while we wait for The Return of Bruce Wayne.

New Comic Day hangover

Big week this week with both of my DC books coming out, a few X-Books here and there and…what am I forgetting…oh yeah!  Second Coming ended!  How about that?  On the list this week:

  •  Booster Gold #35 in which our hero gets tossed directly into a caper from the past with Blue Beetle.
  •  Justice League: Generation Lost #5 in which the team takes a moment to interact and declare their mission statement.
  •  X-Men: Second Coming #2 in which the X-Men deal with the costs of their victory.
  •  X-Men: Hellbound #3 in which the time killing battle ends since the teleporters can return.
  •  Uncanny X-Men: Heroic Age in which the X-Men get welcomed into the new bright and shiny Marvel U.
  •  X-Women #1 in which scantily clad women make sexy poses.
  •  And X-Force: Sex and Violence #1 in which a story that doesn’t need to be told gets told.

 There will be analysis after the jump and said analysis will contain SPOILERS.

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Panel of the Month, June 2010

It’s a little late, seeing as we’re almost halfway through July, but here is the Panel of the Month for June of 2010. It comes from New Avengers #1. As Luke Cage is offering The Thing membership into his Avengers team, someone brings up the fact that he’s already a charter member of the Fantastic Four and would have trouble spreading his time between the two teams. That’s when Wolverine brings up an interesting point…

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