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

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