Welcome to today’s edition of Countdown to Fables #100, our twice-weekly exploration of every story that has ever appeared within the pages of Fables. Today’s story is entitled “War Stories,” and is collected in volume 5, The Mean Seasons. This story is a tale about one of Bigby Wolf’s adventures behind enemy lines during World War II. Read on after the break for the story, and of course, there are spoilers.
Art by Tony Akins
Bigby Wolf is meeting with an old man named Duffy, who claims to be the only one left, except for Bigby, but he doesn’t count because he’s not human. Duffy tells Bigby that he’s dying of cancer. He gives Bigby a book that he wrote, but never published about their first encounter. Duffy was part of a special group of soldiers that were sent behind enemy lines during World War II. This group is led by a man named Sergent Harp. He meticulously leads them through territory, until coming upon a secluded clearing, where they spend several days. During this time, Bigby Wolf joins the group, apologizing to Harp for being late. From then on, Bigby leads the group past the German forces, leaving nightly to bring back nice food. They also go past soldiers that appear as if they had been torn apart by wild animals. Bigby and Harp take uniforms from a couple of them. When arrive at their target, Bigby leads them through a secret passage way that no one has known about for centuries. Someone asks him how he knows about it, but Bigby ignores the question. Bigby goes further into what the rest of them learn to be is Frankenstein Castle. Bigby discovers Frankenstein’s monster, being experimented on by Nazi scientists.
The scientists talk about how they’ve tried to create an army of monsters using Frankenstein’s original monster, but have been unable to do so. They also talk about setting bait for the Americans to find. Bigby charges in as a wolf-man, and tries to destroy the monster. The monster frees itself and has a brutal fight with Bigby. Eventually, Bigby is able to tear off the monster’s head. By this point, soldiers armed with silver bullets enter the room and Bigby surrenders to them. Meanwhile, the soldiers that came with that were left behind to guard the door are under attack. They are taking casualties, until Harp returns, and mows down the German soldiers, until he himself is shot. The surviving American soldiers flee while Harp goes back for Bigby. The scientists are drawing blood from Bigby, hoping to create a werewolf army that they can control. Harp comes in and kills all of the scientists, freeing Bigby. Harp is beyond saving, so him and Bigby save their good-byes. Bigby leaps out of a window while the castle blows up. Bigby meets up with the American soldiers, and tells them he can get them all, even the severely wounded to safety if they agree to keep his secret. He turns into wolf form, and guides them to safety. When Bigby is done reading the book, he has Bufkin put it away on the bookcase. On his way out, he stops to have a chat with Frankenstein’s monster’s head.
This story is all background on something Bigby had done during World War II. In one of the earlier stories, Snow White has a line in which she doesn’t want to know some of the things Bigby did during the war. Well, here we find out what one of those things was. We are also introduced to Frankie (Frankenstein monster), but we don’t really learn much about him here.
Up next, The Mean Seasons