It’s time for another entry in my twice-weekly recap of stories in Fables, as we countdown to the release of issue #100. Today’s story is titled “Jack Be Nimble,” and is collected in the volume 6 trade paperback, Homelands. In this story, Jack runs off to Hollywood, looking for fame and riches. Also, an index of previous countdown entries has been set up under the Special Features menu. So, if you’re new to the countdown, check out some of previous entries, and get yourself caught up. But back to today’s entry, the story recap and spoilers after the break.
Art by David Hahn
Jack and Jill, a resident of Smalltown, have run off to Hollywood, with their stolen treasure. (In “The Mean Seasons,” Beast had suspected Jack because Bigby said to always suspect Jack.) Jack doesn’t treat Jill will, having tricked her out of a share of the treasure. In Hollywood, Jack retains the services of a man named Bernard Stein, in order to start up a movie studio. Jack has Bernard recruit an ambitions man by the name of Moss Waterhouse to be the producer of his movies, and creatively run the company. After Moss is hired, Jack tells Bernard that he is no longer needed. In Jack’s office at the studio, he has a collection of dollhouses he buys for Jill, but she is frustrated that she can’t leave and see the world like she thought she would. Moss gathers a crew together to create a series of movies for Jack. Jack tells them that it will be a trilogy based on the Jack of Tales. The stories would be about Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack slaying a giant, then Jack coming to America and beating the devil in a poker game, seducing princesses, and killing the big bad wolf. Moss was impressed with Jack’s drive and focus to get the project done. Aside from this project meeting, Jack stayed out of sight, especially from television cameras. Jack tells Jill he’s staying out of the view of cameras because he knows which Fabletown laws to break, and which to not.
Moss and Jack have some disagreements, in that Moss wants Jack to just do an interview before the public turns on him, and Jack keeps refusing. To appease him, Jack gives Moss more creative control, with the exception of movies about fables. Through much difficulty, Jill places a call to someone. After nearly a month, Moss takes a call from someone that knew Jack before he moved to Hollywood. Jack gets called to an emergency meeting that Moss started. Moss tells Jack that his ownership is being transferred, and then fires Jack. Jack asks Moss how he can do that, and Moss tells Jack to see the man waiting for him in the next room. Jack leaves to find Beast waiting for him. Beast tells Jack that Jill is the one that alerted him to what Jack was doing. Jack threatens Jill, but Beast transforms and deters Jack from doing anything. Beast then tells Jack that he’s out, and Fabletown will secretly be a silent partner in the company. Beast also tells Jack the only reason that he will survive is because he was never on camera. Beast will allow Jack to take as much cash as he can fit into a briefcase. Of course Jack is pissed off, but he says that no matter, he is now the most popular Fable, and will get power from that. Jack is left to hitch a ride, looking for other adventures.
This is a story I had actually forgotten about. Honestly, I can’t say that I’m really a fan of Jack. I assume his spin-off book picks up shortly after this story, even though it wasn’t launched until over a year later. In the grand scheme of things, this story isn’t really important. Granted, Willingham often does insert short stories, flushing out the details of side characters in between bigger stories, and usually I like them. Just, not this time. That’s probably why I’ve never picked up the trades of Jack of Fables. There is one tidbit of information near the end of the story. We do learn that the end of the story takes place 5 years after the election.
Up next, Homelands.