Welcome to the Tuesday edition of my twice weekly Countdown to Fables #100. Here, I am counting down to the release of Fables #100 on November 24th by recapping on every story that’s been told in Fables on Tuesday and Thursday. Today’s story was actually the 50th issue, and is titled “Happily Ever After.” In this story, Bigby Wolf tries to complete a mission for Prince Charming so that he may try to see his kids. The recap appears a bit differently than usual. Normally, I try to break the paragraphs up by issues. But with today’s recap, the story was broken up into small chapters within the issue, so that is how you see it here. The Adversary is mentioned by name here. The story recap (with spoilers) appears after the break.
Art by Mark Buckingham
Bigby Wolf and Mowgli meet up with Prince Charming, Beast and Rose Red on the outskirts of town. Bigby says he doesn’t want to see Snow White and the cubs until after the mission, just in case he doesn’t come back. Beast leads the group to a secluded, and restricted area of The Farm, where they come across a giant beanstalk. Beast has been growing it for two years with one of Jack’s magic beans. He says it can only be seen when your within 300 feet, and is trans-dimensional. The roots are here on Earth, but at some point, it transitions to the cloud kingdoms. Bigby is told that his contact and gear are up top, so he begins climbing.
Bigby reaches the top of the stalk, through the clouds. He’s nervous, not scared as keeps saying, about stepping on the clouds. Cinderella, his contact, continuously mock him for this. She gives him his paper for his mission, Operation Israel. The first objective is to make contact with their allies. They are transported by giant to a wizard named Ulmore. He explains to them that the cloud kingdoms exist over all of the worlds, mundy and fable. Another giant digs a hole in the cloud ground, and they drop Bigby somewhere over the Empire.
Bigby parachutes into the Empire, within a day’s journey of Geppetto’s cottage. In a remote area, he plants another of Jack’s magic beans, knowing it’ll take 12 hours for it to grow. Bigby sneaks past the Adversary/Emperor/Geppetto’s armies, until he reaches the cottage. There, he quickly kills the guards near the cottage, even with some help from his wild zephyr son. Bigby sets up some type of explosive packages throughout the magic grove. His mission includes trying to free the Blue Fairy, or killing her. Unfortunately, he’s unable to do either. Bigby is also to try to recruit Pinocchio to come back to Fabletown. However, when they begin talking, Geppetto wakes up and confronts them.
Using Israel as an analogy, Bigby essentially tells Geppetto that for everything he does to them, they will strike back with a greater amount of force. Geppetto says he’ll consider it, but Bigby reminds him that the balance isn’t even yet, as there is still the matter of the wooden soldier attack. That’s when Bigby informs Geppetto of mundy technology of radio transmitters and explosives, and blows up the Magic Grove. Bigby carries Geppetto and Pinocchio out of the cabin, and tells Geppetto that they have the heads from the soldiers, and would be will to trade if he can play nice. As a wolf, Bigby runs to the extraction point, the beanstalk he had planted earlier. He plants explosives in it. When Bigby reaches the top, he grabs a rope from the cloud kingdom, and blows up the beanstalk.
Back in Fabletown, Bigby is greeted by Prince Charming, Beast, Beauty, and Flycatcher, who gives him a hug. Beast asks Bigby if he’s going to take his job back, but Bigby tells him that he’s retired, for good. Prince Charming and Bigby walk off to discuss their agreement. On The Farm, Rose Red drives Snow White to a remote section, and tells her that this is as far as they can go by truck. She’ll have to continue on by herself on foot.
Snow keeps walking, soon coming up to Bigby. She immediately hugs him, but suddenly realizes that he’s on The Farm, where he’s not allowed to go. He tells her to calm down. The Farm ends where Rose dropped her off. This is now his land, as payment from Prince Charming for either ending or starting a war. She asks about their son, and Bigby tells her that he found him, and named him Ghost.
Bigby tells Snow that the circumstance that was keeping them apart does not exist anymore since they now have a place where they can live together. Snow asks Ghost to wait here while they discuss something, to which Ghost makes a reference to Sarah and “lovey” time. Snow gives Bigby a glare, but will discuss it later. Snow leads Bigby to a cave, and shows him all of the stuff she saved from the kids: letters, gifts, etc. She tells him that he’ll have to memorize everything before he can see the kids. He agrees. They leave the cave, and Bigby confesses his love of Snow one more time, this time asking her to marry him. She responds with “okay, you’ve defeated me, you win.” Then they kiss.
King Cole returns from Baghdad to perform the ceremony. Boy Blue and Flycatcher oversee the building of Bigby and Snow’s new cabin. Bigby is introduced to the rest of the kids. Beauty express some displeasure that Snow and Bigby are getting their property, but Prince Charming tells her that after centuries of work, they deserve it. With nearly one attending the ceremony on Bigby’s property, King Cole performs the ceremony with Rose Red as the Maid of Honor and Boy Blue as the Best Man.
Well, Bigby and Prince Charming have taken the fight to the Adversary. Destroying the Magic Grove is a huge slap in the face to Geppetto. Also, Snow and Bigby are now married, bringing their budding romance to a nice culmination. On a technical note, also released with the volume 8 trade was some special bonuses that were in the 50th issue. These include a map of Fabletown and The Farm. I may include these sometime if I find that I need to fill the schedule because of a delay. Also in the volume 8 trade, not sure if it was within the actual issue, is the actual script for issue 50.
Up next, Big and Small