Countdown to Fables #100: The Dark Ages

Welcome to today’s entry to the Countdown to Fables #100, where on Tuesday and Friday I recap a story told within the pages of Fables.  This will happen up until issue #100 is released on December 8th.  Sorry for the delay on this entry.  Some personal issues kept me from updating last week, and a delay to the release of issue #100 allowed me to delay the posts for a week.  If you’re new to the countdown, an archive of all previous entries can be found under our Special Features menu.  Today’s story is titled “The Dark Ages.”  In this story, a new threat is revealed, while one of their heroes fights for his life from a war injury.  The identity of the Adversary does appear in the recap, which is after the break.

The Dark Ages
Issues #77-81
Art by Mark Buckingham

In one of the recently liberated Homelands, two former mercenaries named Freddy and Mouse are searching for treasure.  In the castle they come to, they find that their king has already been killed by rebels and his treasure already taken.  Freddy knows of a hidden path that leads to another storehouse that is filled with treasure.  After journeying to this storehouse, they have to fight off a group of goblins, but are able to slay all of them.  After making plans for how they are going to remove the treasure, they decide that the greatest treasure must be in a chest that is heavily chained and locked.  Breaking his axe in the process, Freddy is able to break the lock and chains.  As they go to open the chest, something from inside opens the chest.  In Fabletown, Boy Blue has to see Dr. Swineheart for another operation to remove an infection that came from the arrow wound suffered from the war.  A representative of second generation Fables with no Homeland of their own demands to be given their guns and a land of their own, but Beauty tells him that he’ll have to speak to Bigby, who is overseeing Homeland recovery.  On the Thirteenth floor, Frau Totenkinder tells Geppetto that he shouldn’t be trying to conjure anything, and that she controls who gets power in her group.  On The Farm, Rose Red and Sinbad are lying naked in bed.  She asks him to continue the story of his and Prince Charming’s final bombing mission.  After finishing the story, he asks when she is going to tell Boy Blue of their relationship, but she doesn’t feel like talking about it.

In a Homeland, the thing in the trunk reveals himself to be a magical being, calling himself Mr. Dark, and he is draining the life out of Freddy and Mouse.  He speaks of a witching cloak he used to own, and decides that he best not risk someone using it against him, so he casts a spell to destroy it.  Being that the cloak is in a distant world, the spell has to affect a broad area, and not just the cloak.  In Fabletown, Pinocchio, Flycatcher, and Boy Blue are out buying comics and snacks like they used to.  Pinocchio tells Blue to play his bugle to signal the start of their festivities, but Blue’s bugle hand (one with the injury) has turned green.  Geppetto tells Frau Totenkinder that he’s able to sense certain things in the Homelands, and that something terrible has been released.  Bigby uses Flycatcher’s teleporting ability to bring a coffin secretly into Fabletown, after first checking on the Imperial City, which is still asleep.  In the Woodland Office, Bufkin is retrieving the Witching Cloak for Beauty, but he finds that it is nothing more than a tattered rag now.  There is then an earthquake in the office, but when Beauty goes outside, no one else felt anything.  The quake did free Baba Yaga from her cell, though.  In an operating room, Dr. Swineheart informs Boy Blue that it was a strand of the Witching Cloak that was causing the infection.  However, there was no way he could of found the strand, and saved Blue’s arm, so he had to amputate.

At The Farm, Snow White gave the eulogy at Prince Charming’s memorial service.  In the hospital, Boy Blue’s health is beginning to weaken again, but nurse Sprat doesn’t believe anything is wrong with him.  In the office, Beauty and Beast notice that some rooms are no longer where they were.  Bigby and Frau discover that the coffin that did contain the Blue Fairy is now empty.  After discussing things, they conclude that all of the binding spells in Fabletown are no longer in effect.  They evacuate all of the buildings, because they are no longer safe.  After evacuating, the Woodland building collapses.  In a homeland, Mr. Dark eats the teeth of Freddy and Mouse, then declares that his unbinding spell has completed, and rides off.

Bigby tells everyone to hunker down so he can transform into a wolf, and blow away all of the dirt.  King Cole begins to panic, but Grimble keeps him focused.  Frau tells Cole that things are about to get much worse.  So, Cole orders everyone to get a car, and make their way up to The Farm.  On The Farm, Rose Red is awoken by the head of Colin the Pig on a pike.  He tells her that things are about to get really bad, and this time, responsibility will fall on her to set things right because everyone will be looking to her.  After that, everyone arrives at The Farm.  Bigby orders that the tents used during the war be set up.  Grimble tells Cole that he has been set up with the VIP room, but Cole says that Boy Blue must be put up in it.  This is how Rose Red learns about what has happened to Boy Blue.  She sees that Boy Blue has become very weak and sickly looking.  Unfortunately, through a slip of the tongue by Sinbad, Blue finds out about their relationship.  He congratulates them as he is taken inside.  King Cole talks to Bigby about how they cannot lose Boy Blue, but Bigby says that everything medical and magical has been attempted.  Their last hope is that Flycatcher might be able to try something, but they can’t get in contact with him now.

In what remains of Fabletown, a couple firefighters were digging through the rubble, trying to figure out what had happened.  Mr. Dark came riding in in a car.  He commands everyone to leave, because this is now his street, and he seeks to get revenge on those that have been leeching power from him to use the Witching Cloak and Witching Well.  He then spits up a tooth of Freddy and Mouse, recreating them to do his work.  Their first mission is to find a Fable survivor.  They find Kay, who had been recovering from having removed his eyes again.  Mister Dark finds him to be of no use alive, so he drains his life from him, and eats his teeth.  Mr. Dark then orders his creations, which now includes a version of Kay to begin building his castle there in Fabletown.  On The Farm, Flycatcher gets to arrives, containing all of the magic he could pull from the magic grove.  After hours of trying to heal Boy Blue, Flycatcher returns to everyone, and crying, tells them that he failed.  They need to go up and say their good-byes.  Snow White ask Frau Totenkinder about what is going on in Fabletown, but Frau can only tell that it is something that wishes to do them harm.  Sinbad tells Rose Red that she needs to be out there and not in bed, because she is the leader of The Farm.  Rose stays in bed and says that Snow will take care of things like she always does.  She tells him that he married the wrong sister, and divorces him.  In the forest, some animal Fables have found Geppetto wandering around, but they are unable to harm him because of his protective spells.  Snow and Bigby tell Rose that it’s her time to see Blue, but she tells them she doesn’t want to right now.  Bigby calls her an insufferable brat, and says she will never be able to see the cubs again unless she sees Blue.  Rose goes to visit Blue, and questions how this is happening to him, because he survived the war.  Blue says he was just late to the party, as usual.  Rose then informs Blue that she divorced Sinbad.  She tells him that she got scared when Blue initially told her how he felt because they had been such good friends.  And this thing with Sinbad was a mistake.  But now, she was ready to admit how she felt for Blue, and wanted to marry him, so they could at least have some time together.  Blue tells her that she only gravitates towards the most interesting man close to her, and right now, he’s perfect because he’ll be dead before he’s uninteresting.  He’s finally realized that he deserves better.  Blue continues telling Rose that at some point in her life, something broke her and she never recovered.  He can’t fix her, but he hopes someone could.  Rose leaves the room crying.  After everyone waited for word through the night, Dr. Swineheart tells everyone that Boy Blue died  this morning.  His last request was to be buried not with the war dead, but in Haven.  His grave is sitting on a hill, overlooking the baseball field.

This was not a story I was looking forward to typing up.  Boy Blue had become a favorite of mine, and it was sad to see him deteriorate over the course of five issues.  Even without Boy Blue’s death, this is a very important story arc.  Mr. Dark is revealed to be a new threat to the Fables, everyone being moved to The Farm is bound to create tension, there is still the issue of having Geppetto living with the Fables, and Rose Red has just been told off buy a dying man she cared about.

Up next, Waiting for the Blues


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