Fables Vol. 9: Sons of Empire
by Bill Willingham (Author), Mark Buckingham (Artist), Mike Allred (Illustrator), Joëlle Jones (Illustrator)
A very large number of artists contributed to this volume. It alternates between the main story and variously themed amusing short stories. The artwork in the short stories is hit and miss.
Spoilers from here on… you should not proceed, if you are still reading or plan to read this series at some point.
Gepetto‘s hut and the holy grove have burned down. The emperor is angry. Where is Pinocchio in all this? Ensorceled! Forces gather in the Imperial City. The Snow Queen makes an announcement… Fabletown is in deep trouble. Permanent Winter is upon us!
Aaaaaand…. We get a short story about Hair!? Ok, yes, the Rapunzel story was fun and kinda sad…
Small recommendation for the author: get a beta-reader whose mother tongue is German. Just saying. It‘s weird, m‘kay?
The Four Plagues, um… “This is how the world ends.“ 😬
That is a grim plan of action! The Snow Queen is scary.
The next short story, Porky Pine Pie, has very pretty artwork. Watercolour style, my thing…
And then back to potential warfare and Burning Times and an interesting followup to the fairytale of Hänsel and Gretel. 🍭🍬🍭🍬
And another short story, A Thorn in Their Side, about that Mundy reporter following the Fables in their tracks. Very short, pleasant artwork. I wonder if he will end up at the Farm one of these days?
Over There, Part 4 of Sons of Empire: This feels a bit like the first X-Men movie and Bigby Wolf reminds me more and more of Wolverine. The Adversary is planning an all-out war. We get some war games and adjustments to plans… well done. 🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺
And another short story / interlude… The Road to Paradise. Three visually impaired mice… ok, that one was odd and a bit pointless… 🐁🐁🐁
Followed by a strange Christmas triplet thing with Jack, Wolf Valley and then the farm. I like the developing friendship between Boy Blue and Rose Red. I assume this part came out around Christmas. Merry Christmas, Fables team! The Christmas story with the kids is cute, but I‘m a little disappointed how gender stereotypical they are portrayed. 🤶🎅🎄🎅🤶
Father and Son: Aka Mr. North and Bigby Wolf. And family. The art was not my thing. 🐺🐺🐺
Burning Questions: Snippets of 3 pages each or so, answering questions from fans. Ok… 🤷♀️ 🤷♂️
This volume was a mixed bag, the short stories disrupted the build-up of suspense of the main story.
Collecting: Fables 52-59