Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Book Two

By Bill Willingham

Rating: 4 stars

The second deluxe edition of the Fables series collects a few short stories in the series as well as a longer story dealing with Bluebeard and his attempts to get rid of Snow and Wolf. We start with Bag o’Bones, a story about Jack, set during the American civil war. It’s a fun piece showing off Jack in full trickster and shyster mode as he deserts from the Confederate army. From there, we return to the series ‘present’ as a journalist attempts to blackmail the Fables and the caper they get up to to deal with it. Storybook Love is the longest piece in the book, with Bluebeard hatching a plot to get rid of both Snow White and Bigby Wolf, involving the somewhat mental Goldilocks, while Prince Charming starts working his way back into Fabletown life, and who has an agenda of his own. Barleycorn Brides is a lighter story in which Bigby tells Flycatcher the story of Smalltown up at the farm and the coming of age ritual of many of the young men from there. The last graphic story in the collection is The Last Castle, in which Boy Blue tells Snow about the last stand against the Adversary and the battle that he witnessed, that gave the last ship out its final chance to escape. The collection ends with a prose story, A Wolf in the Fold, in which we learn a bit more about the Wolf.

There’s a lot to enjoy here. I liked getting to know some of the characters better, and the slowly developing relationship between Snow and Bigby, with the various twists and turns it takes. The Last Castle was a moving piece, shedding more light on the character of Boy Blue and making really curious about the Adversary. I hope we’ll see more of that in future volumes (and possibly even an attempt to fight back at some point?).

I don’t think it was quite as strong as the first volume, but there’s still more than enough of interest to make it worthwhile as part of the Fables series. I look forward to continuing my journey with these fabulous (in all senses of the word) characters.

Book details

ISBN: 9781401228798
Publisher: Vertigo
Year of publication: 2010

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