[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Plot: Mark Buckingham
Writers: Dave Justus & Lilah Sturges
Artist: Mark Buckingham
Coloring: Michael Wiggam
Like last issue, Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #7 makes use of a storytelling element from its parent book, Fables. This issue utilizes a framing sequence around a story that happened in the past that is leading to the next arc. This prologue is illustrated by someone other that the regular series artist, none other than the talented Mark Buckingham. (He was the regular artist on Fables, in case you didn’t know.)
Feathertop meets a black cat named Maddy who recounts a tale of seven years past, just after the Everaftering. We meet the first human fable who is in school and being instructed by Maddy. She takes a group of her students on a journey that includes chasing the Hut of Baba Yaga (Pictures at an Exhibition)! Inside is a boy named Ivan who tries to evade Maddy and her students. The chase leads them to the Cloud Kingdoms and a trip up Jack’s Beanstalk. Bobby, the first human fable, convinces Ivan to return with the peacefully. The result is the instant rebuilding the castle in Fabletown, NYC. As the tale concludes, the story returns to the framing sequence as Bobby arrives to meet Feathertop. All seems well until we learn that Ivan met a final fate at Bobby’s hands.
It can’t be stressed enough how much Buckingham’s approach to layouts, especially his work “in the margins” impacts the look of both this issue and his work on Fables. This instantly connects the two and with no aspersions on Travis Moore’s work (the regular artist on this book), it makes this prologue to the next art feel familiar and helps bring Everafter more firmly into the world of Fables.
Story wise, this issue has a bit more of that Fables feel as it seems to exist more in the world of Fables before the Everaftering. The sinister ending adds a good uncomfortable feeling that twists Bobby’s characterization into something intriguing and dangerous. Something Feathertop should be able to put to good use. Seeing Old King Cole and the Hut of Baba Yaga were a real treat, as well.
Hmmm. Fables. Mark Buckingham. Yeah, negatives not here.
Best issue of the series so far. Creating that particular Fables feel is not easy, but this issue does a great job of evoking that sense of fantastical other-worldliness. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, this is a great place to start!