Review: Fables #160
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Todd Klein
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
“In which the storm breaks, politics are played at the highest levels, and the price of retirement is paid.”
As readers have come to expect, the art team of Buckingham, Leialoha and Loughridge continue to deliver wonderful visuals. It’s hard to imagine other artists on this series. There’s an incredible subtlety to the facial expressions as well as impactful dynamism in the action when Bigby takes on Pan.
A few plot threads are brought to bare as Pan takes out his anger on the old Greenjack and Cindy (Cinderella) faces the consequences of not being political enough in her government role. As Bigby enacts his ire on Pan, Snow White and the rest of the family have to contend with Tinkerbell. While it’s not resolved in this issue, you can feel things building and that the entire Wolf Family is about to be unleashed. Fables has had deaths in the past so it’s not a foregone conclusion that everyone will survive. The deeper emotional and psychological aspects of Tinkerbell and Pan’s relationship continue to be provocative as Tink explains that she can’t control what she’s doing and she HAS to do what Pan wants. Mind control? Servitude? Slavery?
Delays are killing Fables. It’s unclear what the reasons are, but with Bill Willingham’s announcement that he’s making Fables public domain, it would seem that it’s not due to missed deadlines by any of the creators. Unfortunately, this also casts a pall on the remaining issues of “The Black Forest” arc. It could be argued that Fables ended perfectly with #150 a few years ago. Still, “The Black Forest” has been enjoyable, even if it will read better as a trade or a binge of floppies due to the delays. Willingham, Buckingham, Leialoha, Loughridge and Klein continue to deliver this world effectively with excitement. It’s very troubling to think this could be the last story arc from this creative team.
Fables #160 brings some of the plot threads together as Pan’s villainy seems to hold no bounds. Tink’s reluctance as his ally continues to be an interesting idea while also suggesting ideas of master and servant that will hopefully be explored in the final chapters of “The Black Forest.” Additionally, as Cinderella is proved right, she suffers consequences of not being “political” which brings up another subtle commentary. As always, the art team brings the world of Fables alive.