Review: Fables #162
[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 we conclude the story of the Black Forest, knowing that stories never really end.


One of the qualities that has been with Fables since the beginning is as the summary from this issue states, “stories never really end.”  Fables #162 has that quality as it is the last of this 12-issue series and more likely than not, the last tale from Bill Willingham.  The denouement takes up most of the issue resetting things for the characters as well as giving glimpses of what’s to come for others.  For all those who enjoy character beats and relationships between the characters this is a great bit for the issue and feels perfect for a Fables finale.  It’s a combination of heartwarming and brutal honesty of life.

Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha and Lee Loughridge again provide visuals that are just as important to the feel of the Fables universe as Willingham’s words.  It’s hard to express the impact the art has on the overall experience of a Fables comic.  Additionally, Todd Klein’s letters are comforting and familiar and he excels at providing a look for voices when they are supposed to sound different- Bigby in wolf form, Tinkerbell, etc….

There are some surprises in the issue, Lady Greenjack’s arrow shot, the revelation about Tinkerbell and Peter Pan’s ultimate fate.  These are done well as they keep the readers’ interest despite the action ending fairly early on in the issue.  


With all the controversy surround Fables in the last year, it’s no surprise that this is it for the series and as stated above, Willingham’s association with it.  When you get Fables #162, I recommend reading all 12 issues together.  It’s been almost two years since this series relaunched and indeed, the delays have been a drawback for the title.  There have been up to four month gaps between issues at times.  It’s not on the creative team, we know DC has delayed releasing the issues.

Cindy and Pinocchio’s storyline goes to a strange place, and it almost seems like it could’ve been the next storyline.  It’s an interesting take and it would’ve been nice to see it play out instead of just getting a “future recap.”  While the denouement provided a lot of good bits, there’s still a feeling of dissatisfaction in the end of the series.  It’s had long run overall and had many highpoints along the way.  Perhaps, Fables #150 was the perfect ending, and whether one likes “The Black Forest” or not, it doesn’t quite have the same “oomph” of the previous finale.


Fables #162 ends not quite with a wimper, but certainly not the bang that one would hope for with the ending of such an impressive and lauded series.  That said, there’s a lot of good stuff in the issue that can be enjoyed.  A single read of all twelve issues will give the best experience for the reader and that may have to be good enough.

You may also like