June 3, 2010 at 8:21 am (Reads) ()

Dark AgesThe Dark Ages and The Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham


With the war over, with the Adversary captured, and with peace finally reigning over the land of Fabletown, one would expect the story to be over, huh?  Well, guess again.  In The Dark Ages, a new antagonist appears on the scene to pick up the action where it left off in the previous volume, and the in The Great Fables Crossover, the characters are in the process of saving the world from the most powerful writer in the world.  So while it seems that Bill Willingham has enough ideas to keep the series running, it might become a little tiresome to be going through the same story over and over again.

Of course, fairy tales are all fairly similar in construction across the board, so maybe it makes sense that the Fables are stuck in this sort of reality where they constantly relive the same story ad infinitum.  And I seem to be reading these in chunks, one story arc at a time, so it might be that I’m not getting the real sense of the series as a single story.  I know I didn’t get a real sense of the entire Sandman story until I read everything in chunks, back-to-back, last fall.

CrossoverI probably enjoyed the Crossover arc better than I did Dark Ages, if only because the latter arc was more exposition and transition than true story.  That seems to be the case with the series: One volume takes the time to build up to a particular event, and moves fairly slowly, and then the next arc takes us into that event, where we see all the action happening.  But then, the Crossover arc was grossly dependent on understanding all that was going on in the Jack of Fables series, which I don’t like, and don’t read.  It’s marketing at its crassest, since the involved parties are deliberately getting people to read a new series.  I was able to glean the basic parts of the story without any problems, but the backstories of how all these characters came to be together was absent.

Of course, I’ll keep reading the series.  It’s still creative, and the final battle in the Crossover arc was clever enough to keep me interested in where Willingham will take the series.  But I might gripe a little bit as we go along.  Y’all didn’t expect anything less, did you?

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