‘Waking Beauty’ tells the story of The Sleeping Beauty and what becomes of her after the war between our book’s heroes and the Empire that had taken over the Homelands.
Back during the war with the Homelands, when the Fables attempted to destroy the Adversary’s Empire, Sleeping Beauty, better known in the series as Briar Rose, was taken to the Empire’s Imperial City. Once there she waited for the right time to prick her finger and fall asleep. See, the way her curse works is that when she sleeps, everyone within a certain radius of her also falls asleep. This is followed by thorny vines growing everywhere. So, she falls asleep and takes out the Imperial City which makes it easier for the Fables to defeat the Empire. This was in Fables #74 (Aug. 08) and is collected in the War & Pieces trade paperback (Volume 11).
Flash forward 3 years and we return to the Imperial City and the remains of the Empire. We see many claiming to be the new leader of the Empire and killing anyone who stands in their way. One man in particular, Jubilee Mirant, has come closest to claiming that title. He makes kings of men who have handsome sons so that those young men become Handsome Princes. His plan it to revive Rose and stake his claim on the remains of the Empire.
The problem is that a handsome prince is only part of the equation; it’s the ‘true love’s kiss’ part that is tricky. A plan is conceived but before it can be enacted Rose’s body is taken and the City is set on fire.
So, this issue was one that I had eagerly been waiting to get since it was announced months ago. Beyond the strikingly beautiful cover by Joao Ruas (by the way this is now my SECOND favorite cover for this series, beaten only by the Cinderella cover for Fables #71), the very special guest artist this month is Terry Moore! Yes, the creator, writer and artist of one of comic’s greatest independent series, Strangers in Paradise, drew this issue and it looked fantastic! The only thing is, after seeing his art in black and white for so long, color made it look different but you can certainly tell who it is! It’s my deepest hope that we will see Moore’s art on the new Fables book that was announced at Comic-Con. A series that will also star…
Cinderella wraps up her second, and final, miniseries with a confrontation with her greatest nemesis: Dorothy Gale!
Quick recap: Cindy is on the trail of Gale to get information on a Shadow Fabletown operating in Russia. Her contact, Ivan, was actually Gale who had, over the centuries, gained the ability to change her form to some extent. This in itself is creepy but when you consider what Cindy did when she thought she was with the real Ivan it becomes a whole different issue.
So, Cindy is captured by Gale, while trying to trap Gale by walking into her trap (a bit confusing but still very entertaining); and gets to listen to Gale recount her version of events that lead up to this issue. This is interesting because part of her recap involved the Golden Boughs Retirement Village, the former prison run by Mr. Revise and the Page sisters, which takes us back to the first issues of Jack Of Fables, collected in Jack Of Fables, Volume 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape!
Anyway, Cindy and Gale have their final confrontation, at least final for this series, as they fight in a zeppelin high above the Deadly Desert. It’s a nice battle between two fighters who are very evenly matched and Cindy tries to hide her doubt at being able to beat Gale by goading her on, hoping that in her anger Gale will not concentrate on the fight. It does work and Cindy is able to relieve Gale of her magic slippers and quickly moves to toss them out of the zeppelin and into the Deadly Desert. Without thinking, Gale lunges to get her slippers back (they give her the ability to transport nearly anywhere) and gets kicked out of the zeppelin and into the Desert by Cindy who decides to keep the slippers for herself.
The wrap up for this miniseries is fantastic. Through the whole run Cindy was doubting her ability to survive another encounter with Gale and it’s nice to see that, even when plagued with doubt, Cindy is more than capable of stepping up to any challenge and come out on top.
A great follow up to her first miniseries, From Fabletown With Love, and a great lead in to the newest Fables series.
At the San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that Fables would be setting up an all new companion series called Fairest. Not The Fairest, just Fairest. I covered the announcement here when it first broke (of the entire Comic-Con weekend the only thing I was looking forward to was Willingham’s Fables Panel). The series will feature the Fairest of the Fables, will have a rotating cast by different creative teams and will also feature covers by the great Adam Hughes.
The first issue will be picking up right after the events in Fables #107 and will continue the story of Brian Rose. Other characters spotlighted in this series will be Rapunzel and, of course, Cinderella, who will have her future minis told as part of this series!