16 March 2015

Review: A Double Take from Bill Willingham's Fables Series

Werewolves in the Heartland by Bill WillinghamWerewolves of the Heartland is a spin-off adventure in Bill Willingham's Fables series.

Bigby Wolf is scouring the country for a possible new location for Fabletown. When he comes across Story City, Iowa, he senses something is not quite right, but he doesn't act fast enough and is hit by a drugged dart. When he awakes, he discovers he has been captured by rogue werewolves, led by an old friend of his. Although most of the pack consider Bigby to be a god among wolves, others are bent on his destruction. Woe to those who think they are stronger and cleverer than Bigby.

Bigby Wolf has always been one of my favorite Fables characters, so I'm always happy to read an issue centered on him. In this installment, we learn a few secrets of Bigby's past and get a glimpse of his true powers and strength. Bigby is complex, and different sides of personality come into play in this volume. I'm fascinated with how he can be so kind one minute and so terrible the next.

This action-packed story doesn't add a lot to the main Fables plot line but gives us insight into Bigby's background. We also meet a new character, whom we're sure to see again. This issue was drawn by Craig Hamilton and Jim Fern, who did a great job, especially with rendering the transitioning werewolves.

Inherit the Wind, Fables 17, by Bill WillinghamInherit the Wind is volume 17 in Bill Willingham's main Fables series. There are three principle story lines that are interwoven throughout the book.

My favorite story (no surprise here) is centered on the Wolf family. Bigby, Snow, and the kids are at the home of the North Wind. A new North Wind must be chosen from the blood line, which means one of the Wolf children will take his or her grandfather's place as king. I loved the different personalities of the children, and the way the new wind was finally revealed. This was a fun story.

I was less interested in Bufkin's story. When we last saw him, he had escaped the Fabletown library and was on the run from the Nome King with a ragtag gang of fellow fugitives. After a promising start, they find themselves once again captured. This story ends on a kind of cliff-hanger. I'm hoping what I think happened, didn't really happen.

Finally, I'm following with interest the transformation of the new Ms. Spratt, former lover of Mr. Dark, who now goes by the name of Leigh Duglas. She is in training, determined to get strong and tone her new, lean body. She, of course, is motivated by evil intent and cannot be trusted. There is sure to be a reckoning when she's reunited with the other Fables characters.

This volume is illustrated by Mark Buckingham, who (as I've said before) is my favorite Fables illustrator. I particularly like how he drew the characters needed for the North Wind panels: the zephyrs and air movement were nicely done.

Werewolves of the Heartland published by DC Comics / Vertigo, 2013
ISBN-13: 9781401224806
Inherit the Wind published by DC Comics / Vertigo, 2012
ISBN 13: 9781401235161
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


rhapsodyinbooks 3/16/15, 9:27 AM  

I'd probably like this too; I'm a sucker for werewolves, so to speak.

Kailana 3/16/15, 1:14 PM  

My copy of Werewolves of the Heartland has vanished and I find that sad. I have no idea where it would have wandered off to. :(

Vasilly 3/17/15, 10:30 AM  

I remember enjoying this story for the same reasons you did. It seems like you caught up with series pretty fast! :-)

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