Fables: Legends in Exile is the first comic in the Fables series by Bill Willingham. I thought this comic was a great summer read, and I recommend it to anyone who likes revisionist fairy tales or intelligently-written comics.
The premise of the series is that characters from familiar fairy tales and stories have been forced to enter the real world in secret after their Homelands were taken over by the still unexplained Adversary. This book focuses on Snow White and Bigby Wolf as they try to solve the murder of Snow White’s sister, Rose Red. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll just say that all the clues you need to figure it out are available in the book, and Bigby Wolf’s explanation at the end made me feel pretty silly for not figuring it out earlier.
My favorite part of this comic was the way Willingham made us take a new look at our old fairy tales. The choice to make Prince Charming, our fairy tale hero, into a womanizing playboy, is particularly funny. Willingham also does a good job of using this comic to introduce the Fables’ world and how they ended up in our world without being drawn out or boring like background information can sometimes be.
The illustrations in this comic are beautiful, the story keeps you coming back for more, and it intelligently asks readers to rethink what they have always believed about fairy tale characters. I definitely recommend it.
Also, tangentially related, I’m tired of using the phrase “graphic novel,” so I am now going to just call them comic books. It may sound less serious, but I’m just not a fan of “graphic novel.” I’ve gone and changed all of my “graphic novel” tags to “comic books” to make myself happy too.
Links to Enjoy:
- The Story So Far — Bill Willingham’s official site
If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!