97. Fables: The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham. Illustrated by Mark Buckingham (Canada) - (USA)
Fables, Vol. 12

Pages: 192 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: May 29, 2010
First Published: Aug. 18, 2009
Publisher: Vertigo
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Ready to go, Pops?

Acquired: Borrowed through Inter-library Loan.

Reason for Reading: next in the series.

What a fantastic volume! This volume deals with both the endings and beginnings of the old story arc. The aftermath of the war leaves pieces to be picked up and surprises as to who is still around or in what condition, while the beginnings of the new story arc are firmly set in place with a new Evil force to be dealt with and some major shakeups in the Fables lifestyle.

Starting off with a single issue of Pinocchio taking Geppetto around his new home shows his bitterness and the townsfolk's non-accepting attitude to having Geppetto there at all. A different artist drew this issue and he has drawn Pinocchio as a little boy which I really like compared to his usual appearance. Next we have the titular section consisting of five chapters and a single issue. The Dark Ages wraps up what has happened with the survivors of the war back at Fabletown and the Farm. There are several shockers changing some character's lives dramatically. The new Evil foe is introduced and how he has come to be. He forces a life changing event upon the fables and is firmly set to continue the plot in a new direction. Finally the volume ends with a short five chapter story "Return to the Jungle Book" where Mowgli goes back to his part of the homeland to do a quick recon on his old world to see if it is re-habitable. This is a fun side story with Mowgli and Bagheera, and Bigby's brothers along as body guards. Mowgli also comes home with two new characters to add to the Fables population.

Lots of action, the demise of a few characters including a major character, along with emotional insight into a few particular characters make this volume particularly satisfying.

This now brings me up to date with the Fables series, bringing me up to the current year, 2010. The next Volume, 13, is out but Jack comes back into the story for this volume and I think this will be a good place for me to stop Fables and get up to date with the Jack of Fables series, up to vol. 6 anyway, and in the meantime I'll try to also read the novel "Peter and Max" before I come back for Fables Vol. 13 and 14 is due out in Dec!


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