Bill Willingham’s Fables: The Good Prince

When a series is as consistently excellent as Fables, it can be extremely difficult to decide which is the finest issue or volume. However, The Good Prince, the tenth volume, certainly makes a strong case for itself as the best of the best.

Two threads twine together in the main chapters: the Fables preparing for war against the Adversary and the titular prince reclaiming his birthright and becoming a considerable thorn in the Adversary′s side. Perhaps war brings out the best in some people, for Prince Charming finally seems to rise to the occasion, becoming the kind of leader the Fables need: level-headed, clever and resourceful. Beast and Bigby have their roles as well, helping Fables to receive the best in military training — for the Fables are hardly going to take an attack from the Homelands lying down, and, in fact, want to take the battle to them.

Who the Good Prince is, and how he builds an army — and kingdom — of his own is best enjoyed first hand. Let′s just say that it involves a certain magical sword, a famous knight of yore and the resurfacing of old friends and enemies. His story is sweet and satisfying and very significant for the battle to come.

Some interesting tidbits also surface about Frau Totenkinder, who will, no doubt, have a considerable role to play in the story ahead. Just what that role is isn′t entirely clear just yet, though.

Tucked in between the chapters of the main story, near the halfway mark, is a single chapter devoted to Snow White, Bigby and their cubs. On the cubs′ sixth birthday, Snow and Bigby swear them to secrecy, and finally reveal their seventh cub — the nearly forgotten zephyr, Ghost — to his siblings. Curiosity and mild mayhem ensue, as Ghost isn′t quite as socialized as his corporeal brethren.

The Good Prince′s story may come to a close in this volume, but Willingham has brilliantly set the stage for the final conflict between the Fables and the Adversary′s Empire.

(Vertigo, 2008)

About April Gutierrez

Since last we met our intrepid book reviewer, April Gutierrez, she’s moved halfway around the world to the land of the rising sun. Home is now Fukuoka, the largest city on Japan’s west-most main island, Kyushu. The Japanese boast of their homeland’s four seasons, but April recognizes just two: Granrodeo tour season and … the rest of the year. During the former, she’s running around Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa, mixing sightseeing with awesome rock concerts. The rest of the time, she’s busy exploring shrines and temples closer to home and regretting she has but one stomach to offer up to Japanese cuisine.