Overview

Fables #106

Review

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Fables #106

Credits

  • Words: Bill Willingham
  • Art: Mark Buckingham
  • Inks: Steve Leialoha
  • Colors: Lee Loughridge
  • Story Title: Downfall
  • Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
  • Release Date: Jun 22, 2011

The threat of Mr. Dark has been growing for some time now. Overcoming their most powerful witch, it seemed Mr. Dark could not be defeated. The remaining Fables fled to Haven, where they’ve been preparing themselves for the day Mr. Dark breaks through their defenses and they have to face him, head-on.

In this issue, Willingham manages to not only close the book on the threat of Mr. Dark; he also wraps up the arc of Bigby and his estranged father,Mr. North, the fate of Pinocchio and Ozma’s super-team, hints at Rose Red’s supernatural guide, as well as creating smaller moments of characterization and fun that we all have come to enjoy about the series. However, the way Willingham accomplishes all this may make readers raise an eyebrow.

The ending of issue 106 is a curveball, a reminder that best laid plans can go awry, and sometimes your enemy is stronger than you could ever have imagined. The tension is ratcheted up, and the situation for our Fables is dire. It seems that Willingham was setting up the stage for an even larger and more epic conclusion. Instead, within the first six pages, Mr. Dark, who has been built up to be more powerful than the Adversary, is dispatched in an almost casual fashion. The rest of the issue revolves around our Fables, who were surprisingly absent from the fight, dealing with the aftermath.

I won’t say Willingham used a deus ex machina in this issue, because there were hints that this end was coming. But for a guy who spent the past few years building up Mr. Dark, and the despairing resistance by our Fables, I will say that the way Willingham took this was awfully convenient, and wrapped things up almost too easily.

Mark Buckingham is a phenomenal artist and never fails to create consistent, detailed work. He does the best with what he’s got, and even though there is minimal action in this issue, he still manages to turn the brawl into a frenetic flight into the unknown.

Fables #106 was an enjoyable read, though you can’t shake the feeling that Willingham was looking to kill a few birds with one stone. While there is solid artwork and several nice moments of characterization, this issue failed to deliver on the build-up from the past few years.

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