Fables, Vol. 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sons of Empire was my last Fables installment before I stated a voluntary hiatus from the series. Fact is, I love this series, and I am not eager to get burned out on it, or to be devastated when it's over. So I am going to take a break and investigate other graphic novel series for a little bit. Truth is, I doubt I'll stay away for long. So let's get to the review.
This was an excellent installment to the series. It was great because we get to see Bigby and Snow and their cubs as a settled, happy family, which gave me lots of joy. Also, they go visit Bigby's estranged father, who is also the beloved grandfather of the cubs. Bigby is hesitant to do so, but Snow asked for this as her Christmas gift. Of course, this turns out to be quite an adventure. In a word, this was a fun set of stories. There was danger for the cubs, but nothing they couldn't handle, with the help of their dad. Snow White went into a mommy rage, for good reasons. I don't think the North Wind will make such a mistake again with the cubs. It was interesting to meet some of Bigby's family. Kind of reminded me of trips to visit my family. I think some other people can understand what I mean if you have some interesting family members like I do. The art was lush and gorgeous as always. I enjoy seeing the cubs and how consistent the artwork is in individualizing them from each other. As anyone knows, I am a huge fan of Bigby and Snow, so just having more of them was a gem. This part alone is worth five stars.
The Sons of Empire arc in which we go to the Fablelands and sit in on a meeting with the Adversary and his top lieutenants wasn't quite as meaningful to me, at least emotionally. It was good to see what plans they had and what havoc they intend to reap. Pinnochio is there to be a voice of reason, a person who knows the inner workings of Fabletown. I haven't decided if he's chosen a side yet. He seems conflicted in his loyalties. I am hoping that some of the actions of his beloved father wake him up to the extent of that person's megalomania. I thought the use of the Snow Queen as a trusted leader in the Adversary's army was pretty interesting. The Snow Queen is in my top five favorite fairy tales. Willingham stays true to her character. I wonder if she will encounter Gerda and Kay later in this series??? Hansel's story arc was really disturbing, to say the least. To use a phrase from Hank Hill from Top of the Hill, "That boy's not right." He gave me the big time creepy crawlies. I can't believe he lasted as long as he did in Fabletown.
Yeah, I don't love the concept of who the Adversary is, so that was not a favorite part of this story for me. However, I think it does build tension for the forthcoming volumes. I hope that Fables will have their ducks in the row and be prepared when the Adversary makes his move for invading the world of the Mundanes.
Writing this review makes me want to jump back into the series, but I am going to stand strong. I know it will be all the more exciting when I pick up the next volume.
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