You don’t need me to tell you how good Fables is or how annoyed I am that I keep reading it out of sequence. But I’ll tell you again.
And I may surprise even myself by saying The Good Prince, vol. 10, is the best of them all (or the best I’ve read so far). It concerns the fate of Prince Ambrose aka Flycatcher aka the Frog Prince. Now, having (apparently) not read vol. 9, I am completely at a loss as to what has happened to Flycatcher to galvanize him and I’m also somewhat confused about the place of Frau Totenkinder in all of this (though she alludes to the fact that she and Geppetto are the true puppetmasters and that everything else that is happening is due to them).
Flycatcher, resident janitor and desdicado prince, begs Boy Blue to teach him how to fight, so he can avenge his family. Flycatcher is heartbroken when Boy Blue points out how futile such a mission would be, but there’s special help on the way in the shape of the Forsworn Knight. I had really better not say anything else about this magnificent and impressive tale. It’s just fabulous from beginning to end. Flycatcher must be one of comics’ greatest characters ever. All of it assisted, of course, by Mark Buckingham’s/Steve Leialoha/Andrew Pepoy’s great art throughout. I do want to highlight two details, one of which suggests that Frau Totenkinder is the most ancient of the Fables, perhaps as old as 100,000 years before Common Era. The other is when Snow White and Rose Red’s compassion for Frau Totenkinder (the witch from the gingerbread house) caused her to turn against the Adversary (in whose ranks, of course, is Hansel). (May I just say that the way James Jean has drawn Gretel on the cover looks just like how I envision Marie-Cécile Blandine?)
The light-hearted interlude stars Snow White and Bigby’s children and is drawn by Aaron Alexovich.