“Fables Volume 12: The Dark Ages” by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, et. al. (Vertigo, 2009)

Fables the Dark Agesstarstarstarstar

The Eisner award winning comic book series returns at a poignant moment.  The great war between the good and evil fables is finally at an end.  All should be right with the world.  The fables should be able to return to their Homelands.  Everything should return to normal, as it once was, centuries ago.

Except this isn’t the case.

The fables in our world are slowly recovering from the war, surprised at the few numbers that died, while on the Adversary’s side, the number of dead are immeasurable.  That is except for Boy Blue, who suffered an injury from a magical arrow.  The fables’ best doctor thinks he has him all cured, but Boy Blue isn’t getting any better; in fact each day he looks much worse, one step closer to death, which would be wrong for one of the greatest heroes of the war.  Meanwhile there are those in the Homelands who are searching through the spoils, and they inadvertently awake a dark and terrible creature, a bogeyman that haunts our dreams, hides under our beds at night, and terrifies us from the closet.  He is the one whose power the fables have been using for so long to use their magical devices, and he’s very angry.

The Dark Ages starts a fascinating new plot line, reassuring any Fables fans that now the big war is over, Willingham isn’t done by any means, but merely with an important chapter in the Fables storyline, with plenty more tales to tell.  The use of magic and power for the war was at an immense cost, as The Dark Ages shows.  The question now remains who will live and who will die with this new evil loose amongst the fables.

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Originally written on October 18th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

Originally published in the Sacramento Book Review.