Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Fairest in all the Land by Bill Willingham - Book Review
From the publisher: In the spirit of FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL and FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND comes the first ever original graphic novel from the pages of #1 New York Times bestselling writer Bill Willingham's FAIREST.
FAIREST has explored the secret histories of the most stunning beauties in Fabletown: Cinderella, Snow White, Briar Rose, Rapunzel, and the list goes on and on. In FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND, the best names in comics take their turns fleshing out the pasts of the loveliest Fables in existence. For all those wanting to dive into FAIREST or FABLES, this original graphic novel is a fantastic entry point, as well as a great new chapter for those that have been following Bill Willingham's fairy tale epic for years.
Fairest by Bill Willingham is a spin-off from his extremely popular and award-winning comic Fables. Fairest stars many of the "princess" types from fairy tales: Snow White, Rose Red, Beauty, Cinderella, etc. This particular volume is a stand-alone story that loosely ties in to events in the main Fables book (I highly recommend reading Fables Vol. 19: Snow White first due to some spoilers in Fairest), as it resolves several dangling plot threads.
Cinderella (a super spy) is hired by the mayor of Fabletown to solve a double murder. Along the way, she discovers a hit-list and several more murders. Using a magic car, and receiving some assistance from Bo Peep, Cinderella has less than a week to discover who is killing fables and stop them from finishing the list. A framing story told by the Magic Mirror (mirror, mirror on the wall...) sets up the situation and acts as a transition from day-to-day, as he follows Cinderella's every move. Because this is a mystery, I'll stop the summary there for fear of revealing any spoilers. However, this is another excellent entry in the Fairest/Fables series.
Willingham is a fantastic writer, and his ability to blend multiple fairy tale stories into one seamless history is wonderful. He also does a fantastic job of taking children's characters and giving them a more adult spin. The characters have depth and continue to evolve and change. Cinderella is fast becoming a favorite character of mine, right up there with Bigby Wolf.
The art, by a variety of artists, is beautiful as well.
I highly recommend Fairest, particularly to those who like a modern take on fairy tales, or are fans of the show Once Upon A Time.
I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.