Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

Forget Who — Where Are the Fairest of Them All?

Fairest #1
“Prince of Thieves, Chapter One: Wide Awake”
Writer: Bill Willingham
Pencils: Phil Jimenez
Inks: Andy Lanning
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover artists: Adam Hughes (regular)/Jimenez & Lanning (variant)
Editor: Shelly Bond
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo imprint
Price: $2.99 US

While I loved the first few years of the series, I dropped Fables a while back, not long after the war with the Adversary/Emperor/Gepetto came to a close. It was a major turning point in the series, and I just wasn’t as taken with the new direction of the book then, though I still appreciated the overall premise. I had also lost interest in the spinoff Jack of Fables series, so I left Willingham’s characters (or his take on these characters) behind. When I saw this new spinoff title on my comic shop’s shelves this week, I felt prompted to venture back into the enchanted forests and valleys I’d visited with Willingham before, mainly because the notion of an all-female cast of protagonists appealed to me. I was also curious to see what Willingham had been up to with these characters. After reading the first issue, I can safely say I enjoyed what I found, but I must also admit I found it puzzling. For a comic book that purports to be about a number of fairy-tale women, the first issue is almost completely devoid of female characters. It seems like an odd choice and a misstep.

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Dark Shadows

The Shade #5
“Memoria Roja”
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Javier Pulido
Colors: Hilary Sycamore
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover artists: Tony Harris (regular)/Javier Pulido (variant)
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

As a fan of writer James Robinson’s Starman series of the 1990s, I, of course, have been enjoying this revisitation of some of the supporting characters from that landmark series. However, this issue stands out as particularly well crafted, and the reason has nothing to do with the Shade or any Starman elements. I had thought this comic marked the debut of a new super-hero, but a quick Google search reveals Robinson introduced La Sangre in the pages of Superman v.1 a couple of years ago. I missed that introduction, but I’m thrilled I got to discover the character here. La Sangre is a wonderful concept for a super-hero — a benevolent, centuries-old vampire frozen in the form of a teenager — but what really makes the character pop is the elegance Robinson instills in her with his dialogue. Adding to the appeal of this issue is the artwork by Javier Pulido, who conveys a number of exotic elements with seeming ease, all while toying with page layouts and figure movement.

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