Fables Vol 19. Snow White – Comprises Fables 114-129
This series of Fables starts with the adventures of Bufkin, who is trapped in Oz and determined to set the people free! This is a collection of short bursts with each section comprising of a three page story in which our hero takes on the vastly superior forces of Oz, through his quick wit and a good element of luck.
While it made sense to have this as a short story at the end of various comics, in this collection the three page style is a serious draw back, and becomes annoying as each section has to have its own story arc, each quickly resolved. The story itself is entertaining for the most part, but once Oz has been freed, the arc continues with Bufkin and his tiny girlfriend Lily Martanion (the Barleycorn bride) becoming freedom fighters. They take on the battle against a number of tyrants in various worlds which does start to drag.
Happily this only comprises approximately one third of the volume, as the rest is devoted to Snow White and Bigby’s attempts to find their missing cubs. Bigby sets off in a magical car, along with co-pilot Brock Bluehart (Stinky) to try and find the world where their cubs have ended up. This search is quickly called off as there are problems back in Fabletown, as Snow is greeted by one of her previous loves in the form of Prince Brandish, who turns into the villain of the piece. The ensuing battles causes the death (?) of one of the major characters, which should cause problems for many issues to come.
This is a return to the regular story arc, and is nicely unsettling, as you expect the story to focus on Bigby and his attempts to rescue the cubs, but you are quickly brought back to the real plot. Mark Buckingham is always entertaining with his visual style capturing the eye.
Overall, the early story severely detracts from this volume but there is enough to capture your imagination once the main story line kicks back into life. Fables is a unique and finely crafted series, with incredible complexity in character and story line over the past 13 years. It continues to delve into this world with more insight than one would have thought possible.
Find out more about the Fables series on the Vertigo Web site here.