FABLES Issue The 93rd

Bill Willingham has been writing comics for a fair amount of time, I’ve been a fan since his series The Elementals which was ahead of it’s time in character development and story ideas.

Fables is the work he is most known for and with good reason. I’ve heard more than one comics creator say they wish they had thought of the idea. Forms of this idea have been done, variations on fairy tales and fables but no one, and I mean NO ONE has managed to combine all the elements at play in FABLES in such a natural and logical feeling way. Willingham has taken characters, some that have been around for well over a hundred years, and add multiple layers to them. Coming up on issue 100 later this year we are seeing that not only was this a terrific idea but that it also has legs.

Issue 92 and 93 are a bit of an interlude from the larger tale being told, but an important aspect of the overall mythology being created. Ambrose the Frog Prince, and now king is doing the impossible in the post Adversary war. He has created a kingdom in the old lands where everyone is equal and has the same opportunities. Age old issues put aside for the greater good. The story opens with a new favorite past time with the fables, Baseball. The championship game is won by the Goblins and between the games and celebrating afterward the subjects of Ambrose’s Kingdom seem to be bonding and it looks like his idea of all working and living together may work.

Of course from a story telling angle that’s nice but not exciting. No worries. Mr. Willingham has a few things up his sleeve. Following the celebration a Goblin named Brump is a bit drunk and on his way home he, like many late night party people, desires a late night meal. He happens upon a squirrel and follows his natural instincts to eat when hungry. But this is a land where all creatures are more than rodents in a park and Brump has inadvertently committed murder. In issue 93 the news is out and King Ambrose now faces a part of his job as King which is about hard decisions, heavy is the heart of the head who wears the crown indeed. The murder must be dealt with and there is no way to resolve this without some faction being made to feel slighted. A trial is set and people chosen to represent both the people of the kingdom and the defendant Brump. The goblins of the kingdom feel as if they are going to be wronged and prepare to cause problems. Other members of the kingdom anticipate leniency and this will also cause problems.
In the end Ambrose is gratified to learn that he chose the right people to present the case and it allows him to make a fair judgment with out compromising himself. It’s a hard decision but in the end it works.

A wonderful interlude to the on going sage in the latest story in this series. After all the lead up to the War with The Adversary it seemed like maybe the series had peaked with the war. The aftermath has been as interesting as the build up and now with a new evil on the loose it shows no signs of letting up.

Bill Willingham has once again surpassed himself and is creating a legendary story run with this book. With Fables Willingham has elevated himself to the ranks of the truly great comics writers like Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. He is now one of those guys you compare people to. I plan to follow this series everywhere and anywhere he wants to take it, and I sure hope it’s a long ride.