Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fairest of them all!!!

Fairest debuted two months ago.  All I can say is that the art is gorgeous!!!!   Fairest is the spin off of the long running Vertigo Series Fables by Bill Willingham, which is a modern telling of classic stories.  If you are not familiar with Fables, think Once Upon a Time or Grimm, but only better.  The premise is that the Adversary has conquered the realm where all the stories take place.  The survivors, who call themselves Fables, have traveled to the modern realm and form a clandestine community in modern day New York City.

The story in Fairest starts with an unlikely hero, Ali Baba, the Prince of Thieves.  He finds a bottle with a bottle imp by the name of Jonah Panghammer, who has studied American Studies and is well versed in the American vernacular.  He is also extremely talkative and is an information gatherer.  Needless to say, it is a disappointment to Ali Baba because he was expecting a genie or D'jinn and find his new companion annoying.  Soon they find themselves pursued by a monster and a wooden soldier.  One amazing fact is that Firefly in the New 52 Universe lasted seven seasons, and apparently there was no such show as the Six Million Dollar Man.  They then come across an encampment of Goblins where Ali is to find treasure.  As he is given more information, he soon discovers that the treasure is a girl.  And he is to kiss her to stop the curse or "operating program" as Jonah calls it.  "True love's kiss by a prince."  And since Ali Baba is the Prince of Thieves, that statisfies the curse.  He then discovers that there is not one, but two women asleep, and kisses both because he is not sure which one is his princess.  At this point, the Wooden Soldier catches up to him, a battle ensues and Ali beheads the Wooden Soldier.  Goblins attack and the red haired princess awakens.  This is how the first issue finished with a cliff hanger.

Issue two begins with the unlikely allies of Jonah, Ali and Briar Rose who is Sleeping Beauty.  They are running from the Snow Queen horde of Ice Giants.  All the while, there is sexual tension between Briar and Ali, and tension between Briar and Jonah.  In a quick flashback, we discover how our heroes found themselves in such a predicament.  The Goblins attack, then are frozen by the Snow Queen.  The Snow Queen then calls the three heroes worms and tells them to run.  Apparently, Sleeping Beauty and the Snow Queen are bitter enemies.

Soon our heroes are capture, and are being carried in gunny sacks by the ice giants.  Jonah relates a tale of why the Snow Queen hates Briar.  It starts with a childless couple that are a king and queen have a baby.  There is a celebration and many fairies come to become godmothers to the child.  Everyone is happy save for Hadeon the destroyer (a fairy created by Phil himself).  Now the story stops here because the heroes are dumped in front of the Snow Queen and she wants to hear what happens next.
My impression so far is that this is a superb series.  The art is wonderful and this is Phil Jimenez at his best!!  The pacing is great, especially for those of us who have not followed Fables until now.  There has been some criticism in various reviews that Ali Baba has taken center stage.  To me, this is not a problem because he is an integral character to the story and he is us newbies that have come to this world of Fables.  He is discovering everything just as we are.  Other criticism has been that the story telling is slow.  Well, again, I am a patient man and I am also new to this world.  I want to be taken into this world slowly.  One final note, the art is superb!!!

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