Fables: Werewolves of the Heartlandby Bill Willingham
Bigby Wolf takes center stage in the most brutal, action-packed FABLES story to date. Sent out into modern day America at large, Bigby’s on a quest for possible locations
FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND is a riveting original graphic novel that is both an integral part of the FABLES mythology and an entry point to the long-running, best selling series.
Bigby Wolf takes center stage in the most brutal, action-packed FABLES story to date. Sent out into modern day America at large, Bigby’s on a quest for possible locations for a new Fabletown. In his wanderings, Bigby stumbles across a small town named Luperville, somewhere in American’s vast heartland, that, amazingly enough, seems to be populated by werewolves.
These werewolves are descendants of a World War II German project to create an army of werewolf super soldiers, some of whom who were infected with Bigby’s tainted blood. And even more unfortunate the fact that they’ve captured, caged and tortured the most popular and important canine in history: Bigby Wolf.
"Clever, enjoyable.... Willingham clearly has an immense amount of fun playing with these characters and their histories, and the art is a perfect match: clear, fanciful and finely drawn. Fables is an excellent series in the tradition of Sandman, one that rewards careful attention and loyalty."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY on FABLES
"[A] wonderfully twisted concept.... Features fairy tale characters banished to the nourish world of present-day New York."—WASHINGTON POST
"[A] spellbinding epic."—BOOKLIST
"Clever, enjoyable ... an excellent series in the tradition of SANDMAN, one that rewards careful attention and loyalty."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"One of the best damn series ever written."—AIN'T IT COOL NEWS
Meet the Author
Bill Willingham has been writing, and sometimes drawing, comics for more than twenty years. During that time he's had work published by nearly every comics publisher in the business and he's written many critically-acclaimed comic book series, including Elementals, FABLES, JACK OF FABLES, FAIREST, ROBIN, SHADOWPACT and SALVATION RUN. A multiple winner of the Eisner Award, Willingham has also been nominated for the International Horror Guild award. Bill lives somewhere near a good poker room.
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I have to say at the start that I am a huge FABLES fan, from the first days of the series. The concept hasn't tired for me at all, and I think overall Willingham finds ways to keep the characters and stories fresh -- not an easy thing to do with a monthly on-going series in a field that hates endings and permanent character changes. All of that being said, I felt like this was one of the weaker entries into the series. There's nothing wrong with the basic concept: Bigby Wolf finding out that there are indeed werewolves in the "mundy" world. There's nothing wrong with the basic problem: as a self-contained and fairly in-bred society with its roots in Nazi Germany, the werewolves are not exactly well-adjusted. And it's not that the story isn't self-contained: the call-backs to previous Fables storylines (including Bigby's World War II service and the early machinations and death of Bluebeard) tell new readers what they need to know without veering off into detailed flashbacks or "you really should read volume xxx" footnotes. Despite all of this, for me the story came off feeling at once too big and too empty. Aside from the always-strong characterization of Bigby (who, let's face it, has been the heart of the Fables story since the beginning, even as Snow White is the soul), the rest of the main characters feel largely interchangeable and stereotypical: the old friend with a secret, the young girl with premonitions, the angry cop, the femme fatale, etc. I found myself not really caring what happened to anyone except Bigby, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't Willingham's intent (considering the strong effort he's always made in Fables to make even tertiary characters stand as individuals). The cover art is gorgeous. The interior page art is easy to follow, reasonably realistic and but not all that detailed. The story gets the job done and of course leaves room for further complications to arise. I wish I'd enjoyed the book more than I did. Also: kudos to Willingham for sliding a sly reference to "Once Upon A Time" into the narrative.
Love the cover. Anyway, this was interesting, to good to okay. Like the series. Good so far.