Fables, Volume 12: The Dark Ages

Fables, Volume 12: The Dark Ages

by Bill Willingham


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401223168
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: 08/18/2009
Series: Fables Series , #12
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 257,916
Product dimensions: 6.64(w) x 10.24(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Bill Willingham has been writing, and sometimes drawing, comics for more than 20 years. During that time, he's had work published by nearly every comics publisher in the business, and he's created many critically acclaimed comic book series, including Elementals, Coventry, Proposition Players, and of course the seminal Vertigo series Fables, as well as its spin-off series Fairest, Jack of Fables and The Literals. His work has been nominated for many awards, including the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz comic industry awards and the International Horror Guild award. He lives somewhere near a good poker room.

Mike Allred has worked for DC comics as a colorist, inker, penciller, writer, cover painter, cover colorist, and cover artist.

Born in 1966 in the English seaside town of Clevedon, Mark Buckingham has worked in comics professionally for the past twenty years. In addition to illustrating all of Neil Gaiman's run on the post-Alan Moore Miracleman in the early 1990s, Buckingham contributed inks to The Sandman and its related miniseries Death: The High Cost of Living and Death: The Time of Your Life as well as working on various other titles for Vertigo and Marvel through the end of the decade. In 2002 he took over as the penciller for Bill Willingham's Fables, which has gone on to become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Vertigo titles of the new millennium. When not in Clevedon, Buckingham can be found with his wife Irma in the Asturias region of northern Spain.

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Fables, Volume 12: The Dark Ages 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
krau0098 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is the twelfth book in the Fables series. I think it was one of the darkest books yet in the Fables series, hence the name is very appropriate. It was a painful read at points, but a necessary one.The book starts with a short installment where Gepetto is installed in Fabletown and showed around by his son Pinocchio. The next few chapters focus on picking up the pieces after fighting the Adversary, you learn who is alive and who is dead or dying. We also get to follow the adventures of two rogues named Freddy and Mouse who unknowingly release an enormous evil into the Homelands.This was another excellent, if painful at times, Fables. Some of the things that happen in here will tear at your heart. Boy Blue is still struggling with the injury he received in the battle. Rose Red is depressed because she realizes she has feelings for him. Not to mention the Fables just don¿t get a break when a huge evil is released into their world. There is also a lot going on with trying to reinstate the Fables into their various Homelands. The Homelands are a mess since there is no leadership there. You have Fables that were born in America and want to choose their Homeland and you have people raiding the Homelands for treasure...as I said an absolute mess.It is a great installment and love where the story is going. I am curious to see how the Fables will combat this latest evil challenge. The illustration was in keeping with previous novels. I wasn¿t all that keen on the illustration for the first part with Pinocchio, it was too simple, the rest of the installments were very well done though.Overall an excellent installment in the Fables series. I was a bit worried after the last book what the new storyline would be; but Willingham did an excellent job of dealing with the aftermath of the war and in addition started a new and engaging storyline. This whole series is highly recommended to fans of urban fantasy and/or fairy tale retellings.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Summary: The Dark Ages is very much a transitional volume, both for the characters and for the series itself. The war is over, the Adversary is defeated, and everyone must deal with the fallout. In the first story, "Around the Town", the Adversary is having some problems readjusting to life in Fabletown, and many of the other Fables aren't ready to forgive and forget, general amnesty or no. In the main story arc, "The Dark Ages", we start to find out that defeating the Adversary may have caused just as many problems as it solved. Specifically, powerful forces that were kept in check during the Empire's reign are now loosed upon the worlds, and one of them is unravelling the magics that keep Fabletown together. Meanwhile, Boy Blue, erstwhile war hero, is still hospitalized when a war injury refuses to heal. Finally, in "Return to the Jungle Book", we find out about Mowgli's trip (with Bigby's brothers in tow) to see if his homeland can be recolonized.Review: I've got mixed feelings about this volume. On the on hand, it was fantastic to get back into the Fables universe. Eight months is too long to go with no Fables, and Jack of Fables doesn't quite fill the gap. Seriously, every time another familiar character showed up, I gave a little internal cheer... which was about the only cheering I was doing, because holy yikes, the main story arc in this one is sad... and dark. It didn't quite make me sniffly the way Mean Seasons or The Good Prince did, but Willingham's certainly not pulling any punches with terrible things happening to favorite characters, either. On the other hand, though, it was a transitional volume, setting up the next big story arc, and as such it was a little unsatisfying, with plenty of little snippets of what's coming but nothing it felt like I could really sink my teeth into. Plus, I feel like if you're going to do another Big Bad, he needs to be worse than the previous Big Bad... and while Mister Dark is thoroughly creepy, I'm not yet convinced he's that powerful. Hopefully that's still coming, though - you don't want your bad guy to show all his cards at the beginning. So, while not the series at its best, even a so-so Fables is still a compelling read, and I'm still looking forward to seeing what comes next. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: For folks like me who've been jonesing for another Fables hit, this one isn't completely satisfying but is enough to tide you over. For those who have taken a bit of a break after the main storyline wrapped up in War and Pieces, though, that's a good place to stop and wait for this new story to build up some steam.
jessidee on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I was a bit worried about how Willingham et al would keep the Fables story going after ending the big bad war in War and Pieces. My fears turned out to be completely unjustified, as this was an amazing (albeit sad) book and perfectly set up the next great arc in the Fables saga.The book opens with Geppetto being escorted around Fabletown by Pinocchio, who's trying to get him adjusted to life after ruling the Empire. Not everyone is happy with the newest Fabletown resident, but I thought it was interesting to hear Geppetto's side of the story. He believed he was acting for the greater good, so sacrificing a few thousand lives was worth it, because in the long run he saved billions, or so he claims... Now that the Fables have taken him out of power, he believes the other worlds will suffer even more.Geppetto's warnings seem to have merit, though, as back in a recently-freed-from-the-Emperor-land a pair of marauders unknowingly release a very powerful new enemy. This new adversary wants revenge on the Fables for taking away his magic and using it themselves, and he means business. The Fables are forced to evacuate The Woodland and move upstate to the Farm after the magic spells holding their community together begin to crumble. Baba Yaga comes back, and although she didn't get to do much in this book I'm curious to see what havoc she'll wreck in the next one. Even Frau Totenkinder is scared!The main purpose of this book seemed to be setting up the new big bad and the next event in the Fables series: The Great Fables Crossover (with Jack of Fables, an offshoot of this series that I also really enjoy). The other big part of the story was the death of a character (one of my personal favorites) that brought up questions of what happens to the Fables when they die. We've seen some come back (there are always three little pigs, for example, and Snow White managed to survive a gunshot to the head), so I'm hoping this character will reappear at some point, too. But it was still an emotional arc and really made me question just how great a surgeon Dr. Swineheart is. He seemed like a bit of a pompous jerk, actually, but that could've just been me projecting because of the way he was treating said beloved character.There was also a smaller mini-story that dealt with Mowgli returning to a jungle world with Bigby's brothers that was a bit more light-hearted and I nice diversion from the darkness in the rest of the book. Oh, and Flycatcher's back! That was one of my grumbles with volume 11, so it was nice to have him back...even if he is still clueless about his relationship with Red Riding Hood.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous stories. Its the start of a New Story - the Exiled Fables have one the war. They are not sure what to do next - Kingdoms are fragmenting, war is breaking out in the Fables Worlds, and something dark has been released.The problem with most stories of this sort (epic fantasy), is after the world has been saved, where do you go next. Bigger and badder entities need to be created to keep momentum. Although, in this case, the bigger badder entities that have been previously locked have been released because of actions from the previous story, and it does work.
stephmo on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The evil you know, eh?For all that anyone ever dreamed, defeating the Empire should have been the easy part for Fabletown. The hardest part at the moment is testing the limits of the Fabletown Compact by letting Gepetto live in exile - between the people of Fabletown, Pinocchio and Gepetto, only Pincocchio seems convinced that it is possible. Of course, not even Frau Totenkinder imagined the ancient evils (the ones even the Empire had to shut away) would be let loose by the stupidity of common greed. This volume doesn't move too terribly far forward in the sense of time, but the leaps in development of plot and setup for future volumes is unreal. This was a volume I wanted to both savor and tear through just so I could find out what happens next...and I am moving onto the next trade in the series immediately just to find out what happens.There are two guest artists in this volume. Michael Allred's depictions were just jarring - Pinocchio is nearly the Disney-boy version instead of the man-boy version we've all gotten to know in Fables. David Hahn gets to handle a very important vignette that I wish Willingham would have kept for himself on many levels, not the least of which was Hahn's "the new-Saturday Morning Action JamZ!" style of character drawing.
rores28 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Probably the best book in the Fables series up until this point. This issue does away with much of "Mary Sue-ing" Seen in previous episodes (Particularly Homelands and to some extent War and Pieces) and for the first time in awhile I actually feel nervous for our protagonists future and well-being. **Spoiler**The final moment between Boy Blue and Rose Red is particularly poignant because Willingham doesn't resort to the same unrequited love / death scene tropes that I was expecting from him. I was legitimately shocked by Blue's candor, becuase up until that point I didn't feel like Willingham was leading us to dislike Rose Red, so I just ended up feeling bad for both of them.Further we actually get some more heady exploration of fable-mundy existentialism which is ironically conducted between frau totenkinder and Stinky of all people.
zhukora on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I had worried a bit about the direction this series would take once the Adversary was defeated. In true Fairy Tale form, peace would ensue, kingdoms would be rebuilt and everybody would live happily ever after, right? Sounds pretty boring. Fortunately, Willingham elects to take an approach truer to the Fable name of the comic--the moral lesson that comes at the end of the story instead of the vague and magical happy ending. War is messy and bleak, and never as black and white as the propaganda makes it seem. In this volume the fallout of the conflicts in the previous two volumes rears its ugly head, and the Fables cast is given a whole new set of frightening challenges to take on. This transition doesn't feel gimmicky at all, and reads more like the introduction of a new thread from a much greater picture. In fact, if you've been keeping up with the Jack of Fables series as well, in the war's aftermath we start seeing hints of exactly how some of the stranger and sometimes more convoluted aspects of Jack's adventures are going to begin tying back in with the main plot again. This certainly isn't the most fun or satisfying of the volumes to read, but it feels like a very necessary one. A lot is set up here, but most is left hanging for continuation in the next volume. One of the few really bright spots was the introduction of Lord Mountbatten, who I suspect may become one of my favorite characters in short order. Overall I wasn't thrilled at how unfinished this volume felt, but it's obvious how much is set to unfurl in the next. I still enjoyed it, however, and appreciate Willingham's focus on the quality of the overall plot instead of cheap thrills on every page as some comics are wont to do. I will definitely be buying the next volume as soon as I am able.
nesum on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I took a short break from Fables after the fall of the Empire. I had looked at this volume, but really didn't think it was going to live up to what had come before. After all, the great conflict that had been around since page one of the first volume was over. What was next? This one really seemed like it was going to simply be a transition story that didn't really have any weight to it.But weight it certainly had. This is perhaps the most emotional of the Fables stories so far, and also one of the most chilling, as our new villain is introduced in a way we could not have expected. That villain is wonderfully portrayed and terrible in power, but the heart of this book is the fight to keep something that has meant so much to the Fables universe. It is a touching story, and one I'm glad I finally read.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This was interesting. Actually all of the volumes thus far are. Good volume.
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