Friday, March 23, 2012

Fables #115

Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, and Shawn McManus

Fables continues to flounder with this new Toyland arc.  Willingham has had a hard time maintaining a focused narrative since the Adversary was vanquished a few years ago, but I feel like this book's plots are getting more and more threadbare, and more stretched out with each issue.

This month, we find out that Therese, one of Snow White and Bigby's daughters, was taken by her toy boat to be the new queen of a rather downtrodden land, called Discardia, Toyland, Mattagonia, and Madland, all within the span of a few pages.  Basically, it looks like she's living in the world of The Stuff of Legend, after a bomb hit it.  It's nothing but broken old fashioned toys and awkward dialogue in this place, and I'm finding it hard to care.

Her disappearance also leads to some self-recrimination from her brother Darien, and more proof that Willingham really struggles to write children's dialogue.  In fact, that may be the main reason why I find myself increasingly disappointed with this book - Willingham does fine with adults and all manners of magical creatures, but his kids sound a little like they've come from bad British post-War juvenile novels.

The other plots that are given a little space in this issue are more interesting.  King Cole has a long chat with Mrs. Spratt, who he's discovered chained up and emaciated in Castle Dark.  Beauty and Beast consider sticking around Haven instead of coming back to our world.  And, many months after Blufkin climbed up on a scaffold to be hung, we learn that his rope still hasn't dropped (I thought maybe Willingham just forgot about this completely).

Fables is usually a very good comic, even when it lacks direction, and so I'm hoping that all these plots concerning Snow and Bigby's insufferably irritating children can get wrapped up quickly, and things can improve again.  Really, Mark Buckingham's art saves this one...

No comments: