Friday, April 20, 2012

Fables #116

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

Here's the question I find myself pondering this month.  Is Vertigo still the home of thought-provoking, adult comics?  Books like DMZ, Northlanders, Scalped, and (to a lesser extent) iZombie, are all recently wrapped up or will be shortly.  One of their newest titles, Dominique Laveau, Voodoo Child, reads a little more like a sophisticated superhero book from the late 80s, and Fables has become increasingly focused on its child characters, to the general detriment of the book.

This latest issue is again spotlighting Snow White and Bigby Wolf's children.  Therese has ended up in the land of Discardia, where a bunch of broken toys have made her their queen, although she's likely to starve there.  Darien, one of her brothers, has decided to go looking for her himself with the help of the wind-up tiger Lord Mountbatten.  Pinocchio also gets a bit of space to flirt with Osma.  Oh, and Blufkin the flying monkey escapes the gallows.

I don't see, aside from a few curse words that Darien let fly, how this comic should be 'suggested for mature readers'.  Actually, the swearing of a child helps underscore how immature this comic is becoming.  I get it that Willingham has been writing this comic for a good long time, and is perhaps just running low on ideas, and I would never advocate for 'mature scenes' just for their own sake, but I find that this book is not as sophisticated as it used to be.

Mark Buckingham's art is always awesome, but I'm finding that my enthusiasm for this title has reached the point where I think it's time to take it off my pre-order list.

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