Friday, April 6, 2012

Fairest #2

Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning

The second issue of Fairest still does nothing at all to distinguish itself from the parent Fables title.  Basically, I feel like Vertigo is taking a page from Marvel's book (or The Unwritten's), and is double-shipping Fables each month, and telling alternating story arcs.  Presumably, when other creators get their crack at this title once this first arc is finished, all that will change, but I don't really know.

This issue is fine - don't get me wrong - it just doesn't feel very individualized to me yet.

In this issue, Ali Baba and the recently awakened Sleeping Beauty, with their bottle imp companion, are on the run from the Snow Queen, who was woken immediately after SB.  It is clear that, despite the rousing effects of 'true love', SB cares little for Ali, who continually tries to cozy up with her.  She also doesn't much like the imp, whose incessant chatter is rather annoying.  I don't remember SB being portrayed so haughtily in Fables; really, I remember her being more noble and self-sacrificing than she's shown here.

Once the trio is captured by frost giants, the comic becomes a lengthy retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story (or perhaps the Disney movie - that's all I'm familiar with), where the various fairy godmother characters are recast as being a little more Vertigo-worthy.  This story doesn't get very far before the comic's twenty pages are up, and I'm left wondering why the Snow Queen would be interested in hearing the story continue.

Saving this book is Jimenez and Lanning's terrific art.  Jimenez always brings a highly polished look to the comics he works on, and that continues to be true here.  Andrew Dalhouse, the colourist of this book, does some very cool things to the hues and tones of each page, using the level of warmth on each page to reflect the cold temperatures that the characters are trudging around in.

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