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Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces (Fables

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The final battle between the free Fables of the mundane world and the Empire occupying their former Homelands is about to begin, and the scrappy storybook heroes have already managed to even the odds considerably. With his previously unstoppable wooden soldiers neutralized, the Adversary is about to get his first taste of high technology in the form of steel-jacketed bulle The final battle between the free Fables of the mundane world and the Empire occupying their former Homelands is about to begin, and the scrappy storybook heroes have already managed to even the odds considerably. With his previously unstoppable wooden soldiers neutralized, the Adversary is about to get his first taste of high technology in the form of steel-jacketed bullets and laser-guided bombs. But the ruler who conquered a hundred different worlds didn’t do it by fighting clean—and he’s still got a surprise or two left to spring on the residents of Fabletown. Collecting: Fables 70-75


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The final battle between the free Fables of the mundane world and the Empire occupying their former Homelands is about to begin, and the scrappy storybook heroes have already managed to even the odds considerably. With his previously unstoppable wooden soldiers neutralized, the Adversary is about to get his first taste of high technology in the form of steel-jacketed bulle The final battle between the free Fables of the mundane world and the Empire occupying their former Homelands is about to begin, and the scrappy storybook heroes have already managed to even the odds considerably. With his previously unstoppable wooden soldiers neutralized, the Adversary is about to get his first taste of high technology in the form of steel-jacketed bullets and laser-guided bombs. But the ruler who conquered a hundred different worlds didn’t do it by fighting clean—and he’s still got a surprise or two left to spring on the residents of Fabletown. Collecting: Fables 70-75

30 review for Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces (Fables

  1. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    This series is knocking it out of the park right now. This is the conclusion to the war of the fables, or so it looks like. This story was so satisfying. As in any war, there is much destruction and sadness, but wow. They had such a great idea for this. This series began 11 volumes ago with this war and it finally came to an end in this volume. I know there are at least 11 more volumes, so I wonder what the rest of the story is about. I’m just so impressed with this series and all the writing. I This series is knocking it out of the park right now. This is the conclusion to the war of the fables, or so it looks like. This story was so satisfying. As in any war, there is much destruction and sadness, but wow. They had such a great idea for this. This series began 11 volumes ago with this war and it finally came to an end in this volume. I know there are at least 11 more volumes, so I wonder what the rest of the story is about. I’m just so impressed with this series and all the writing. I love seeing all the fables with new stories to tell. Our library keeps getting rid of volumes, so I hope I am able to finish this series before all the volumes are gone. I might need to pick up the pace I’m reading these. Magic plus modern warfare makes for a very almost unbeatable army. They have a flying airship in here that is held aloft by magic carpets. That’s pretty good right. With the wooden army trees again, the emperor lost his best soldiers. I really am looking forward to where this goes next. You could read just the first 11 volumes and have a great story and wouldn’t need to keep going. This is a pretty good end.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David

    Bill Willingham's Fables is one of the few series I've stuck with since the beginning, and while it hasn't always maintained the quality and excitement of its best issues, it's been consistently entertaining without falling into too many predictable patterns, thanks to a single ongoing storyline that has dominated everything else: the war between Fabletown and the world-spanning magical empire of the Adversary. In this trade paperback collection, the war comes to an end, which is an impressive mi Bill Willingham's Fables is one of the few series I've stuck with since the beginning, and while it hasn't always maintained the quality and excitement of its best issues, it's been consistently entertaining without falling into too many predictable patterns, thanks to a single ongoing storyline that has dominated everything else: the war between Fabletown and the world-spanning magical empire of the Adversary. In this trade paperback collection, the war comes to an end, which is an impressive milestone in itself. How often does a continuing comic book series predicated on some ongoing conflict that theoretically will reach an endpoint eventually actually reach that endpoint? Here, the Fables go to war with the empire and fight it to the end -- no kidding, no ambiguous ending, no new Adversary immediately rising out of the ashes to continue the struggle. And yet, the series is continuing, which means Willingham now has to create new stories and a new story arc. So, being a graphic novel, there's no special effects budget and Willingham pulls out all the stops in an epic magical war with everything from bunker-buster bombs dropped from flying carpets to flights of dragons to endless hordes of goblins charging machine gun-wielding woodland animals. Fables will be a really, really expensive project if Hollywood ever tries to film it. And the Fables' tactics are as clever and ingenious as always. That said, Willingham has a habit of using deux ex machinas with one Unstoppable One-Of-A-Kind Magical Artifact after another. The Fables' entire strategy depends on things like Boy Blue's Witching Cloak, which is an all-purpose teleportation device with unlimited carrying capacity + cloak of invulnerability, and a flying ship loaded with modern weapons which can outgun any dragon or sorcerer they send up against it. But Willingham overestimates the effectiveness of modern firearms -- if you're outnumbered by hundreds-to-one, some of the enemy are going to slip through, especially since they do have ranged weapons of their own, even if they are inferior. It's also annoying that the Fables have all these wonder-weapons and artifacts and Fables with super-special charms, and the Empire, which spans hundreds of worlds and has armies of sorcerers, only has a handful of tricks up its sleeve. Where are all the Empire's magical doomsday weapons and failsafe plans? I probably should have expected this way back when Willingham (who's kind of a right-winger) had Bigby freakin' Wolf using Israel in his military metaphors. And the bad guys in this book actually give a "Woe is us, how could we have been so stupid?" speech about how being a police state with strict gun control is the reason why they're losing the war. So Willingham definitely gets up on his soapbox at times. It was still entertaining, and satisfying to see an honest-to-gods conclusion to the big storyline that's been driving the series since the beginning. So, I'll be interested to see where Willingham goes next. (Hopefully without any Tea Party analogs.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am very disappointed how this series is progressing. The great Adversary, who provided the tension that made the story interesting early on (they were not just Fables living in the real world - they were Fables in exile of a great evil) is now just a chump TV villain that nobody has a reason to fear. Everything goes near-perfect for our plucky heroes, and even people who supposed to have no chance of survival manage to make it through alive with no explanation. The good guys make clever plans I am very disappointed how this series is progressing. The great Adversary, who provided the tension that made the story interesting early on (they were not just Fables living in the real world - they were Fables in exile of a great evil) is now just a chump TV villain that nobody has a reason to fear. Everything goes near-perfect for our plucky heroes, and even people who supposed to have no chance of survival manage to make it through alive with no explanation. The good guys make clever plans and the bad guys are morons. The one clever thing that the Adversary did should have been done far earlier in the war if he had half a brain (which, true, he does not, as he is made of wood, but you get the point). I am really, really disappointed and I am not sure if I will maintain interest in the series with the whole Adversary plot neatly wrapped up. The writing and characters are still great, but the plot has taken a nose dive that I do not think it will be able to pull out of. Also, what is the deal with roasting wieners over the puppet king's corpse (who is a puppet both literally and metaphorical, and not nearly as responsible for the atrocities than the real Adversary), while the true evil, who committed inexcusable acts mirroring earth’s worse tyrants (but over dozens and dozens of worlds), gets a free pass, even though it is clear that he still wants to kill everybody? Geez.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    My favorite era of Fables. The culmination of what the series has been leading up to at this point, war with the Empire. I was a little surprised at how the war was handled, the story was much shorter than I expected. I did like the inventive ways that Fables mixed magic and modern weaponry. Mark Buckingham outdoes himself on the art with how he arms the animal Fables.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    Just the other day I had a realisation in regards to a film which several people had curiously called a 'dumb film.' Then I read an article which pointed out that such a movie, judged linguistically may be seen as dumb. But the language of films, the article noted, extends beyond the dialogue or plot. It extends into the visual and therefore has a kind of visual intelligence. I would like to theorise that writing can be the same, that there are multiple types of ways to read a book. One way I wo Just the other day I had a realisation in regards to a film which several people had curiously called a 'dumb film.' Then I read an article which pointed out that such a movie, judged linguistically may be seen as dumb. But the language of films, the article noted, extends beyond the dialogue or plot. It extends into the visual and therefore has a kind of visual intelligence. I would like to theorise that writing can be the same, that there are multiple types of ways to read a book. One way I would argue is emotionally, to read into what you feel about a novel. To this extent a book might have a particular emotional intelligence - perhaps this is why certain books appear to sell well, when in reality they can be perceived by the general public as poorly written or trashy works. Another way is to read literally, to read linguistically into the words. There is perhaps a further way in reading into the sense or tone of a novel, which is something I personally do regularly. My point being that, to consider works of fiction from purely a linguistic perspective in this modern age may be a fallacy of sorts. When it comes to a strong graphic novel series no doubt there will be both visual and linguistic intelligence at work. But perhaps we may overlook the less obvious emotional intelligence? Or the intelligence granted the reader through the use of tone? With Fables there are no doubt those who look at it as a dumb series, with some interesting ideas about fairytales - ideas that still have been done before. But perhaps they are reading it wrong? What if instead we are meant to look at the ways in which these ideas are coming together with art, clever choices and consistent plotting? What if we are meant to note how fresh it is to have a graphic novel series that doesn't just focus on the story or just focus on the art - a well rounded series. Maybe that is worth a consideration?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I have mad love for this series. I tried to stay away, take a long break, but it pulled me back. I'm a fairy tale addict and Willingham gets fairy tales and how to take them and give them a modern update without destroying the essence of what makes fairy tales so appealing. I like that while Bigby and Snow are much loved and favored characters in this series, they take a back seat and we see the heroism and the complexity of other Fables. I love how the backstories of the characters come into pla I have mad love for this series. I tried to stay away, take a long break, but it pulled me back. I'm a fairy tale addict and Willingham gets fairy tales and how to take them and give them a modern update without destroying the essence of what makes fairy tales so appealing. I like that while Bigby and Snow are much loved and favored characters in this series, they take a back seat and we see the heroism and the complexity of other Fables. I love how the backstories of the characters come into play through their actions in this book. It's a happy surprise to see which ones come to the forefront as heroes. Boy Blue is a standout character, and that's a very nice development in the story. Cinderella, though not even close to being my favorite fairy tale, is rocking the spy thing. I like it very much. Even Prince Charming shows that he does have some hero down deep. Fundamentally, this book is about war and its cost. The author handles this subject with the integrity it deserves, and shows that fairy tales are fundamentally moral and allegorical tales that teach the reader something about humanity. So Fables as a series stays very true to the heart of fairy tales, and I love that about this series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The war with the Adversary starts and ends in this volume. It's the most anti-climactic war story ever written--not in a way that reveals the banality of war, but rather because Willingham has de-powered the Adversary's forces to such an extent. All the Fables make the right choices, every single time. The Empire's armies (which stretch over countless worlds and are comprised of a nearly infinite amount of soldiers) are destroyed basically off-screen, without any effort. The story focuses on Boy The war with the Adversary starts and ends in this volume. It's the most anti-climactic war story ever written--not in a way that reveals the banality of war, but rather because Willingham has de-powered the Adversary's forces to such an extent. All the Fables make the right choices, every single time. The Empire's armies (which stretch over countless worlds and are comprised of a nearly infinite amount of soldiers) are destroyed basically off-screen, without any effort. The story focuses on Boy Blue, who uses the Witching Cloak to transport and supply the Fables; Prince Charming and Sinbad, who fly an airship armed with guns; and Cinderella, who rescues Pinnochio and goes toe-to-toe with Witch Finder Hansel. I've never cared about Boy Blue, and this story didn't change my mind. Prince Charming was utterly out-of-character, and Sinbad was there so Charming could tell him plans and have Sinbad say, "Great idea!" Snow White, King Cole and Bigby get an appearance each, but have little to do. Cindy has the best story of the bunch. And then, they defeat all the Adversary's armies, Boy Blue vorpal blades the Emperor's head off, and Gepeto is forced to sign the Fabletown compact. Annnnd that's it. Nobody dies. Nobody despairs. At no point did I fear for a single character. A very disappointing conclusion to a very long build-up.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Trav

    Well, that was rather anti-climatic. The Battle of Fabletown (Vol. 4) was far more exciting than this! It was still enjoyable but I was somewhat disappointed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Conrad

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A terrible conclusion to what was in parts a great series. Fables jumped the shark somewhere around the paeans to the Israeli Defense Force; in this book, the writer is marvelously impressed with his familiarity with such military esoterica as "concentrated fire" and "bombing." There's a spy story in the beginning in which said spy's internal monologue is about nothing but what an awesome spy she is. It's really risible. Finally, the last scene involving the Adversary makes absolutely no sense. A terrible conclusion to what was in parts a great series. Fables jumped the shark somewhere around the paeans to the Israeli Defense Force; in this book, the writer is marvelously impressed with his familiarity with such military esoterica as "concentrated fire" and "bombing." There's a spy story in the beginning in which said spy's internal monologue is about nothing but what an awesome spy she is. It's really risible. Finally, the last scene involving the Adversary makes absolutely no sense. It's really unfortunate; the only storyline in Fables worth paying attention to didn't need a fairytale ending, in which everything goes so well for our heroes. As others have pointed out, it's also deeply unfair that the mock-Emperor is used for firewood while the guy who pulls his strings is offered Fabletown citizenship. What I find most noxious, in the end, is the self-righteous, pseudopatriotic overtones in parts of this series. That Geppetto is granted citizenship is consistent with the American ideal (tactic?) of enveloping what you can't destroy - of driving cultural growth through successive absorption and assimilation of enemies. The war between the Adversary and the Fables is meant to strongly resemble America's modern wars, what with smart weaponry and debates over force strength. But it's a false metaphor. America is not a small, embattled clique of hunted survivors with magical powers, and the Fables don't value pluralism and forgiveness in such a way that makes Geppetto's assimilation believable. Willingham has reached WAY too far by trying to be topical, and anyone who doesn't think this ending is disastrous is clearly not paying very close attention.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    Wow. Vol 11 doesn't hold back in terms of plot development and excitement. I enjoyed this "culmination" volume to the Fables story arc. The book is divided into two stories but more on that in a second. The Fables and the Imperial forces are at a state of war. So Vol 11 starts with a two-fold preemptive strike against the Empire. The first part of the book deals with the covert side of the story. Cinderella is a truly impressive and badass covert operative. I really enjoyed her operation. Also ku Wow. Vol 11 doesn't hold back in terms of plot development and excitement. I enjoyed this "culmination" volume to the Fables story arc. The book is divided into two stories but more on that in a second. The Fables and the Imperial forces are at a state of war. So Vol 11 starts with a two-fold preemptive strike against the Empire. The first part of the book deals with the covert side of the story. Cinderella is a truly impressive and badass covert operative. I really enjoyed her operation. Also kudos to the concept of taking the enemy's weapons with you! Don't leave weapons+ammo that you might need behind. Well done! Then the overt military side happens in part two. The fables launch into Imperial territory using an innovative mixture of magic and modern tech to destroy the Imperial strongpoints and attack Imperial military forces. That was also an interesting story and unfolded in an interesting way. No spoilers. Thus "ends" the major arc of Fables. The struggle between the Empire and Fabletown is over and the fate of Gepetto is poignant. Let's see the aftereffects of the decision. I shall say no more about that. While the "main" arc may be considered over at the end of this volume (issue 75 I believe in terms of the single issues), I do look forward to finding out where they go from here. There are still quite a few issues I would like to see resolved first. So I need to find room on my shelf for more volumes of this excellent series. I'm still on board. Any fables fan will love this exciting (lots of multi-page spreads) finish to the Imperial War story arc.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aldo Haegemans

    A bit one-sided. There Still was allot of drama and it felt like it could’v changed out of nowhere. I’m curious What way the story Will go now.

  12. 5 out of 5

    PurplyCookie

    Volume 11 of this Eisner-winning graphic novel collects issues # 70-75, and arrives at what Willingham had been working up to from the first issue of "Fables": Fabletown goes to war against the Adversary. But, before the main event, the story arc "Kingdom Come"provides us with the last-minute war council among the leaders of Fabletown and also for Boy Blue's confession of love to Rose Red. We get a glimpse on the pseudo-transition of Fabletown government officials comes about in light on the atta Volume 11 of this Eisner-winning graphic novel collects issues # 70-75, and arrives at what Willingham had been working up to from the first issue of "Fables": Fabletown goes to war against the Adversary. But, before the main event, the story arc "Kingdom Come"provides us with the last-minute war council among the leaders of Fabletown and also for Boy Blue's confession of love to Rose Red. We get a glimpse on the pseudo-transition of Fabletown government officials comes about in light on the attack on the Homelands. Next is the two-part "Skullduggery" featuring our favorite super spy Cinderella, or Cindy as she prefers to be called nowadays, taking on a deadly mission to recover an invaluable package but runs into enemy agents. Cindy demonstrates why she's the world's greatest secret agent, and there's also an unexpected development with Rodney and June (with Junebug in tow), spies for the evil Empire living under the very noses of Fabletown citizens. Even as Cindy is doing her covert thing as a favor to Frau Totenkinder, the war is already in progress. Narrated in three issues, "War and Pieces" brings to a climax the all out war between Fabletown and the Empire, in which Willingham manages to tell a compelling story. With the Fabletown refugees so outmanned by the Adversary's minions, they have to resort to unconventional war tactics, and the Emperor does not even see coming. As such, they make good use not only of magic but also of modern mundy technology. The battle plan hinges on three main deployments: a flying wooden ship -- manned by European (with Prince Charming leading them) and Arabian (under the command of Sindbad) fables alike, and powered by many magic carpets tucked in its sides to keep it afloat -- out to target the Empire's interdimensional gateways; a secret camp in the Imperial Homeworld, established to serve as Fabletown's last getaway resort and supervised by Bigby Wolf; and the infiltration in the heart of the enemy's capital of a classic fairy tale character, armed with only a needle and two bodyguards. It starts out well for the good guys as Gepetto's puppet Emperor is befuddled by this unfamiliar brand of warfare and frustrates his second-in-command, the Snow Queen. But, then again, the Emperor's got the advantage of overwhelming forces, even with the loss of his many brothers from the Sacred Grove, and he employs that. Willingham goes into good detail about the minutiae of running a war, of presenting both sides' military tactics and strategies. And it's nice to see that, with things on the line, there's no one more efficient or reliable than Snow White in running the home office. While I found this to be a satisfying addition to the series, it is not the end. There are a lot of questions and loose ends needing resolution. And of that, I'm relieved. I don't want the series to end but I'm admittedly curious as to how Willingham will be able to continue this saga now that the war is finally over. Book Details: Title Vol. 11: Fables: War and Pieces Author Bill Willingham Reviewed By Purplycookie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Wow! This volume was the War. It took 10 volumes to get to this point and it was great. A small part of me thought it could have been better planned but overall it was a great read. I can’t wait to read what happens next since the Adversary is no more but who knows...there’s always someone to fight.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    A really good read but written in a way with not a lot of actual action. World: The art is amazing, there is simply not much else to say at this point about Buckingham’s art as it really does set the standard and the look of the world. The world building is amazing, this is the war, this has been building since issue one and this is the culmination of the idea of the Adversary and the Homeland and we finally have the pieces in place for it all come into play here. Story: A wonderfully paced and l A really good read but written in a way with not a lot of actual action. World: The art is amazing, there is simply not much else to say at this point about Buckingham’s art as it really does set the standard and the look of the world. The world building is amazing, this is the war, this has been building since issue one and this is the culmination of the idea of the Adversary and the Homeland and we finally have the pieces in place for it all come into play here. Story: A wonderfully paced and large in scope story that does wish there was more action but the larger picture and view and the quiet moments really make this a character driven war over an action driven war. I really liked the quiet moments, the moments of character and planning and execution that gave readers a bigger glimpse of the things happening in all the lands. There is some small battle situations but this mainly is big picture. There is consequences and characters we love and hate both show their true colours here in the end and it’s a beautiful thing. I cannot get enough of Cindy as she’s amazing once again in her little tale. This was a satisfying end and opens the door for so much more drama in the next new larger arc. Characters: What can I say, there are so many characters and so many character moments that I can’t list them all here but it’s all pretty amazing. From Blue to Red to Bigby to Charming to Beast the list goes on and one and they each have their moments and their actions matter. I love that we did not skip character moments over action (the reverse happened). There are consequences that happen and it makes sense and really does give readers a beautiful look at these characters and what they are at their purest form. I love this series and this arc was a culmination that readers have been waiting since issue one. Onward to the next book!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mel Sunshine

    The pieces that the title refers to must be what happens to your heart after the events of this volume. War has a price and the price in this case is high. I wasn't expecting to wind up liking a particular character as much as I did or how heavy my heart would feel when they were gone. I knew he had some hero in him as we'd seen tiny snippets of it in previous issues so I wasn't surprised as his insistence of doing what he did. I am surprised at this character's demise and it again reinforces wh The pieces that the title refers to must be what happens to your heart after the events of this volume. War has a price and the price in this case is high. I wasn't expecting to wind up liking a particular character as much as I did or how heavy my heart would feel when they were gone. I knew he had some hero in him as we'd seen tiny snippets of it in previous issues so I wasn't surprised as his insistence of doing what he did. I am surprised at this character's demise and it again reinforces what I've said, no one is safe in Fabletown. I do wish we had seen more of the Snow Queen. No, I don't want the bad guys to win, but after all the preparation and leading up to the war in the past issues, it seems just a tad bit too easy. Not that I think it's completely over by a long shot. The next one is called The Dark Ages, I am very concerned over who is going to the bite big one next. I'm not sure my fairy tale loving heart can take it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    The war is here and...it's okay? So first we get the start of preparing for the war with boy blue. Then a super secret mission with our favorite spy. And then we have the war itself. This covers pretty much the start, middle, and end of the entire war. Good: I liked the stuff with boy blue, the human moments with Bigsby, and the spy stuff. The rest? Bad: Was kind of boring. The war didn't have any crazy fight scenes for me. Overall this was a mehish volume. Probably one of the weaker ones so far.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kayla (onthefritz)

    The end of the great war, but not the series. This was good, but went as expected. Looking back at the earlier volumes, there was a lot more mystery and twists where the more recent ones were more straight forward. (view spoiler)[ 1/1 – Blue gets friend-zoned by Rose, Beauty feels left out since she isn’t a secret spy. 1/2 – Cindy goes on an errand for Frau – to pick up Pinocchio who ran off from his dad, Charming steps down from office making King Cole mayor again and Beauty his deputy. Charming The end of the great war, but not the series. This was good, but went as expected. Looking back at the earlier volumes, there was a lot more mystery and twists where the more recent ones were more straight forward. (view spoiler)[ 1/1 – Blue gets friend-zoned by Rose, Beauty feels left out since she isn’t a secret spy. 1/2 – Cindy goes on an errand for Frau – to pick up Pinocchio who ran off from his dad, Charming steps down from office making King Cole mayor again and Beauty his deputy. Charming is in charge of the war. Pinocchio and Cindy get grabbed by Hansel wanting to know when they are striking, the war has already started. 2/2 – Cindy and Pinocchio escape to be stopped by Rodney and June (the puppet turned human couple spying outside of Fabletown) Pinocchio convinces them out of loyalty to their father to turn themselves in and help fight with Fabletown to relieve Geppetto from the evil of being the Emperor. 1/5 – War begins, all is going well. The Emperor sends all but one dragon at once to flying ship and an army finds the backdoor army camp with the bean stalk. 2/5 – Pinocchio is feeding the Fables information, the flying ship rains bullets on all of the dragons, Briar Rose pricks her finger in the Imperial City and puts everyone asleep along with a mass of thorny vines that covered the city 3/5 – With one gate left to bomb, everyone is overly confident. The Adversary’s last dragon hides in the trees and attacks the sky ship as it descends to get water. Dragon burns ship allowing stored ammo to explode, many abandon ship on magic carpets. Charming is severely burned, was able to direct ship remains to land in lake, one last bomb is underwater to use on the last gate. 4/5 – The Emperor sends word for all remaining allies to go to Fort Bravo, where the beanstalk is. An enchanted arrow that will always strike true hits Blue and Bigby, who are out for a while during a mass attack from the enemy. Bigby goes one-on-one with the Emperor, but Blue comes in with his magical sword and beheads the Emperor as before. The bomb goes off at the last gate, the great war was won. 5/5 – Charming died in explosion, Geppetto moves to Fabletown with the amnesty clause living on the 13th floor with the other sorcerers (hide spoiler)]

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    This was the first book I read in 2009, and I don't think I could have made a better choice. In War and Pieces, the war against the Adversary reaches it conclusion, and I found it very satisfying. The story starts out with Cinderella's clandestine mission to get the upper hand on the Empire; watching Cindy in super-spy mode made me wish she had her own spin-off. It would be just like Alias! And seeing Beauty's confused/enraged reaction to Cindy getting her own mission ("SHE-ONLY-SELLS-SHOES!") i This was the first book I read in 2009, and I don't think I could have made a better choice. In War and Pieces, the war against the Adversary reaches it conclusion, and I found it very satisfying. The story starts out with Cinderella's clandestine mission to get the upper hand on the Empire; watching Cindy in super-spy mode made me wish she had her own spin-off. It would be just like Alias! And seeing Beauty's confused/enraged reaction to Cindy getting her own mission ("SHE-ONLY-SELLS-SHOES!") is priceless. The war itself is told through Blue's perspective, and I really felt sympathy for him in this book. He's melancholy because he's been rejected by Rose Red (he has the worst luck with women!) and because being in the war reminds him of the past. He's a key figure, though, because he's able to use the Witching Cloak to keep the front lines supplied and to keep all the bases up-to-date. There's also a scene towards the end that had echoes of Blue-as-Neville in the final Harry Potter book, which made me love him even more. There's so much to enjoy in this book. The conclusion of the "War with the Empire" story arc, of course, but also the return of some characters and plot points we hadn't seen in a while (Briar Rose turns out to be pretty important, and the zephyrs and magic beanstalk also have parts to play in the war). Prince Charming actually turns out okay in the end, which was pretty amazing. Flycatcher is mentioned but never seen, but after giving him his own story arc I guess that's forgivable. I highly recommend this book to everyone - Fables is one of my favorite comic books, and this is a an impressive end to a long-running storyline. I'm glad the creators opted not to finish the Fables series with the end of the war, because I love the world they've created and I'm looking forward to more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What was it with issue 70? The art could have been beautiful but no, the faces and character reactions were way over done. Rosy red cheeks, pancake batter on Red’s nose? I am beginning to think I only like darker graphics. I want some violence and dark imagery. And whatever happened to Bigby and Snow? I mean, the writer must have a low opinion of parents, or at least think once kids pop out, people become boring. They’re married, shipped off to the farm, and drop out of the storyline. They show What was it with issue 70? The art could have been beautiful but no, the faces and character reactions were way over done. Rosy red cheeks, pancake batter on Red’s nose? I am beginning to think I only like darker graphics. I want some violence and dark imagery. And whatever happened to Bigby and Snow? I mean, the writer must have a low opinion of parents, or at least think once kids pop out, people become boring. They’re married, shipped off to the farm, and drop out of the storyline. They show up for quirky little bits so readers can talk about the one or two pages where Bigby scowls and Snow, well, Snow doesn’t even scowl anymore. And then Bigby is suddenly in the picture, nearly killed, and is saved, all for what reason? I felt as though I was being jerked around. Blue Boy is my favorite character, for some annoying reason. And I musn’t forget Frau Toten-whatever. I really liked her, probably the darkest character in the series, but even her story was skimmed over and I want more bloody details! So, I think I need to find some darker graphics. But I did enjoy seeing little bunnies and the like running around, shooting guns. Who would have guessed. One last gripe. The volume builds up Charming, trying to force readers to like him (which failed) and then he was killed. I think a main character needed to die but the writer did not want to sacrifice a truly popular character so he attempted to force Charming into the spotlight. What a bad idea. For now, I'm done with these. What a waste to finish all but the final volume. Maybe I'll come back in a few weeks.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Celise

    Wow. And so ends an 11 volume arc. I'm both excited and nervous for the second half of the series. What can possibly come after?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ritinha

    Loved the «Cindy mode XIII*» segment. *the Franco-Belgian comic by Jean van Ham

  22. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm less than satisfied with the final conclusion of this story arc. I'm usually all for redemption and forgiveness, for giving even the worst antagonists the chance to reform rather than just vengefully and spitefully taking their lives - but that still requires them to be willing to give it an honest shot, and Geppetto here obviously has no intention or desire to do any of that. Hell, he was basically dragged into the whole thing against his will! How messed up is that? Apart from that bit of d I'm less than satisfied with the final conclusion of this story arc. I'm usually all for redemption and forgiveness, for giving even the worst antagonists the chance to reform rather than just vengefully and spitefully taking their lives - but that still requires them to be willing to give it an honest shot, and Geppetto here obviously has no intention or desire to do any of that. Hell, he was basically dragged into the whole thing against his will! How messed up is that? Apart from that bit of disappointment, this story was... all right. I think it ended up as rather too easy and effortless for the heroes' side, despite valiant efforts on the writer's part to try and keep tension up. They could have stretched it out a little bit, afforded some crushing defeats, shown the Fables as the underdogs they are. It also skipped too much of what little we did see. But it wasn't awful, on the whole. From here on, things are going to go even more downhill.

  23. 5 out of 5

    ShamNoop

    Well that was.... underwhelming.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Something that occurred to me while reading Fables is that comic book series (not graphic novels, necessarily) seem to be focused more on creating a structure by which many, many stories could be told. Usually, this is a character who can interact with several different situations (look at Superman, Batman, or even Swamp Thing), but with Fables, that structure is the premise itself, that the characters from fairy tales are all real, living in Manhattan, and waging war against the evil from their Something that occurred to me while reading Fables is that comic book series (not graphic novels, necessarily) seem to be focused more on creating a structure by which many, many stories could be told. Usually, this is a character who can interact with several different situations (look at Superman, Batman, or even Swamp Thing), but with Fables, that structure is the premise itself, that the characters from fairy tales are all real, living in Manhattan, and waging war against the evil from their homelands. It's an idea that's fantastic and cool, and I'm sort of surprised that this is the first time I've seen this premise. The thing is, the problem with coming up with a structure for a comic book series is that the series threatens to run too long with the idea, and ultimately ruin the series. I feel like a good author is one who can tell a good story, but a great author is one who knows when to end it. One of the things I always admired about Sandman was that Neil Gaiman was at the height of his popularity at that time, and he was riding high on that series. He could have drawn out the series even further, extending the mythology to include Daniel as the new Sandman. And based on Neil's future works, I imagine he could have done it very well. But he had the series in mind as a complete, singular work, not as an ongoing series, and he chose to end it there. Had it run on much further, then he probably would have done a disservice to the series. Getting back to Fables, though, it takes more than just a cool premise to make a good story, and that's where Bill Willingham gets his due. He has a knack for coming up with the right characters, the right motivations, and giving them to the right fairy tales to make the stories intriguing, interesting, and believable. The Good Prince is about Fly, the name of the character who represents the frog who turned into a prince. He's an honest character, though not naive, and his entire back story plays out over the course of this collection. And it all makes sense, not just in terms of the story as Willingham tells it, but also in the way that it relates back to the original fairy tale. It's one thing to take the original tales and make them modern; it's another to make a whole new mythology around those tales that reflects on modern times, and also hearkens back to the original tales. In fact, for an incredible look at how all the different fairy tales from these stories inter-relate, go read 1001 Arabian Nights. Like any comic book series, Fables ebbs and flows. There are a number of amazing storylines, but there are also a handful of asides or transitory stories that are less interesting individually, even though they're necessary for the overall story of the series. And that's where I think this particular series does a great job of keeping the story fresh. It sometimes seems like the story has run its course, and that the series may lose some of its punch if it's drawn out further (Let's face it: With War and Pieces, Fabletown has gone to war with the Homelands three times now.), but it manages to stay interesting without feeling forced. Luckily, neither The Good Prince nor War and Pieces are transitory volumes. Each has a lot of action, a lot of story, and a lot of good characters to keep you reading. These two collection cover the series through issue 75, and as the afterword notes at the end of War and Pieces, the story's not over yet. Given the number of times I've thought it was, and then been pleasantly surprised by where the author took it next, I have faith that the series will remain strong, and that the author will know when to end it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    Oh my the war is here. Oh my the war is done. Okay, so the war started a long time ago, and we've been building for a very long time in a very close place, but I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and smash something to bits. Where was the vaunted horror of the Empire and the Adversary? Maybe it is the horror of comparison to our own vaunted American Empire and how brittle it truly is? Whoops, I'll skip the rhetoric and instead contend that there was a lot missing, and I truly di Oh my the war is here. Oh my the war is done. Okay, so the war started a long time ago, and we've been building for a very long time in a very close place, but I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and smash something to bits. Where was the vaunted horror of the Empire and the Adversary? Maybe it is the horror of comparison to our own vaunted American Empire and how brittle it truly is? Whoops, I'll skip the rhetoric and instead contend that there was a lot missing, and I truly did not expect the end to come in one collected graphic novel. Being already thoroughly elated by the blow provided by the formation of Haven in the previous collection, I suppose the true start of war should be enacted there, but the declaration came in this collection. Akin to how modern wars are waged I suppose - whoops! There goes the rhetoric again, apologies. I was however thrilled by the stand-alone Cinderella story; who knew a girl in glass shoes could kick the crap out of so many people? And if the resolution of the arc left me looking for more, it also left me muttering dangerously about the consequences yet to come.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brian Rogers

    While this volume takes you only halfway through Fables comic run, to my mind it's really done here. Last volume was a high religious philosophical ending, while this volume is the gritty reality that has dominated the rest of the series. In the end, the Fabletown war comes to an end both by staying true to the concepts of the fairy tales, and then again by the subversion of them that was the series raison d'etre. And the endings are all good, all consistent, and all sound, with the subversion i While this volume takes you only halfway through Fables comic run, to my mind it's really done here. Last volume was a high religious philosophical ending, while this volume is the gritty reality that has dominated the rest of the series. In the end, the Fabletown war comes to an end both by staying true to the concepts of the fairy tales, and then again by the subversion of them that was the series raison d'etre. And the endings are all good, all consistent, and all sound, with the subversion itself being subverted in the final conflicts. All told the first 11 volumes of Fable are an amazing work: on part with the Alan Moore Swamp Thing or Neil Gaiman Sandman levels of long term execution, with a completely different tone from either of those. If you're a fan of the medium of comics, or of fairy tales (or of the shows Grimm or Once Upon a Time, both of which clearly owe a lot to this series in concept if not specifics) you owe it to yourself to read these.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Harry Lawrence

    This is the moment that Fables has been leading up to from issue 1; the war between Fabletown and The Adversary. I very much like the way this volume is set out. There are 3 issues leading up to the war (#71 & #72 were particularly good in my opinion) and then another 3 to cover the war itself. Whilst I was a little disappointed with the first issue of the war (#73), things quickly got better from there and this volume managed to pull itself back up to the standards I have come to expect from the This is the moment that Fables has been leading up to from issue 1; the war between Fabletown and The Adversary. I very much like the way this volume is set out. There are 3 issues leading up to the war (#71 & #72 were particularly good in my opinion) and then another 3 to cover the war itself. Whilst I was a little disappointed with the first issue of the war (#73), things quickly got better from there and this volume managed to pull itself back up to the standards I have come to expect from the Fables team. Excellent conclusion to the main storyline of Fables thus far, I'm very excited to see what happens next.

  28. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    I never expected the war to end the way it did, but at the same time, it was a satisfying end. There were many twists and turns that I did not expect, and I came away from reading this feeling very satisfied. Part of me cannot help but wish that the series would wrap up soon, though. This (or volume 12) seems like a good place to end, without the story dragging on and on. However, there were plenty of things to learn (as evinced in volumes 12-15) I do like the new story arc after this, but I hope I never expected the war to end the way it did, but at the same time, it was a satisfying end. There were many twists and turns that I did not expect, and I came away from reading this feeling very satisfied. Part of me cannot help but wish that the series would wrap up soon, though. This (or volume 12) seems like a good place to end, without the story dragging on and on. However, there were plenty of things to learn (as evinced in volumes 12-15) I do like the new story arc after this, but I hope that THAT arc is the last one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    "Fables" is slated to end with issue #150 next year, so I was a little surprised that by this volume, mid-way through, we're already being treated to the giant, climactic battle between Fabletown and the Adversary. I'm not a little curious to see what happens next. The early end to this story arc feels rushed a bit, but the actual events themselves, no matter how choppy and distant, are a logical and entertaining way of rounding out a lot of character arcs. Some majors die, too!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric Leeson

    The ultimate confrontation that has been building since the beginning of the series happened! Lots of action! Both sad and funny! It is a joy to see how the mighty have fallen and a tyrant vanquished. But as foretold in the previous volumes, the Emperor always did what he did because of his desire for control and order (the ends justifying the means in his mind), so what chaos will arise from the power vacuum the Fables have created. We shall see.

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