War is Over, Now
The story that has preoccupied the pages of Fables for at least the last two years, was the buildup and invasion of the homelands by the Fables, who were sick and tired of The Adversary threatening their way of existence in the Mundy world.Â After last monthâ€™s stunning conclusion to the war, weâ€™re left wondering, â€œWhatâ€™s next?â€
Issue #76, Around the Town is more of an epilogue to the war tales, rather than the start of an all new story arc.Â Issue #75, had Geppetto signing the Fabletown General Amnesty, that for all practical purposes forgives the despot of all his wrong doings.Â But Geppettoâ€™s first day out among the rest of his fellow Fables is anything but a good day.
Imagine the reaction Hitler would get if he were welcomed to America following WWII and no one could do any harm because he signed an amnesty document.Â There would be protest in the streets, people would do everything to denounce the dictator, and the havoc created might just bring down the whole house of cards.Â Thatâ€™s exactly the reaction Geppetto receives.Â Fortunately, heâ€™s got the protection of the townâ€™s strongest as he goes about his day.
Behind the scenes we get a better look at exactly why Fabletownâ€™s arch-nemesis was granted his freedom – without the guarantee that Geppetto would come to no harm, Pinocchio would never have revealed the location to the secret gateways, needed to sever all contact between the Homelands and the Mundy world.Â And while Pappa G is cleared from all past wrong-doings, the Fabletown council know it is only a matter of time before he slips up and commits a new crime, thus allowing them to kill their greatest foe.
While the summary doesnâ€™t sound like much of a story, I found it quite entertaining, as Geppetto tries to cope with a land he doesnâ€™t understand, and it appears he is senile enough to not understand what has happened to him in the closing days of the war.
The biggest departure for this issue is in the art.Â For the longest time Mark Buckingham has been the artist behind the pages, but this issue finds Michael Allred taking over those duties.Â While the art style is noticeably different, and you half expect to see Madman walking around in the background, it works for this issue.Â The art is strange and new to the reader, much like the Mundy world is to Geppetto as he and Pinnochio begin their new adventures together.Â While I like Allredâ€™s art in this issue, it is so shockingly different from what weâ€™ve seen Buckingham do, that ultimately it is a bit of a turn off – especially the wide eyed stare of Pinocchio, which makes him look like a possessed child from the Village of the Damned.
While Bill Willingham has given us a glimpse of what the Fables are planning for their former foe, there is really no clear indication as to what direction the story will take next.Â There is an almost Calvin and Hobbes like ending to the issue, where Pinocchio tells his father they should go out and explore their new world together.Â Iâ€™m going to give Fables #76 4.5 out of 5 Stars, mainly because this issue ends the war story, and could serve as the closing chapter to the whole series if it were canceled today.