REVIEW: Cinderella – Fables Are Forever #6 (of 6)

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Or – “Have You Heard About The Fable From KAAAANSSSAAAAAASSSS?”

Cinderella’s latest nemesis has the upper hand, and has left Bigby Wolf’s chief operative out in the cold and seconds from death.  Does Cindy have what it takes to fight her old foe AND a pair of powerful mystical artifacts?

CINDERELLA: FABLES ARE FOREVER #6
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Shawn McManus
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Todd Klein
Editor: Shelly Bond
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, on Cinderella – Fables Are Forever:  Centuries ago, the community of Fables (consisting of characters whose adventures have become known the multiple retelling of fairy tales and stories) was run from their homeland by the machinations of the Adversary, an evil sorceror.  Settling in New York City, the Fables have created their own society, with customs and leaders and it’s own police force.  But when conventional means fail, even the Big Bad Wolf has his ace in the hole:  Cinderella.  In all her years of espionage, Cindy has found quite a few fights, but seldom have they been so personal as her grudge with Dorothy Gale of Kansas, Oz and points west.  Having finally recovered her not-at-all-ruby slippers, Dorothy has finally got Cinderella right where she wants her, and it ain’t just Humpty Dumpty who might need putting together again.

That’s How We Laugh The Day Away…

While previous issues of this series set up the antagonism between Cindy and Dot, as well as conceptualizing an entire Cold War Fabletown setting, this issue is all about the character interplay.  In fact, there are only two characters in the whole book (les’n you count Toto) and it’s Dorothy’s big Xanatos gambit.  Having regained her magical shoes (the ones from the book, mind you, not the big red ones that only appeared in the 1939 film adaptation), Ms. Gale has unlocked a whole new array of powers, including shape-shifting.  This last power gives one pause, given a particularly bizarre turn of events that might remind one of another use of one of these public domain characters.  Suffice to say that Cinderella might need some brain bleach…

…Before We KILL YOU.

The maneuvering between our hero and the villain is very well played here, and the majority of the issue is spent in Cinderella’s head as she has to think her way out of a perilous situation.  It’s fun to see the James Bond tropes played out with a character who is only two steps from being ‘Barbie’ (or perhaps vice versa?) and Cindy’s plan is particularly brilliant, especially the final step.  There’s some fighty-fighty, some revenge, and even some very droll dialogue (Cinderella steals a zeppelin, reminding herself “not to crash, this time”) adding up to a lovely return for Fabletown’s black ops agent.  Part of me worries that this conceit will fall apart if Cinderella got her own book, while the rest of my brain demands just that, especially if it means more reimaginings of characters in the Fables mold.

The Verdict: Framalamadingdong

I love the art in this series, with Shawn McManus delivering a recognizable version of both Dorothy and Cindy, while making sure that their faces are ridiculously expressive.  Every single thought she has is written large across Dorothy’s face, while Cinderella keeps her secrets, and the effect is the same as watching two excellent actresses duel it out on screen.  Even a seeming conflict with the established Fables continuity is deftly dealt with, adding another layer of intrigue to these events.  It’s really hard not to love the Fabletown regulars, and it’s a shame that I don’t get to check in with them as often as I’d like…  Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #6 hits the spot in a very personal way, avoiding talkiness with sheer energy and momentum, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s good stuff.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  What characters do you wish would turn up in the Fabletown stories?  I’d love to see Sherlock Holmes and Number Six trying to outwit one another at chess…