The digital first series, Fables: The Wolf Among Us continues to weave a tale set in the not-so-long-ago, and give us a who-dun-it at the same time.
Previously in Fables: The Wolf Among Us: “Seeking refuge from the war that ravaged their magical homelands, a group of survivors escaped to the mundane world. Though the deeds of their past lives are known to us through fairy tale, nursery rhyme and myth, they live in secret among us, calling themselves Fables.”
THE NUT DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE
Anyone who has followed Fables for any amount of time should know the name Matthew Sturges. Bill Willingham and Sturges go way back to a time before even my fascination with their Clockwork Storybook project. Because of the long relationship, and because Struges has worked on other Fables projects, he and Dave Justus make a perfect pair to write this multi-part tale in digital format form. They understand the characters and the setting and really capture what Willingham created before.
The Wolf Among Us is also an adaptation of the TellTale videogame series, so if you’ve played the game (which I haven’t), the who-dun-it part of the story will probably be ruined for you. That being said, there are enough differences in this story from the game, that you’ll probably want to check out.
Justus and Sturges continue to weave a Noir detective story with moments that feel like they belong in a Raymond Chandler tale. This issue is no exception. After discovering the history of the dead girl on the doorstep, Snow White and Bigby Wolf race to find her husband, Prince Lawrence. But as things go in the detective tale, the first suspect is not the person they are looking for. What is interesting about this particular chapter is we learn about the Princes in Exile. I haven’t had a chance to read Fables in a while, so I don’t know if these characters have come up before, but I think it is really interesting to learn about them, and more importantly, to know that they are canon, just like this story. Though the Fables series is set to end soon, I think I would like to see more stories set during this time period, and hope that at some point in the future, Sturges, Justus, and Bill Willingham give it some consideration.
Like the Vertigo series, The Wolf Among Us is not a fairy for kids. Dead people on panel, a lot of swear words, and drunk monkeys flying through the air make this a nice dark tale for the age appropriate set.
THE DARK ART
Travis Moore takes up the art duties in this installment, and though the tale is dark, the art isn’t a high contrasty mishmash of shadow and light. I really like Moore’s character work that gives individuals a distinct look with a very light touch. Bigby is still very menacing but with a style that softens him a bit. Moore’s take on Bufkin and the Magic Mirror are also wonderful, especially as he is able to convey facial depth on a character that is two dimensional on a two dimensional medium. Adding to that is the artist’s ability to bring out great detail in the surroundings, so that the Business Office looks like a cluttered room, Prince Lawrence’s apartment looks like a dump, and so on.
BOTTOM LINE: DAMN FINE NOIR
Though this is an adaptation of a video game I should have played a long time ago, I’m loving this detective story by Sturges and Justus. The writing has just the right amount of edge to it, and the mystery has me wanting to grab the next installment when it arrives this week. On top of that, the art is so much better than what many might expect from a digital first series, making it a good reason to grab this electronic issue. I know many of you have only just received the first print issue, but this series is one that definitely reads better in a weekly installment, and I think many of you will enjoy the heck out of it.