Over the River and Through the Woods
This month's follow-up conclusion to Paul Jenkins & Humberto Ramos' two-part Fairy Quest: Outlaws does precisely what I'd hoped it wouldn't: rubs its greatness in your face and makes the prospect of not seeing Red and Woof's tale continue all the more unhappy. The "to be continued" at the end teases a follow-up volume in Fairy Quest: Travelers, which I'll be sure to look into sooner rather than later.
The dominating feeling of FQ is fun. Despite the very sinister pursuing force of Mister Grimm and his mind-wiping crusade of order over "deviance," this volume maintains a generally light mood. We see more familiar faces: Peter Pan & Tinkerbell (Pan & Tink), the Lost Boys, and an homage or two to other well-known tales, all delightfully manipulated to fit the creators' vision of all not being what it seems in Fablewood.
As always, Ramos' cartoony take fits Jenkins' writing like a glove and lends a vibrant livelihood to a world which could easily have been portrayed in a far gloomier light. Once more a panel or two of questionable sexualization remains the only real brow-raiser in an otherwise unmarred horizon. Ramos' takes on Tink and Hook are particularly fresh, but the dark and stormy night stands out as the artistic highlight.
Meanwhile, Jenkins delivers a believable protagonist in Red and gives us glimpses of the shadowy past which birthed her massive growling companion (don't call him a dog though!). Cameos are well thought-out and tickle us with the thought of how many places this story might go should it be given the opportunity. The confrontation between Red and Pan is smile-provoking, though it is Jenkins' unique twist on new characters at the end of the issue which readers are most likely to appreciate.
If you're a fan of fairy tales or even passingly respect the creators behind these two issues, I can't recommend giving Fairy Quest: Outlaws a chance. You'll get a charming little story, and help increase the odds of seeing these stories grow beyond their humble crowdsourced roots. Doesn't get much better than that ^_^