Wow, what's not to like about this issue? Or this series for that matter? Bill Willingham proves once again that he can do no wrong when it comes to his FABLES characters. First off, the cover by Adam Hughes is absolutely magnificent. Hughes captures a moment in the issue that we see very briefly -- one where Ali Baba is surrounded by throngs of beautiful women; and he makes this scene the focus of his cover with Ali Baba at the center of the harem. The warmth of the colors make the scene look inviting and compelling -- who wouldn't want to pick it up for that reason alone? If you can believe it, it gets better.
The issue picks up from where we were last left off with Ali Baba standing at the edge of the Snow Queen's palace. It's this scene where the reader begins to realize that this Genie isn't on anyone's side, really, but his own. Or at least it appears that way. Willingham does a superb job portraying the Genie as a selfish brat in the last issue, but you begin to recognize his real motivations here. His dialogue is witty, intelligent and interesting and Willingham conveys him in a way that doesn't dumb the other characters down. It's great.
The issue will also leave the reader wondering if Ali Baba will eventually get the girl; and if so, which one? Willingham mixes just enough of Grim's Fairy Tales in with his original story -- and the Grimm's story of Briar Rose is what connects all the characters together. It's a great way to use familiar characters and present them in a new way, and he executes it brilliantly in this issue.
Nothing bad here! Gorgeous issue and awesome story.
Everything from the way that Willingham combines Grimm Fairy Tales with his own unique story, to Jimenez's stunning interiors, to Adam Hughes' breathtaking cover -- all these things make this a brilliant issue. The way that Willingham is able to take these classic characters and utilize them to create a new, interesting and edge of your seat story is amazing. This is definitely not a good jumping on point for new readers; I would recommend starting with the first issue of FAIREST to get the most out of the series and this issue.