Fables: The Last Castle

    (Vertigo, 2003)
™ and © DC Comics, Inc.

This Fables one-shot provides welcome insight into the backstory of how favorite fairytale characters came to be living surreptitiously in New York City.

Such series regulars as Boy Blue, Bluebeard, and Prince Charming are around for the tale, as well as some new blood. Major characters such as Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood (presumably no relation) are, no doubt, going to be familiar to most readers, while minor characters (such as Bierce’s “Two Kings” and Dr. Swineheart, presumably of “The Three Army Surgeons”) will be in-jokes for the fairytale-literate.

The tale is ostensibly one of war, but it is really one of romance between Blue and Red. (Would their kids have been purple?) Why isn’t Red in the regular ongoing series? There hangs the tale.

The Hamilton-Russell art is appropriate for this story, set in fairytale times and lands. The story itself is as good as anything in the regular series, but expectations may be higher. When paying six bucks for a special, one might expect something beyond the norm. With Fables as good as it always is, that’s a hard expectation to fill.

— Jack Abramowitz

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7 copies available from $1.99
 Bill WillinghamCraig Hamilton, P. Craig Russell