Writer: Bill Willingham
Artists: Mark Buckingham (p), Steve Leialoha (i)
As Bigby Wolf & Snow White emerge from the spell, they find themselves in the woods, and sensing a trap Wolf takes control of the situation, where his efforts barely manage to keep them one step ahead of the vengeful Goldilocks who is stalking them through the wood with a rifle. Meanwhile, back in the Fable community, we learn who is secretly plotting against Bluebeard.
A pretty exciting second chapter to the plot that has Snow White & Bigby Wolf being hunted in the woods by a vengeful Goldilocks, where the roles that Snow & Wolf normally play are neatly reversed, with Snow wisely deciding to let the more experienced Wolf run the show, while she plays the good little foot soldier. Now the book could've done a little better job of playing up the danger that Goldilock's presents, as she's largely unseen until the final pages. One also has to wonder why she's so confident that she has killed them, given she once took a rifle & put a bullet into Snow's head, which should leave her a bit wary about declaring the murders a success when she had yet to see the bodies. Still I really enjoyed the interaction between Bigby & Snow as they try to piece together the situation once the curse lifts, and since they still aren't out of the woods when this issue ends, I fully imagine the situation could become far more intense than it already is. The material back in the Fable community is also quite strong, as there's a rather unexpected surprise when we learn who sent the mounted police to investigate Bluebeard, and the miniature soldier's efforts to deliver the message of Bluebeard's alliance with Goldilocks is a rather harrowing adventure.
As for the art, Mark Buckingham remains one of my favorite artists, as he has a wonderfully clean style, that manages to put a wealth of detail on the page. He's also a very sound artist when it comes to simply telling the story, as his characters are highly expressive, and while the action doesn't jump off the page, it is remarkably easy to follow. The big impact moments also hold up quite nicely (e.g. the scene where the rats move in on Sergeant Wilfred).
The issue could've been a little more intense, as while the idea that Goldilocks is lurking in the woods makes for a nice underlying tension, the simple fact of the matter is that the book allows our heroes far too much time to get their ducks in a row, and the final page even introduces a lull in the action so Bigby can tell why he's suddenly developed feelings for Snow. Now I'll admit I'm quite interested in this idea, and I'm looking forward to next issue, but I also found myself a bit disappointed that Goldilocks wasn't a more immediate concern. On the other hand the situation back in the Fable community is heating up very nicely as we get a pretty solid reveal moment when we learn which Fable has decided to take a closer look at Bluebeard, and I fully imagine the little exchange these two had in the first chapter is going to make a return, except it won't be merely a friendly sparring session, and one of them won't walk away from this encounter.
What did you think of this book?
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