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Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers Paperback – November 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Willingham's happy idea of bringing the Fables--that is, the characters of Europe's best-known fairy tales--to contemporary New York rolls merrily, dangerously along in two stories. The former, "The Last Castle," guest-drawn by P. Craig Russell and Craig Hamilton, flashes back to the Fables' last stand in their home world; echoing the Disney and John Wayne Alamo flicks and Peter Jackson's Two Towers, it winningly introduces the long title story, in which Boy Blue reencounters the love he loses in "The Last Castle"--the grown-up Red Riding Hood. But is this the same Red? Reason for doubt precedes her in goblin sightings near a door between this and the Fables' worlds--and goblins can only be harbingers of impending attack by the Adversary, who drove the Fables into exile. Meanwhile, what's with these toughies in black suits who look like Pinocchio? Willingham never sacrifices a joke for the sake of a thrill, or vice versa, and artist Mark Buckingham continues matching Willingham joke for thrill, and vice versa. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Fables (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401202225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401202224
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Willingham never fought a desperate and losing battle in a good cause, never contributed to society in a meaningful way, and hasn't lived a life of adventure, but he's had a few moments of near adventure. At some point in his life Bill learned how to get paid for telling scurrilous lies to good people, and he's been doing it ever since. He lives in the wild and frosty woods of Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on November 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
With four collected editions under their belts, writer Bill Willingham and artist Mark Buckingham (and others)have raised the stakes for their series, as Fabletown is finally directly attacked by their mysterious Adversary, who rules the homelands in Europe and Asia.

Willingham has taken some pretty simple, almost cliche ideas, and has spun out one of the best comic books on the market right now. It helps that Buckingham's art, while deceptively simple, is so richly detailed and distinctive, standing as a perfect vehicle for Willingham's quirky plots.

This book first reprints "The Last Castle", a one-shot that details the efforts of the last refugees in the Old World, as seen through the eyes of Little Boy Blue. It's a tightly woven story, that offers little hope, and ends with even less, as the Adversary's overwhelming armies begin a siege and slaughter, while the last armies of the Fables fight to the last man to give the refugees time to escape. In the middle of this is Blue's tragic relationship with Red Riding Hood.

Then, the story arc "March of the Wooden Soldiers" begins in earnest, as, under mysterious circumstances, Red Riding Hood arrives in Fabletown. While Mayor King Coal is anxious to give her asylum (in part to fend off Prince Charming's bid for the mayor's office), town Sheriff Bigby (Big Bad) Wolf is immediately suspicious of this new arrival (he met her, after all), and shares his concerns with Snow White, the deputy mayor and real leader of Fabletown. Snow is, incidentally, pregnant with Bigby's child (or cub). Little Boy Blue also shares Bigby's suspicisions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Noever on July 26, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Following on from FABLES: LEGENDS IN EXILE, FABLES: ANIMAL FARM, FABLES: STORYBOOK LOVE, here's the 4th volume compiled from the series. In it, another bit of 'history'; a major event in Snow's and Bigby's lives is coming closer; strange creatures from the Adversary's lands come into Fabletown and almost destroy it.

This one ramps up the pace, with most of the volume focused around the threat to Fabletown and its inhabitants. Be warned, some nice people die here; reminding us that Willigham is not above killing off his characters if it suits him for the sake of drama. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Just sounding a warning.

As always, top-notch entertainment that kept me reading; and re-reading.

Till Noever, owlglass.com, Author: KEAEN, SELDAIENNA, CONTINUITY SLIP
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.D. Reichert on October 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
The March of the Wooden Soldiers collects Fables 19-21, 23-27 and the one shot The Last Castle. 22 will be collected in another volume. Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham continue the engrossing tale of a group of Fables on the run from the Adversary, forced to live in New York City. The Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Pinocchio, and the rest of Fabletown make an appearance in this latest epic, the biggest story to hit the book yet.

It starts with three men; all dressed alike, seeking to gain access to guns. They soon run into Jack, trying to hatch one of his schemes. The three men are soon revealed as agents of the Adversary who are their for two things; to force Fabletown to give up its magic items and ranks, and to return Pinocchio to where they came from. The choice is clear for the fables; fight or die. But with the distraction of an election, a new face to Fabletown, and Bigby out of town, can the fables muster enough of a defense to save themselves? As mentioned, the collection also features the Last Castle, the tale of the final stand of the fables in their homeland. Among the famous fables appearing are Robin Hood and Boy Blue, the latter whom meets and falls in love with Red Riding Hood. But with death all around, can the two's romance survive?

Should you buy this book? If you're a Fables fan you really don't have a choice, since its an important chapter in the lies of these great characters. If you're new to this world, I'd recommend the first three books (Legends in Exile, Animal Farm, Storybook Love). Fables is a treat, an imaginative take on fairy tales as real people, and something not to be missed.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on November 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
This fourth volume of the collected Fables includes the one-shot special The Last Castle as well as the March of the Wooden Soldiers story arc.

In The Last Castle, Boy Blue relates to Snow White what happened on the last day in Fable lands as the final defenders fought the Adversary and the last boat escaped to our world. Among the cast were Robin Hood and his men, King Pellinore, The Red Cross Knight, Red Riding Hood and many others.

In main story arc, contact has been made from the fable lands as someone has come through the Canadian gate. While King Cole and Fabletown want to celebrate the new arrival, Bigby is very suspicious of the new arrival.

But there is more. Prince Charming begins moving ahead in his bid to run for mayor. King Cole is overjoyed at the sudden surplus of money from Bluebeard's holdings.

But there is still more. Agents of the Adversary have also made it to our world and they are preparing to march on Fabletown. They are numerous and nearly unstoppable. Technology and magic will be used to defend the free Fables from this new menace.

Another fine story with plenty of twists and revelations thus showing that this series is very far from going stale anytime soon.
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