- Series: Cinderella
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Vertigo (August 10, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401227503
- ISBN-13: 978-1401227500
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love Paperback – August 10, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up—In this spin-off of Bill Willingham's "Fables" series (Vertigo), Cinderella is a covert agent: her cover is a shoe store called The Glass Slipper. In her latest assignment, "Cindy" must work with handsome but infuriating Aladdin to find out who is sneaking weapons between Fableland and the outside world. Could it be Cinderella's fairy godmother? Roberson effectively integrates fairy-tale and nursery-rhyme characters into a complex, action-packed spy caper worthy of Alias or James Bond. The superhero-style illustrations are detailed and expressive. Some strong language and adult situations make this most appropriate for older teens.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Painting the backdrop: The all-out war between Fabletown and the Adversary has left the evil Empire crumbling and the Homelands in disarray, in a state of flux. In chaotic times like these, there's always someone looking to profit. Magical artifacts are being smuggled into the Mundy world, and obviously this jeopardizes the secretive Fabletown and its mythical residents.
On Bullfinch Street she's regarded as a vacuous gadabout who infrequently runs her shoe store. But, for centuries now, Cinderella has been Fabletown's top operative, except that the only ones who know are the Fabletown sheriff - to whom she directly reports - and the witches which hook up Cinderella with esoteric devices (think Q the weaponeer, only more mystical). Cinderella's newest mission has her chasing a lead to Dubai where she meets the dashing foreign agent Aladdin.
Artist Shawn McManus's light touch nicely suits a spy thriller that doesn't take itself too seriously. Chris Roberson, who writes the thing, does well in showcasing our central character as being extremely competent in the classic cloak & dagger department. But it isn't until the third act that he really sinks his teeth into the thing that sets our heroine apart from any other secret agent, which is that she is friggin' Cinderella. She is hundreds of years old and, in a touch of meta, powered by her popularity as a fairy tale creature. Another lead has her and Aladdin setting off for the Homelands, and specifically for the enchanted kingdom of Ultima Thule.
The recent war had left Ultima Thule vulnerable, ripe for a bloody revolution. Cinderella and Aladdin, upon arrival, are straight away exposed to the new state of affairs. The cruel successor to the throne had, weirdly, instituted a law against frowning. To enforce this law, smile patrols are deployed; polar bears toting automatic weapons sweep the avenues (because, it turns out, this arms-trafficking thing goes both ways). Cinderella and Aladdin promptly find themselves on the run.
Meanwhile, back home in Fabletown, Cinderella's assistant at the shoe store, Crispin Cordwainer, puts his own business-making ideas into effect. Except that he hasn't really thought his notions thru. What happens is pretty funny.
I really enjoyed this limited series, all six issues of it. Chris Roberson tells a fast-paced story, and with a breezy inflection. FABLES Cinderella is a really fun character and has tremendous potential. It's obvious that she can carry her own solo ongoing series, and the contrast of her flighty persona in Fabletown versus her globe-trotting exploits is one of them winning formulas. FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE resonates more when Cinderella learns the identity of the mastermind who'd been pulling all the strings. Also, I couldn't help but cheer at her resourcefulness just when things looked bleakest. Meanwhile, it's a neat twist that Aladdin, gallant and strapping, ultimately comes across as the story's designated "damsel in distress" (dude in distress?). It's all very Joss Whedonesque.
In this edition, Cinderella -- nominally a shoe store owner but really a superspy for Fabletown -- teams up with Aladdin to discover who's been smuggling magical objects into our mundy world. Fine art but without the greater impact of a Fabletown story. (I can't believe I just wrote that, but I'll stick by it.)
From Fabletown with Love follows Cinderella as she's sent to investigate reports of magical items landing in the hands of the mundy. What she discovers is a smuggling ring trafficking in magical weapons that leads her all the way back to the Homelands. Along the way she runs across the dashing Aladdin, a spy for his own Arabian Homeland. Together they must discover who exactly is behind this & stop them for good!
While I'll admit that this wasn't as strong as the regular Fables comics, this isn't bad for a spinoff. I loved seeing more of Cinderella's past as well as seeing her in full spy action. She doesn't have a huge amount of appearances in the main series so it was nice to see her getting the spotlight for once.
The only drawback is that we don't get as deep a look into Cindy's head as I'd like & I do wish we'd seen a bit of her doing her training. The part with Crispin (her help at the shoestore) is OK enough, but was easily the weakest part of the comic & it could have been removed entirely without it being missed overly much. Overall though, this is a fine addition to the series.