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Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons Paperback – April 1, 2005
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Deluxe graphic novels
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About the Author
Mark Buckingham has been working in comics professionally for the past twenty two years, building a reputation for design, storytelling and a chameleon like diversity of art styles. Since 2002 Mark has been the regular artist on Fables, working with its writer and creator Bill Willingham, for which they have earned numerous comic industry awards.
Jimmy Palmiotti is an award-winning character creator with a wide range of production, consulting, editorial, film writing, film development, media presentation, and video game development credits. His clients include Nike, Nickelodeon, Universal Pictures, Disney, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Lionsgate, Vidmark, Starz, Fox Atomic, Alliance Films, New Line, Spike TV, MTV, 2K Games, Midway, Radical Games, Activision, and THQ. He is the cofounder of companies such as Event Comics, Black Bull Media, Marvel Knights (a division of Marvel Comics), and PaperFilms, where he partners with Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Frank Tieri, and Justin Gray. His current projects include All-Star Western, Batwing, and Harley Quinn for DC Comics, Daredevil: Dark Nights and What If? AvX for Marvel Comics, Painkiller Jane for Marvel s Icon Comics, and The Deep Sea for Dark Horse Entertainment.
Top Customer Reviews
First, we learn of Cinderella's more devious nature in "Cinderella Libertine". The less said about this story, the better, simply because its impact lies in its ending. No point spoiling it.
Next, we get a couple of "War Stories", as we follow Bigby Wolf into his past as a spy for the Allies during World War II, on a mission that never officially happened, as Bigby leads a squad of American troops to a castle behind enemy lines.
Finally is "The Mean Seasons" proper, as King Cole discovers he was perhaps not as popular as a mayor as he thought, and his successor, Prince Charming, learns actually governing a city requires a lot more than charm. His new administration, including Beauty and the Beast, also find the elaborate system that Snow White and Bigby have in place to keep the city running smoothly.
Meanwhile, Snow White gives birth to Bigby's litter, moves to the Farm (where the "nonhuman" looking Fables must stay) and meets her father-in-law. Others leave Fabletown for various reasons, including Bigby, who is not allowed on the Farm. And some invisible creature is killing various residents of Fabletown.
While "March of the Wooden Soldiers" was and is my favorite storyline, I have to say that I found "Mean Seasons" to have quite the emotional impact. Writer Bill Willingham, after carefully building the status quo of the series for three years, has swept it away, while paying attention to the logical consequences of those changes. The result is a very touching volume in this excellent series.
DC has wisely fast-tracked this series for trade-paperback format. That's a good thing, since it's an excellent series. I anticipate future volumes.
This collection actually starts off with issue 22, even though the previous collection ended at 27. March of the Wooden Soldiers cut 22 out because, while it is an important issue, it interupted the flow of the story. It is a one-shot focusing on Cinderella, Prince Charming's third wife. While many people think she is merely a loud heiress, it is merely a cover. She is really a spy, and she uses her feminine wiles to get what she needs from the people she is assigned to.
The next two issues follow one of Bigby Wolf's missions during World War II. Like most science fiction involving World War II, the Nazis are once again researching the occult and impossible, and they have a surprise in store for the Allied forces. While these issues are good, they don't compare to the amazing March of the Wooden Soldiers story nor the following story.
The four-part arc The Mean Seasons takes place over the course of a year, with each issue occuring in one of the four seasons. Things kick off with Prince Charming winning the mayoral election and the birth of Snow White and Bigby Wolf's children (yes, there are multiple kids). Charming is the first new mayor since the creation of Fabletown, and his presence so annoys Snow White and Bigby that they step down from their positions as Deputy Mayor and Sheriff, respectively.Read more ›
I've been reading Fables and Brian Michael Bendis' Powers simultaneously, and hadn't really been able to come to much of a conclusion about whether I preferred one or the other. The Mean Seasons, however, sealed the deal for me: Fables is the better-written series. I mean, Willingham takes a book where, basically, nothing happens and still makes it into something that demands to be devoured in one sitting.
The Mean Seasons takes the fables through the year following the end of March of the Wooden Soldiers. Its main purpose is to wrap up loose ends from older books (such as the Fabletown election and Snow's pregnancy) and introduce hooks for later books in the series. The only real story arc here is a two-parter in which Bigby and a friend from his wartime days spin some tales of Bigby's prowess in battle. Everything else is transitional. Content-wise, when it comes right down to it, the book's as vapid as Paris Hilton.
And yet, like the rest of the series' titles, it's gripping. Willingham makes the day-to-day life of Fabletown and the farm as exciting as Blue's retelling of the fall of the last outpost in the Homelands that kicked off March of the Wooden Soldiers. That takes some doing.
The series just keeps getting better. Can't wait for book six. ****
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a nice wrap of all the plot lines from the last novel but that's about it. It's sort of a needless stand alone novel and should have just been attached to the last one. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael H
Another outstanding entry in the Fables series by Bill Willingham. It was a delight to watch Snow with her very, very strange 6 (or is it 7? Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gabe
I always enjoy this type of light reading in-between class reading...really like this series will keep reading them until I am donePublished 12 months ago by S. Chavez
What happened? The art is substandard and even embarrassing in places
as if it were hastily or carelessly done. Read more
I skim. Not all the time but sometimes in Fables I do. The only time I do it is when it’s a side story. If this were manga I’d call it filler and would have skipped it altogether. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tattoogirl Reads