Fables #101, takes a moment to break with the main action and takes us back to the business office; the magic mirror convinces Buffkin to climb the tree in the Business Office to find a way for them to escape and return home. Though he does this by telling Buffkin that he will become a king after completing 13 heroic tasks, and since he is supposed to be unable to lie Frankie wonders if this really will come to pass. This being Fables stranger things have happened so we’ll see, it should be interesting.
Once he reaches the top of the tree he finds himself in Ev the kingdom next to Oz and there he meets up with Bungle the Glass Cat, the Saw Horse and Jack Pumpkinhead who have just escaped a chain gang. We find out that the Nome King is still ruling Oz (and presumably the whole Nonestic Continent). The Nome King remains the last of Geppetto’s main lieutenants at large: Hansel was killed during the Great Fables Crossover, the Snow Queen is still asleep in the Imperial Capitol and Baba Yaga was disposed of by Buffkin. So I’m interested in how this adventure develops and how it will overlap with the main plot.
Vetran Oz artist, Eric Shanower, was the penciler for this issue and he did an amazing job; after years of doing Oz comics and illustrations for Oz novels you can always trust him to capture the Oz characters, but he did a stupendous job on the Fables characters as well. His attention to detail is, as anyone who has read his series Age of Bronze would know, staggering. For example in the scene where Buffkin finds himself in the Lunch Pale tree of Ev, each lunch box is decorated with a different Oz/John R Neil illustration, one has the cover to “The Lost Princess of Oz”, and another has a two page end wrapper from Ozma of Oz of Ozma riding a sawhorse driven chariot as her friends look on.
The colors in this book, done by Lee Loughridge, are also to be commended they go from greys in the opening scenes in the business office to popping vibrant colors in Ev, yes the comparison to the 1939 MGM film’s sepia tone switch are obvious.
All and all it’s a fun little issue that you’ll enjoy if you’re a fan of Fables or of Oz, and if you’re like me and happen to be a fan of both you’ll love it.
Quality Rank 4/5
Out of the Fridge Score 3/5
Bechdel Test: Fail
Wonder Woman #606
Wonder Woman #606 highlights everything about this reboot that’s just not worked, as well as touching on the good elements. The writing again is top notch as one would expect from J Micheal Stracynzki, this will be his last issue on the book, however, as he departs to work on a squeal to his Superman Earth 1 graphic novel, but there’s a few things here that I just can’t be bothered to care about.
The Amazon Philippus is killed by a hunstman deity which causes Diana to go into a murderous rage and kill the beast in cold blood after breaking his back; this apparantly plays into the badguys’ plans to have her join the dark side. Honestly Philippus death causes absolutely no pathos in me for two reasons. Firstly JMS has already overplayed his hand with killing off Amazons, Diana’s mother, first in her mortal body then her spirit against the first opponent and the Amazon who stayed behind to help her at the temple, and secondly I know Philippus will be back when the timeline resumes itself at the end of JMS’s storyarc. Phillipus is one of the two main Amazon supporting characters for Diana (outside of her mother and sister) and while death can be cheap in comics, death in a alternate timeline has no tender what-so-ever.
The other main supporting Amazon, Artemis, is revived by the Morrigan to be one of their three champions to use against Diana, this just confuses me. In the normal Wonder Woman universe Artemis was originally a member of the Bana-Mighdall a splinter group of the Amazons that diverged from them after Heracles’ defeat of the Amazons some 3,000 years ago. They are not immortal, at least not until they rejoined the Amazons during modern continuity so I’m not sure when Artemis could have been killed… Wonder Woman looks much younger then she does in normal continuity but Artemis looks the same, and I’m not sure why she would bare the Amazon’s any grudge for abandoning her, when she should not have been a part of the tribe.
There’s some outright silly moments with Ajax the Greater wandering around as the Morrigan’s gopher with the sword he impaled himself upon still sticking out of his chest.
Honestly I think the novelty of this arc has run out, and I’m looking forward to it’s conclusion.
Quality Rank: 2/5
Out of the Fridge Score 3/5
Bechdel Test: Pass
After several months of hype IDW’s infestation is here, and I have to say it’s off to a promising start. The story uses the characters from IDW’s original franchise Zombies Vs Robots, a group of Vampiric special ops agents called the CVO, and a story about dimensional travel to link together a story that spans four franchises.
The interesting things about the Zombies from planet Z is that they aren’t simple mindless eating machines rather they’re zombies who are linked by a hive intelligence and much like the Borg of Star Trek fame they aim to assimilate new worlds into their ranks to grow in power and intelligence. They can also zombiefy anything that has intelligence including robots which explains how they could be a threat to The Transformers and even other types of undead such as the CVO agent Britt.
The story cleverly sets up a cross-company crossover without the need for the Ghostbusters to be hanging out with Optimus Prime and General Hawk on the bridge of the Enterprise. Britt is temporarily assimilated by the hive mind and part of her consciousness is sent to each of the four worlds and the CVO will have to recover her lost personality fragments across these worlds to sever the zombie’s connection to them.
This gives the story a similar feeling to Kingdom Hearts or Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, in that that each world will stand on it’s own with the CVO cast and the Zombies being the only constant and the personality fragment as the goal on each world. Much like how in Kingdom Hearts the heroes from each Disney world did not leave their respective homelands and the objective on each world was to find the keyhole to prevent the Heartless from taking over, or in the case of Tsubasa finding one of Sakura’s memory feathers.
The story is typical of Dan Abnett’s writing from his Warhammer novels and comics in that it is top notch and unapologeticly epic.
Britt seems like she might be an interesting character if I had read the previous CVO stories but she ends up providing the impetus for the arc by being a damsel in distress.
Quality Rank 4/5
Out of the Fridge Score 2.5/5
Bechdel Test: Fail