It’s already Friday, and that means it’s time for another Graphic Content “book club” meeting. We’ll keep trucking through Fables trade paperbacks each Friday until we catch up with monthly issues. How can you participate? Join the discussion by posting a comment below, and we’ll send you a special coupon code or gift certificate!
The first third of Fables Vol. 6: Homelands (or so) follows Jack during his stint as a Hollywood bigwig. In exchange for the key to the Fables treasure room, Jack brings Jill (yeah, that Jill) to Hollywood with him.
He uses the treasure to form a new movie studio and quickly makes a name for himself. His goal: a trilogy of “Jack” films that will bring the fabled character to the forefront of every Mundy’s consciousness! Years pass and the first two movies are wildly successful. Days before the third movie hits, a stranger comes to meet Jack for a closed-door meeting.
Turns out Jill called the new Sheriff of Fabletown, and he’s here to take over the studio and banish Jack once and for all! Too bad Jack gave Jill that bad deal all those years ago . . .
The latter portion of the book follows a mysterious masked crusader who’s on a mission to dethrone the Adversary! We find out that Little Boy Blue is the the man behind the mask. We follow him on his journey through the Homelands as he moves ever-closer to accomplishing his goal.
In a stunning turn of events, The Adversary is revealed to be nothing but a giant puppet, a ruse concocted by Geppetto. That’s right, Pinocchio’s father is the Adversary! Blue is captured, and he gets Geppetto to spin his yarn. We find out that it started out with best of intentions–a group of people replacing a tyrannical Count with one of Geppetto’s creations. The Count was charging too many taxes on his people, and something had to be done.
Like many things of this nature, it began to get too big to handle. Scores of kings and lords were replaced, and there were too many people in on the secret, so Geppetto hatched his plan and the Emperor was born. After a few twists and turns, Blue escapes returns to Fabletown with the <i>real</i> Red Riding Hood, and Geppetto is furious.
Now it’s time to discuss your thoughts:
What did you like best about Fables Vol. 6: Homelands?
EF: It’s hard to pinpoint what I loved about Homelands–it’s my favorite Fables trade thus far. I loved everything! The story about Jack was excellent and well paced, I became even more invested in the character of Little Boy Blue, we got to see the homelands, we found out who The Adversary was, we even got to see Prince Charming grow up and be a good (and smart!) leader! It was dramatically and emotionally satisfying on every level. Just great.
Now that I think of it, this was the first story arc without Bigby or Snow. I like them as characters and I’m interested in their story, but I think getting their angst out of the way let the story blossom in a really awesome way.
JC: I freaking loved this volume. Both parts were wholly entertaining and I really liked the change of pace. The change of location was a really smart idea on the part of Willingham. I also like that this one book spans about five years.
What did you think of the Homelands?
EF: The Homelands were totally different than I expected. I kind of thought the Homelands would have been completely burned down and destroyed–uninhabitable except for the wooden puppets. Instead, it’s like Fabletown crossed with Europe. With The Adversary in charge, it kind of seems like everyone is allowed to conduct business as usual. It’s not like they hadn’t had corrupt rulers before.
JC: I kinda expected the same. A bunch of goblins and ghouls roaming the dark homelands with all the traditional Fables locked up in some hell-like dungeon.
What did you think of Geppetto as The Adversary?
EF: It’s a little mind blowing to think of mild-mannered Geppetto as The Adversary. I think what makes The Adversary so scary is his need for utter control–and that he has absolute dominion over the Homelands. Geppetto isn’t doing this for fame and glory–which would almost be preferable, in a way. Those would be weaknesses others could exploit. Instead, he’s this Nazi-ish, single-minded chess player who truly believes that what he’s doing is for the good of everybody!
JC: I loved it! The creative team has certainly taught us to question our initial ideas of the characters. I think that his intentions were good in the beginning, but it’s gotten bigger, as has his ambition. He pulls the strings behind The Emperor, so you’ve got to agree that he does thirst for power . . .
What would you have done if you were Pinocchio? Were you disappointed that he was torn between Fabletown and Geppetto?
EF: Geppetto is his father. Plus, the whole ball started rolling when Geppetto made Pinocchio as his “son.” I thought it was telling that it was Pinocchio’s rebelliousness, in refusing to stay home with his father, that caused Geppetto to start making other “children” and binding them to his will. On the one hand, I’m sure Pinocchio is just thrilled to see that his father is alive. Also, there’s great power to be had! It’s natural that he couldn’t pick a side right then and there. However, if history is any guide, Pinocchio’s gonna want to wander again, and Geppetto has had centuries of getting his own way. Should be interesting.
JC: If my dad turned out to be The Adversary, I’d totally stay. I mean, family is family . . . although he has been with Fabletown for a few centuries, so they’re almost closer at this point . . . this is a pickle! He could use his father’s love for him and try to change things from the inside, couldn’t he?
Were you surprised to find out that the “original” Red Riding Hood from Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers was also a fake and didn’t know who Little Boy Blue was?
EF: I already had my suspicions, since the “original” Red Riding Hood also mysteriously escaped from The Adversary and latched onto Little Boy Blue with surprising haste. I did feel for Blue, since he started this journey (with Prince Charming’s unofficial blessing it turns out) in part due to love for Red and loyalty to Pinocchio, and he got screwed on both points. But he did fulfill his obligations and aid Fabletown, and hopefully the truth will set him free.
JC: I was totally surprised that the other Riding was a fake. I thought she was the real deal, and after she got caught again, she’d grow bitter after having lost Blue. Silly me. I should know better than to think Willingham hadn’t cooked up something more elaborate.
So what did you think? Take a moment and comment below for a gift certificate! And make sure to meet back here next Friday for Fables TPB Vol. 7: Arabian Nights and Days.
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