Fairest: In All the Land is the latest original graphic novel set in the Fables/Fairest universe. Featuring short stories by Bill Willingham, the graphic novel is told through the perspective of the Magic Mirror! The murder mystery contains two illustrated prose chapters that bookend thirty comic chapters, that all combine to tell the story of the worst week of Cinderella’s life. The art is provided by a murderers row of artists, showing off their unique talent with the help of Willingham’s story telling ability.
I’ve been a long time fan of the Fables world and it’s spin-offs, even going so far as to buy original art from Mark Buckingham who contributes here. One of the highlights has been the spy-like mini-series featuring Cinderella, that have mixed the fantasy setting, mashing it up with Bond like spy dramas. Here, instead of having to wait months for a new mini-series, we’re treated to a full story in one go, one that has actual impact in the continuity.
While Cinderella is usually thrown into spy-action thrillers, instead we’re given a murder mystery, as she attempts to figure out who is killing some of the fairest in the land. It’s fun watching this character who usually solves her problems with kicking, punching and weapons, attempt to fill the role of Bigby Wolf, the usual detective/sheriff. Her stumbling throughout is charming and a nice change from what we usually see with her.
Overall the story is really solid, and it’s great to read a graphic novel with these characters. Hopefully we’ll get one or two more before Willingham wraps up his series (or more after he does!). There’s also some nice commentary on the women we’ve come to expect and accept in classic fairy tales. Read the graphic novel and you’ll understand.
The mix of art is an interesting mix as well. I can’t say it added anything for me, but all of these artists are top notch, so seeing all their styles and takes on the same characters is interesting. It being one narrative throughout is interesting as well, as opposed to an anthology of related by standalone stories. Overall, the art is solid and much beautiful to look at.
The graphic novel is a great addition for long-time fans and the fact it has impact on continuity makes it even better. This is how you do a solid graphic novel tie-in.
As I said, I want to see more of this, here’s hoping we do. If not, at least we’ve got a few great graphic novels of this fabulous comic world.
Story: Bill Willingham Art: Chrissie Zullo, Karl Kerschl, Renae De Liz, Ray Dillon, Fiona Meng, Mark Buckingham, Phil Noto, Meghan Hetrick, Russ Braun, Tony Akins, Gene Ha, Tula Lotay, Marley Zarcone, Ming Doyle, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Nimit Malavia, Dean Ormston, Kurt Huggins, Adam Hughes, Al Davison, Shawn McManus, Inaki Maranda, Kevin Maguire
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review