After the done in one issue last month, Everafter: From the Pages of Fables is back with a prelude issue. It appears a new agent will be revealed soon, but before that some backstory here! Is it good?
Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #7 (Vertigo)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
FABLES legends return! Guest artist Mark Buckingham joins the creative team for a closer look at the revelations of FABLES #150. Feathertop meets with Maddy to collect his newest and most volatile recruit from the Totenkinder Memorial School of Magic: a powerful Mundy turned Fable. But as Maddy reveals more of the young warlock’s checkered history, a shadow is cast on his future as a Shadow Player.
Why does this book matter?
The summary says it all and suits the espionage and wetworks type series this has been. A new agent with a checkered past? Can’t be good for the future, making this a must read if you’re going to continue reading this series.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Sleek looking cat.
Fans of Fables will need this in their collection as series artist Mark Buckingham is the guest illustrator here. Buckingham gives the book the complex storytelling chops to make this backstory feel tethered to reality. Behind each layout are floating rocks and a giant beanstalk as if to make the entire story dreamlike. It’s a neat effect that reminds us much of this story is a flashback. He also draws magical things so damn well, from a walking house with chicken legs to a talking cat. Near the end of the book there’s an epic double page spread with rocks and stones floating about reminiscent of the finale in Neverending Story. Simply put, the art is magical and suits the story.
The story itself is good though it doesn’t make it clear why we should care until the very end of the book. I haven’t read Fables, so I was at a loss for who the cat character was, but it appears recruits come from a magical school and the cat is a teacher. Basically writers Lillah Sturges and Dave Justus touch upon a magical school idea thrusting them into a situation that may have been prudent and wrong. The cat teacher did their best, but it didn’t go exactly to plan thus creating a more complex character and soon to be an agent with The Shadow Players.
Who is this dude?
It can’t be perfect can it?
As a prologue, the events in this issue feel like we’re biding our time for the main narrative to kick back into gear. That said, it’s nice to see character work done in this way. It’s showing and not telling. I did feel lost in its approach though, not feeling invested in the characters are knowing why we should care. It all comes together by the end, but it makes the overall experience somewhat lackadaisical.
Is It Good?
The magical world of Fables continues to be alive and well with a compelling prologue that sets up a key future character. That said, much of this issue coasts along with character you may not know making it hard to care.