This isn’t really a new concept. It’s been done several times actually. The people and creatures of fables, myths, and literature have all fled their lands and now live in New York (it always seems to be New York). They’re trying to keep their existence secret, while attempting to deal with life as exiles. The art is pretty good, I guess. Though nothing special.
The first arc is a murder mystery of sorts, introducing several of the major players in the series (I guess). Bigby Wolf used to be the Big Bad Wolf, but now he lives as a sadsack cop. Snow White is a government official. Bluebeard is a wealthy businessman. Prince Charming is a bed hopping, chronic mooch. Jack is a deadbeat. And it goes on.
The second arc follows a revolution among the non-human looking fables, who are forced to live on The Farm, where they can stay out of the sight of humanity. There are echoes of Animal Farm and the Cuban revolution, among others. And there’s lots of bloody murder. And a couple big twists. We also learn more about what caused the fables to flee their lands and what their hopes for the future might be. And I suspect at least one major villain may come from this story, though I don’t know what is to come.
There are some very clever bits, and plenty of fun dereferences. However, I can’t help but feel it’s all been done before. The 10th Kingdom, a bunch of the urban fantasy that was so big in the 80s, etc. And while the writing is pretty good and the art is pretty good, I was never wowed at all. It’s all a bit obvious. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen this isn’t. I’ve heard it gets better later, but for right now, I think I’m good.
Fables: The Deluxe Edition: Volume 1
Author: Bill Willingham
Artists: Lan Medina, Mark Buckingham, etc.
Publisher: DC Comics