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Fables Vol. 12: The Dark Ages (Fables (Graphic Novels)) [Kindle Edition]

Bill Willingham , Mike Allred , Mark Buckingham
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Tourists of the world unite! If you've ever craved a guided tour of Fabletown's secret Manhattan location, prepare to be voraciously satiated. Pinnochio has a field day taking a certain VIP around the city. And exactly which Fabletown denizens are no longer active (dead, alive or otherwise) just might shock you into a comic book coma. Also in this volume, you'll find the 4-part story featuring Freddy and Mouse, two local rogues who just want to get along and perhaps turn a bit of profit in the post-war, topsy-turvy world. Meanwhile, in Fabletown, a new political group forms called the Society of Seconds, and what they want doesn't seem very reasonable at all.

Books In This Series (20 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description

    Review

    "An epic, beautifully written story that places Fables, familiar characters from folklore, in the mundane world after a mysterious Adversary conquers their homelands ... the series has proved tremendously popular."

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 71398 KB
    • Print Length: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Vertigo (23 Dec. 2014)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B0064W65CK
    • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #201,644 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    4.7 out of 5 stars
    4.7 out of 5 stars
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Another Thumbs Up! 15 Nov. 2013
    Format:Paperback
    Every fable needs a bad guy and with The Adversary out of the way what are we to do? Find something darker and more deadly of course. Willingham wastes no time in upping the ante and bringing all the joy of the previous volume crashing down. There is a really emotional core to this book as well as a sense of creeping dread. Not to mention a wry dose of social commentary and musing on the nature of dictatorships. This volume has pretty much everything.

    There are quite a few artists working on this book and we see a welcome return of the wonderful Michael Allred and his beautiful style. The book is divided up sensibly amongst the artists with each playing to their strengths and Buckingham tackling the meaty plot.

    Another Thumbs Up!
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Brillient book series 3 July 2015
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Great book series so glad I got into totally recommend it.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 Oct. 2014
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Excellent service. Recommended
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
    Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
    15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars After Victory, New Menaces and Complications---Peacetime is not stacking up to be all that Peaceful 20 Aug. 2009
    By Mir - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    Oh, yes, baby! Fables took us before through a wonderful, wild, delicious ride that introduced characters, locations (the farm, the homelands, Fabletown) and took us through a terrible, fascinating war between evil Gepetto and his magic-fueled armies in the homelands and the force from Fabletown. Now, we're in the aftermath. The Peace after the War. And things are getting ugly, event by incident. Dark Ages refers, no doubt in great part, to the fact that dark powers are being released into the chaos that is the Homelands (now no longer kept in check by the tyranny of Gepetto and his sorcerers and armies), where mercenaries are looting and no one is in charge; and dark power released as well in the Fables' NYC town, where Gepetto is still vicious and bitter over his powerless situation post-amnesty.

    In the first secton, a sort of establishing one, an interlude, "Around the Town", we get interesting (different from what we're used to, too) art by Michael Allred--very two-D, darkly outlined, thick areas of color. A sort of retro art look, but I liked it. Pinocchio is showing his toxic maker around Fabletown, where most don't wish him well at all. He gets an opportunity to spout his menacing philosophy, and there's nothing likable about this still-menacing (if momentarily neutered magically) puppetmaker. I like how Pinocchio is drawn in a very boy-like way, unlike the original/usual Pinocchio who has a huge head and square jaw, as if he were a dwarf rather than a boy. I also liked seeing Bigby and Snow's brood taking in the city. (Bigby looks like a young Marlon Brando in this chapter.)

    After that, we are in familiar visual ground with Buckingham's style as we move into a series of chapters that toggle between Fabletown in the city and parts of the homeland, where things are happening that not everyone is yet aware of--very dangerous things that bode ill for the residents of all fabley places. One is Mr. Dark (and yes, that connects to the title) and the other is Baba Yaga, who you may recall is imprisoned way down there in Fabletown's dungeons. There is a short, but hilarious, section with Bufkin, the flying monkey, and his digestive event. Bad things are also happening to our dear Boy Blue, whose wounds post-Wartime are not healing well at all.

    The darkness in this Dark Age refers not just that of the sorcerous villains that are revived/released, but the darkness within the hearts of characters--from the first pages showing us the wasteland of Gepetto's heart and mind, to the darkness in the looting mercernaries, to the surprising revelation of the darkness in Rose Red.

    A new romance, a visit to Mowgli's jungle, a terrible loss, and some insight into the emotional dysfunction of one of the main female Fables--a very good scene that's sad and insightful.

    As usual, you get so me glorious cover pages reproduced inside (non-glossy) for those of us who prefer the bound volume to the individual issues. It's totally worth taking a pause to enjoy each of the covers, including the bound volume's glossy one that gives a Fables version of a Madonna and dead Christ.

    I've never been let down by the FABLES series, and I look forward to seeing what's up next.
    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire..... 22 Aug. 2009
    By Michael E. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    "The Dark Ages" is the latest graphic novel compilation of the outstanding Fables series written by Bill Willingham supported by various artists. The premise is characters from folklore like Prince Charming, Hansel and Gretel, etc. are real and secretly living in New York. They have been driven from their other dimensionally home worlds due the depredations of the "Adversary".

    At this point if you have not read the series, stop reading this review. In order for someone to fully appreciate and understand what is going, you have to read the series in order.

    What we have seen so far, our heroes have successfully defeated the forces of the Adversary and his empire is destroyed. The true power of this empire, Gepetto, is now an unwanted and very reluctant citizen of Fabletown in Manhattan. But he is under control. Everything should be fine, right? WRONG!

    Gepetto is utterly unrepentant over anything he has done. He hates where he's at. He hates everything around him. But he does have a point however twisted. His empire kept order. Our heroes have serious destabilized the worlds of folklore. In the ensuing chaos, two soldiers-of-fortune unwittingly unleash an evil from confinement worse than the one they defeated. Unfortunately our heroes are first on the agenda....

    They are forced to run as things literally collapse around them. They do not understand this new opponent. They do not even know the true nature of this new enemy. Not even Frau Tottenkinder does not understand what is happening. But they do know they have run.....

    It is a common criticism of "The Good Prince" that everything was cut and dried with victory inevitable. Apparently Mr. Willingham heard your complaints. Now everything is in disarray and out of control.

    Our favorites are all here. Flycatcher, King Cole, Bigby, Snow White, etc. have key roles in the action. My favorite part is when Boy Blue sadly, quietly and dispassionately tells Rose Red exactly what he thinks of her. What I didn't like is the author instantly creating a rivalry between Beast and Bigby. One of the things I liked about these characters was regardless of what they thought of each other when there was crisis, truces were declared. They pulled together and took care of business.

    As for the art, Mark Buckingham is the best Fables artist. I really don't care for the others featured much. But Willingham's writing and the character's so rich I don't notice much.
    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars After the fall. 19 Aug. 2009
    By Sean Curley - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback
    Bill Willingham's "Fables" series spent its first 75 issues being defined by the conflict between the Fabletown community on Earth and the Adversary's Empire, which had conquered their old homelands and driven them into exile centuries before. The despotic Adversary, eventually revealed to be Gepetto, created a seemingly-invincible state spanning hundreds of worlds. And then, in the space of a few issues in the preceding "War and Pieces" trade paperback, the Fabletown forces, allied with Sinbad's Arabian Fables, succeeded in crippling the Empire and ending the war. It was, for my tastes, a too-abrupt conclusion. But Willingham turns things around in this volume, by showing the many unpleasant consequences that you rarely ever see after the Evil Empire has been toppled. Spoilers follow, so be warned.

    Consider "Star Wars", where the death of the Emperor and the destruction of a minor portion of the Imperial Fleet was implied to have led to the complete collapse of a galaxy-spanning imperium, and its replacement with a New Republic (the non-canon novels give a more complex picture, of course, but that's not in the films). The Fables succeeded in decapitating the Empire's leadership, but it soon becomes very clear that the bulk of the forces, and the more junior ranks of the military and administrative leadership, have survived, and are now trying to deal with things individually. Each world now becomes an isolated problem to deal with on its own. In addition, the disbandment of Fabletown's specially-raised armies poses new questions, as many demand the right to conquer their own realms within the old worlds (as was hinted at back in "Sons of the Empire"). And the seemingly-too-easy induction of Gepetto himself into the Fables' community gets dealt with here, which goes quite a way to justifying it (Gepetto gets a particularly chilling line where he compares himself to God).

    By far the biggest consequence, though, is the release from prison of Mr. Dark, a spirit of unknown origin but considerable magical power, who lends the volume its name. Imprisoned by Gepetto's forces, the chaos surrounding the Empire's collapse lets him loose, and he strikes with such unexpected force so as to knock even Frau Totenkinder off balance. While his actual actions are rather limited in this volume, he promises to be a compelling antagonist in future volumes.

    Highly recommended.
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One war is over but another is about to begin. 8 Nov. 2009
    By Andy Goldman - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback
    "The Dark Ages" is an appropriate title for this collection of Fables comics (issues 76-82). It finds our Fabletown heroes, post-truce with the Emperor, dealing with the foul-hearted Gepetto in their midst and the threat of much darker forces on the wind. Mark Buckingham does the majority of the art in this collection and, as always, manages it brilliantly. I especially enjoy his illustration of "Freddy" and the "Mouse," who not only seem to be versions of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but are very reminiscent of Mike Mignola's version of those two characters. This comic continues to remain strong in both writing and artwork, and I am sure Mister Dark will be a villain that will continue to shake up the Fables universe for many issues to come.
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars "The Dark Ages" 30 Oct. 2010
    By Alex C. Telander - Published on Amazon.com
    Format:Paperback
    The Eisner award winning comic book series returns at a poignant moment. The great war between the good and evil fables is finally at an end. All should be right with the world. The fables should be able to return to their Homelands. Everything should return to normal, as it once was, centuries ago.

    Except this isn't the case.

    The fables in our world are slowly recovering from the war, surprised at the few numbers that died, while on the Adversary's side, the number of dead are immeasurable. That is except for Boy Blue, who suffered an injury from a magical arrow. The fables' best doctor thinks he has him all cured, but Boy Blue isn't getting any better; in fact each day he looks much worse, one step closer to death, which would be wrong for one of the greatest heroes of the war. Meanwhile there are those in the Homelands who are searching through the spoils, and they inadvertently awake a dark and terrible creature, a bogeyman that haunts our dreams, hides under our beds at night, and terrifies us from the closet. He is the one whose power the fables have been using for so long to use their magical devices, and he's very angry.

    The Dark Ages starts a fascinating new plot line, reassuring any Fables fans that now the big war is over, Willingham isn't done by any means, but merely with an important chapter in the Fables storyline, with plenty more tales to tell. The use of magic and power for the war was at an immense cost, as The Dark Ages shows. The question now remains who will live and who will die with this new evil loose amongst the fables.

    Originally written on October 18th, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

    Originally published in the Sacramento Book Review.

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