I rarely stop to think about how the words and pictures of a comic book fit together to tell the story. But sometimes, one or the other, or the combination of the two, is so flawed, it totally destroys the effect of the storytelling--like a boom mike that intrudes into the frame of a movie scene. I'm sorry to say that "Fairest: The Return of the Maharaja" is a case in point. A few examples of its storytelling flaws are listed after the
1. The shape-changing wolves say that they took revenge because one of the six of them was killed in a fight at a campsite. But when we saw that fight earlier, it appeared that three of them were killed. One got an arrow between the ears, a second was felled by an arrow shown protruding from its front ribcage, and a third had a gun fired at it, with the next panel seemingly showing its body recoiling from the impact. Maybe the second and third wounds weren't fatal, but it's poor storytelling to even suggest that they were, unless you're going to make a story point later that two of the three made miraculous or stalwart recoveries.
2. The campsite was one day's caravan ride from the palace, which was a walk of at least a few weeks from Nalayani's village. The action had not moved far from the campsite at the point when the wolves told Prince Charming that they had taken their revenge on Nalayani's village. Yet when the scene shifts to the village on the next page, the weeks (okay, maybe days on fast horses) that it would have taken to get there are ignored: in all that time, Nalayani evidently wasn't told what they would see when they arrived---and oh yeah, the village is still smoldering!
3. In the middle of a fight with Charming, the usurped maharaja narrates two pages of flashback scenes.
There's more, but you get the idea. The storytelling is so clunky, so unprofessional, that I went from reading to thinking about what I was reading, and not in a good way. ("Yeah, come to think of it, what was the point of the story about the helpful jackal in the first chapter? Was that just to fill up pages?" Et cetera.)
I haven't read anything else by Sean E. Williams and don't know how he landed this "Fairest" gig, but he does not seem to have been up to the task. If you HAVE to have every "Fables"-related book (which I can understand, actually), I suggest buying it and just putting it on your shelf next to the others, or maybe flipping through the pages to look at the pictures. Don't waste your time reading it.