Review: Fables #119 Part 6 of Cubs in Toyland: Wooden Toys from @BillWillingham and @Vertigo_Comics
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Mark Buckingham
Short Version: Fables #119, Part 6 of Cubs in Toyland, brings about a major change for one character and the death of another as we see if Therese and Dare can be rescued from the rather-sinister Toyland. Still, this issue brings a humanizing note to the toys, reminding us that things in Fables are rarely as easy as they appear at first.
A clockwork tiger is on trial for a crime that he did commit, but believed to be necessary at the beginning of Fables #119, as the efforts to rescue Therese from the twisted Toyland, where she has been made queen after Dare has been thrown to his apparent demise so that her imagination can sustain the members of Toyland. Still, during Mountbatten’s trial we see the toll that the position has taken on Therese, but we also get a glimpse into the souls, such as they are, of the toys who are challenged to do the horrific or face their own end. The winds continue their search for the Cubs and (Spoilers, I suppose) we get a really interesting turn for Dare that we’ll have to wait an issue or so to see the payoff of, but I’m really quite looking forward to it.
Fables #119 is yet another very good issue of Fables. It is in part grizzly and tense, with very little levity in this issue. We’re reaching the end of Cubs in Toyland and this issue is very much lining all of the dominoes up in a nice line to start knocking them down. I suspect we will see a fair amount more of the Winds in the next issue (barely making an appearance) as well as seeing the continuing toll the current situation has on Therese and the toys, who are now faced with a difficult challenge of their own that may result in dissension from inside their own ranks (or not, we’ll see). Still, although it is very much a setup issue, preparing us for the end, it is not without one large, dark moment.
So, chalk up another one for Willingham (and the Toyland art really gives Buckingham some great chances to shine as well). It’s a balanced issue, moving all of the pieces into their place as we move towards the resolution of this arc, but still providing at least one big, dramatic scene. I can’t wait to see what happens next.