Rose Red: the Fables fight fear itself

I gobbled up the fifteenth Fables collection this weekend: Rose Red raises the stakes yet again on the Fables -- the mythical creatures long exiled to the human realm. Having fought their battle against the Empire, the Fables now face the dark powers that were suppressed by the Emperor and his sorcerers, and the darkest power is Mr Dark, the embodiment of fear. Mr Dark (whose story is detailed in volume 14, Witches) is one of the great immortal powers of the universes, and Bill Willingham and company do a hell of a job in embodying fear in a genuinely scary villain. Mr Dark's presence coincides with a series of vicious, bitter struggles among the fables, a fight for leadership of the Farm (where nonhuman fables are sent to live), another for the leadership of the witches' coven (Frau Totenkinder having gone off to do battle with the dark one) -- and the leadership of all fables. Add to that the ecstatic cult around the martyred Boy Blue, and some awful, grimmer-than-Grimm backstory for Rose Red herself, and you've got another knock-out volume in this epic, eminently pleasurable and exciting series.

Fables Vol. 15: Rose Red