Fables 17: Inherit the Wind

The latest installment in Bill Willingham's astonishingly, consistently great, long-running graphic novel series Fables is volume 17: Inherit the Wind.

The premise of Fables lets its creators use any mythos, any tradition, any narrative, and mix and match as necessary, and Willingham and his illustrators continue to show that these possibilities are indeed endless. While the long arc of the story continues in this book -- movingly along very snappily and satisfyingly -- the real delight is that what that Oz, Dickens, and highbrow narrative theory all climb around on top of each other in a squirming puppy-pile of greatness.

If you've been following the story for all these volumes, then you can rest assured that the Fables are really cracking along -- but you can also be assured that you'll find all the characteristic funny asides, meandering noodly mini-tales that are there for the sheer exuberance of the thing, and sly asides are not set aside for mere plot.

I'm told that this story definitely has an end, but it's hard to imagine. As Fables subsumes literally every other story ever told, and as Willingham shows no sign of boring with his creations, I can easily imagine reading this until Willingham breathes his last (and may that day come a very, very long time in the future). If he keeps writing them, I'll keep buying 'em.

Fables 17: Inherit the Wind

See also: My reviews of the previous volumes


  1. Ahhhh I love irony when I wake up in the morning. “Inherit the Wind”, a classic play about the Scopes monkey trial, is now a book that’s a fable. Fabulous.

  2. Does anyone know if there is a place to buy Fables merch? I would love a Boy Blue t-shirt.

  3. Sounds good! So it’s a return to form after Fables 16: Super Team? I love the series but that one lef t me a little cold.

  4. I refuse to buy any more Fables books until it is finished…. I feel like some authors find a cash cow and continue to milk it, way past the expiration date.  Anyways, wake me up when it is over and then I will read them.

  5. I love those books, been reading from near the beginning. Nearly quit when he had Bigby go off on his weird, out of place and incredibly unsubtle pro-Israel rant, but it seems like that was a one-off and I guess sometimes you just have to separate an author’s work from his beliefs (see also Cerebus ^_^ )

    1. I didn’t actually get much sense that Bigby was pro-Israel as a nation from that scene, just that he was really impressed with their tactics, which is fairly in character.  Bigby used to be… well… Big B.  I think any small [nation/person] surviving against hostile [other nations/personal enemies] by being really aggressive would impress him.

      (I’m not saying the author’s opinions didn’t leak through here, just that it didn’t jolt me towards quitting nearly as much as the over-meta author/writing separation of the back half of Jack.)

  6. I lost interest in this series a while ago.  The first few paperbacks were pretty good, but the series got bland and went into a decline pretty quickly. I feel like the tone of the series changed from “flawed and sometimes murderous and hateful fairy tales barely cling onto a borrowed existence” to “these fairy tale characters are all unstoppable superheroes all the time”. Not to mention the terrible Israel allegory. And the racism against Arabs. And the godawful crossover. And the pointless section where they were actually literal costumed heroes for some reason.

    I’m going too far into it. The real problem is that once upon a time Fables promised to be something different. It’s just a superhero comic book with a coat of paint.

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