The eccentric Rose Red becomes the King Arthur of the Fables community.
Rose Red has been a favorite character of mine since the first time I read Fables oh so many years ago. Creator Bill Willingham has run the red-headed sister of Snow White through the ringer over the past few years, especially following the tragic death of her beloved lover. The following Dark Ages and Rose Red arcs recreated the character for a new Fables status quo, and the development continues in Willingham’s new arc, Camelot. Fables #131 returns the magical series to the fun tone that readers haven’t seen in awhile, despite the current gravity of the situation. The ending of last arc, Snow White, was shattering to say the least, but if the Fables can look towards any savior in their midst, it’s clear that Rose Red is it.
It’s been difficult to see the connection between the Cubs in Toyland and Snow White arcs, as each story seemed more disconnected than anything, yet with the start of Camelot, it’s becoming clear that my faith in Willingham to interweave his threads has been well placed. The Fables are still picking up the pieces of their lost leader, Bigby, and the (re)arrival of the young (now old) cub Therese is certainly raising more than a few questions, but Rose Red seems to be the only character able to make sense of both situations. Rose is finally accepting and embracing her role as Hope’s paladin, and as she begins to build a new Round Table and assemble her choice of knights, readers should be prepared to have a difficult time containing their excitement. Fables #131 not only tells a great story in itself, but takes previous plot threads and uses them to build more excitement than the series has had in recent memory.
Much like how Willingham has spent that last 100 or so issues telling an engrossing story, Mark Buckingham has similarly created an unforgettable and undeniably unique art style for Fables, and Camelot sees the artist and his team continuing their fantastic work. The combination of Buckingham’s pencils, as well as Steve Leialoha’s inks, and Lee Loughridge’s colors, results in an issue of Fables that looks as good, if not better, than its story.
Several disconnected plot threads are finally starting to weave together by the hand of Bill Willingham in issue #131 of Fables. The series is running at full steam with fresh excitement, a feeling that has been difficult to recreate for many readers since the climactic end of the war against the Empire. With Rose Red taking up the reigns of the Fable community’s protector, it sure is an exciting time for Fables fans.
Bill Willingham (A), Mark Buckingham (A) • DC/Vertigo Comics, $2.99, July 17, 2013.