Rapunzel and Joel Crow face off with Mayumi at the well where Rapunzel’s dark past continues to literally unravel. In the meantime, Bigby Wolf and Frau Totenkinder stumble upon the civil war between the Japanese Fables and find themselves aligning with Katagiri, who is willing to make a desperate trade for their help in getting rid of Tomoko. Jack Horner remains a prisoner of Tomoko, who is making final preparations for her assault against all of her rivals.
After an issue that was dedicated almost exclusively to fleshing out the back-story of how things turned out the way they do, writer Lauren Beukes returns to the present to set the pieces for the big finale. It is a very twisted venture she has brought the story along, yet it still manages to fit rather nicely with the overall Fables universe. She also seems to have a grasp on developing a complex story akin to the way such are told in Japan, be it through manga or mythology. While everything is coming together, the important details remain shrouded in mystery and are being saved for the end. Much like what Rapunzel plans to do with her “babies” once everything is said and done.
The illustrations by Inaki Miranda continue to be quite pleasing to the eyes. There are times when I feel that the characters look stiff, but then there are other times when they move with a great deal of fluidity. He is also able to convey a great deal of emotion through facial expressions, even those that appear rather subtle. Like the way he draws Totenkinder when she sets up a deal with Katagiri. There’s definitely something going on behind those eyes, only she will never let any one know what it is. But the true beauty of the artwork comes from the coloring by Eva de la Cruz. She understands very well when to brighten a scene or cover it in darkness.
This story arc for Fairest is not necessarily for everyone. Lauren Beukes is writing a story that will cause some to wonder if they fully understand what it is they are reading. Inaki Miranda is drawing some fascinating pages that work well in visualizing what is being told. This kind of book I would probably recommend only to the Fables faithful like myself and those interested in Japanese mythology. While it is a good issue, new readers would be totally lost if they jump in without familiarizing themselves with the previous issues in the book.
What do you think of a story that combines Rapunzel with the Okiku myth? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.