A village occupied by elders and children is constantly attacked by dhole, leaving it in ruin and forced to constantly be rebuilt with fewer supplies than before. And with the additional threat of an approaching monsoon, Nalayani ventures out to seek the help of the new Maharaja. During her journey, she meets a jackal named Tabaqui who offers his assistance. Being that he is a jackal, Nalayani obviously doesn’t trust him at first. But the journey is fraught with peril that will test her strength.
Thus we begin a new chapter in Fairest, as well as introducing a new character to the Fables roster in Nalayani. I believe she comes, in part, from the Draupadi legend, though I’m not entirely sure. Regardless, writer Sean E. Williams scripts an excellent opening issue to the story that allows for readers to really understand Nalayani and become sympathetic to her plight. I really like how she is able to keep her head under any circumstance that is thrown her way. She will show regret some times, but she accepts and lives with her actions and moves forward. Those are characters I like to root for and I think she will be another wonderful Fables lady I will enjoy reading in the months to come.
Stephen Sadowski illustrates the story this time around. Phil Jimenez is also involved, but takes on the role of inker this time around. They create a very interesting dynamic as Sadowski is allowed to infuse his artistic style while Jimenez enhances the drawings, making them look more magnificent. There’s weight and depth to the characters, whether they are moving or standing still. I can clearly sense the mood and emotions that the characters feel in their eyes, a sign that a very good artist is at work. A fine example is a panel where Nalayani slouches her shoulders and looking to the sky in a crestfallen manner as her village tries to recover from a dhole attack.
There are some who are already claiming this to be the best story thus far in Fairest, though I will wait patiently until it is complete to decide whether this is the case. I’m sure many certainly be curious to see how the story will unfold after the reveal of the returning character, even if the true cover kind of spoils it. Still, Sean E. Williams and Stephen Sadowski present a fine story that works well within the Fables mythology. I will certainly recommend readers to check it out.
Are you familiar with the Hindu legend of Draupadi? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.