The Maharaja and Nalayani find themselves in quite the predicament. They are trapped behind a seemingly inescapable sand trap. Nalayani herself is stuck waist deep in quicksand. And there’s a giant crocodile hungry for a meal it has not had in quite some time. So what is the best way to keep calm under such a dire situation? How about the Maharaja reveal how he came to be. Meanwhile, there appears to be a greater danger for the camp survivors than any approaching dhole.
This issue tells as much as it can of how Prince Charming came to not be killed in the grand battle against the Empire and is instead the Maharaja in a far away land. One would figure Bill Willingham would be the one to script the tale, but I think Sean E. Williams does a fine enough job handling the task. I’m not quite sure of the pacing is just right or perhaps a little slow, but it works well enough to tell the necessary story and keep readers interested over what is being told. Besides, Charming is withholding much information as Nalayani is not interested in them so what’s the point of him revealing more than he needs to? I’m iffy on whether the disease subplot being introduced is necessary, but then it seems to be rather attached to Charming and therefore adds another mystery to his still being alive.
As the story progresses, the more I’m convinced that Stephen Sadowski is perhaps the right artist to illustrate the book. True there are some panels here and there where the characters look stiff, but it does little to take away from the visual appeal. When the characters do have fluidity to their movements, it’s quite striking. Some of the big reveals are done in a way to create the most impact. Phil Jimenez, Andrew Pepoy, and Dan Green do a fine job enhancing the drawings with their inks and Andrew Dalhouse does wonderfully in coloring the book to echo the Indian look and feel that inspires the story.
While Fairest may not be as great of a comic book as Fables, it is nonetheless an excellent book in its own right as it provides a unique approach to the world. Sean E. Williams writes an intriguing tale and handles the task of revealing what has happened to Prince Charming over the years very well. Stephen Sadowski is perhaps the right artist to illustrate the book, creating cool scenes and honoring the look of the genre that inspires the tale. Fairest is certainly one to be recommended to read.
What is an Indian fairy tale you are familiar with? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.