Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love
by Chris Roberson, Shawn McManus (Vertigo, 2010)

The fertile fields of Bill Willingham's Fabletown series get a boost by writer Chris Roberson and artist Shawn McManus, who bring us Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love.

In a world where the Big Bad Wolf works as a sheriff, Snow White is a city administrator and Little Boy Blue is hailed as a war hero, all in a magical corner of New York City, it only makes sense that Cinderella makes her living as an international spy (as revealed in a previous Fabletown story arc).

Cindy, still a little bitter over that whole Prince Charming fiasco back in the Homelands, is a powerful and resourceful agent -- fueled in part by the enduring popularity of her story. Here, she is dispatched by the Beast (of "Beauty & the..." fame) to learn the source of magical items popping up among the world's mundane population. Her mission will lead her into an unlikely alliance with Aladdin, who works in a similar capacity for the true Baghdad, and will draw on the resources of her animal friends, Puss-in-Boots, Jenny Wren and Dickory Dock. Before it's over, Cindy will match wits against a formidable opponent from her own checkered past.

A subplot, in which the former shoemaker Crispin tries out a few new ideas in Cindy's Manhattan shoe store, provides a series of amusing interludes without ever intruding into the main storyline.

Overall, From Fabletown... is a fun romp, featuring a distaff James Bond whose internal monologue supplies an entertaining point of view. Although lacking the depth of the flagship series, it is more consistently satisfying than the main spinoff series, Jack of Fables. I hope Cinderella's adventures continue.

review by
Tom Knapp

9 April 2011

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