List of Fables characters (New York Fables)

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This article is a list of fictional characters from the Vertigo comic book series Fables, Jack of Fables, Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, Cinderella: Fables Are Forever and Fairest, published by DC Comics.

These are the Fables who live in New York.

See also: Fabletown

Bigby Wolf[edit]

Having reformed from his violent ways, Bigby (aka the Big Bad Wolf) became the cigarette-smoking, trench coat-clad sheriff of Fabletown. He is extremely cunning and resourceful, in addition to being an excellent detective. He is the son of the North Wind, and, as such, has some control over the lower-tier winds, plus the "huff and puff" of legend. Despite his reformation, he can still be vicious if he believes the situation calls for it. He developed feelings for Snow White and the two have a litter of seven children together. He quit his position as the Sheriff some time ago (due to the election of Prince Charming as Mayor, whom he despises), and left Fabletown altogether. He has since returned and married Snow and now lives with her and their cubs on a specially set-aside area of land up at the Farm. In "The Destiny Game", Bigby forces The Lady Of The Lake to change his fate. Though he does not know the specific details (nor does he bother to inquire about them), this is his new fate : he will never grow old, but he will continue to grow in strength and power, fall in love with Snow White (a woman strong in wild magic, who will eventually confess her love for him), father seven children ("sons" and "daughters" - which implies Ghost is either male or female, not gender-neutral) - gods and monsters (in fact, part-gods, due to their North Wind grandfather and monsters, due to their wolf nature) who will lay waste to worlds (implying all of his cubs will do terrible things, eventually - though this is contradicted by Dare's suicide, for a noble cause, before he had committed any monstrous deed of any kind at all). Also, once he has died seven times, he will outlive all of his cubs (though this may only be metaphorical, as the exact nature of these words is unknown). So far, it is unknown how often Bigby has already died (if at all) - nor is it known if being shot by Goldilocks and gravely wounded, along with Little Boy Blue, during the war count as deaths.

Snow White[edit]

Main article: Snow White (Fables)

Beauty and the Beast[edit]

Still together after nearly a thousand years, Beauty and Beast escaped from the Homelands with barely more than the clothes they were wearing. Both set up in relatively low-paid jobs, Beast maintaining the Fabletown buildings and Beauty working in a bookshop, earning between them enough to make ends meet, but little more. Their lives were hampered somewhat by Beast's tendency to shift back and forth between his human and beastly forms depending on his wife's mood towards him, but the two were nevertheless a loving couple. With the election of Prince Charming to Mayor of Fabletown during the events of The Mean Seasons, their lives took a turn for the better; as neither Bigby Wolf or Snow White were willing to work alongside Charming, their positions became vacant and the Prince offered Beauty and Beast the available jobs.

Beast, now Sheriff, allied himself with Frau Totenkinder, the most powerful witch in Fabletown and finally had his curse fixed, allowing him to transform into his Beast form at will. Whether he's aware that it was Totenkinder who inflicted the curse on him in the first place is unknown; this occurred pre-amnesty, so he would be legally unable to retaliate if he wanted to. While initially reeling at the complexities of the job (much of what Bigby did was covert and unknown to the general Fable population), he has grown into the job and appears to even enjoy it. Beauty took Snow's position as Deputy Mayor, and has learned to cope with all of the responsibility. Early in her tenure, Prince Charming tried to seduce her, but she refused him, threatening to send her husband after him if he tried again. It is notable that Beauty realized, as a result of remarks made by Prince Charming during this seduction attempt, that her actions and words toward her husband were not generally as kind as she herself perceived; she subsequently resolved to be nicer to Beast.

After the arrival in Fabletown of the Imperial Emissary, Lord Hansel, during the Sons of Empire story-arc, and the subsequent need to keep track of both him and his staff, Beast asked for, and was given, additional funding and manpower, plus was later assigned zephyrs, provided by Bigby Wolf's father, the North Wind, to act as spies. During the war against the Empire, as depicted in the War and Pieces arc, Beast remained in Fabletown, commanding the troops stationed there in case of a retaliatory assault by the Empire.[1]

According to the answers given in the Burning Questions issue, both ask Frau Totenkinder what it is she's knitting. When she answers she's knitting a garment for their firstborn child. To which Beauty laughs saying she's not even expecting, to which Frau answered "All things in time" and then offered to show them the progress of her knitting. Upon hearing them agree, she presented them a cute light greenish-blue footed pajamas with a lion head sewn on the front. In addition that the footed pajamas had four arms, two legs, and a place for a tail, indicating that their child might be a monster or at least have Beast's transformation problem. Upon seeing her work, this left both Beast and Beauty flabbergasted.

However, Frau's predication is shown to be possible. As shown in the Great Fables Cross Over, after having a brief argument with Beast about his behavior with Bigby, Beauty and her husband are shown in their tent together having make up sex. While Beast was very happy from it, Beauty herself couldn't help but feel that there was something more special about and perhaps magical. Later on in a next issue, she's revealed to be pregnant. The child is a couple of week premature, but Beauty comes with the birth with a few complications. The child, a little girl is named Bliss and appeared to be born normal. However, as Frau had predicted, sometime later it is shown that when she becomes angry, she undergoes a transformation into a six limbed, tailed beast. Since the birth of little Bliss, her father has not been able to transform into his beastly form. When looked over by Ozma with her powers, she could not detect any trace of his ancient curse. In Fables 143 (the third chapter of the Happily Ever After story arc), it is confirmed that the Beast's daughter has adopted his curse as her own. She might have also inherited from her mother's powers (the snake Lamia).

In the Fairest story Lamia, it is revealed that Beauty hides a dark secret. She is in fact a lamia who was driven from her home after a man got her in the family way. The man's wife had some friends run Lamia out of town. They followed her to another world, where Lamia met a beautiful woman. Lamia, having so recently been abused for beauty's sake, hated the woman on sight and killed her, because "everything beautiful leads to ruin in the end". Lamia then took the woman's form in order to adopt her peaceful and simple way of life. She kept the form so long that the woman's personality became her own and she became what she was merely pretending to be. She met Beast, and they fell in love. But every few decades, Beauty becomes herself again and becomes Lamia. Every time, Beast tries to catch her in time and lock her away. But sometimes she escapes, and embarks on a killing rampage, targeting rapists and men who abuse women (going after innocents is "not her style"). Every time, Beast assumes the identities of famous heroes of detective fiction (such as Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe) and has to play detective and stop her before the mundy authorities can catch her (the fictional identities he assumed may or may not indicate Lamia has already managed to escape to the United Kingdom and France, as well as the United States of America). Bigby Wolf has already threatened Beast to deal with the matter permanently - even if it means killing Beast as well. Beauty never remembers the incidents afterward and Beast never told her the truth (though he tried to write her a letter at least once with a typewriter). Strangely, Beast is capable of transforming at will in that story - decades before Frau Totenkinder allows him to do so (although she may have sold him a charm or a potion for the duration of his mission, as she has occasionally done for other Fables).

Nowadays, Beast is considering making a new home for himself, his wife and their daughter in Flycatcher's kingdom in the Homelands, because Beauty will be safer there, as the "mundy" police keeps getting better and better at investigating and collecting evidence, and will catch Beauty sooner or later. The story's ending suggests that Beauty may be turning into Lamia again sometime in the near future. However, in the Fairest graphic novel Fairest In All The Lands, Lamia is gone for good: Beauty becomes the victim of a serial killer, and even though Beauty is brought back to life, Lamia is not.

Trusty John[edit]

The doorman at the Woodland building, Trusty John was almost universally popular. Amiable and good-natured, John enjoyed his job and was always pleased to see everybody. As such, it came as a complete shock to everyone when Kay unmasked John as a spy for the Adversary. Baffled as to how the 'most faithful Fable in history' could turn against them, John was interrogated by Prince Charming, Beauty and Beast; he explained to them that, long before signing up to the Fabletown compact, he had sworn an unbreakable vow of loyalty to his King, who he believed had been killed leading his forces against the Adversary. It turned out that this had not been the case, that his King, now working for the Adversary, had contacted John and ordered him to spy on his fellow Fables. Bound by his vow, which overruled the later compact, John had no choice but to obey and spent the next four years passing information to the enemy before Kay, with newly regrown eyes, caught him. Despite being sorely tempted to forgive him, given the circumstances, Charming realised that treason, no matter what the situation, must be dealt with harshly. Hardening his heart, he gave John the option to jump down the Witching Well under his own power as a gesture of mercy, the alternative being that he would be executed on the spot and his corpse put down there anyway. John accepted the former offer. Few people explicitly know what happened to him, as revealing such a beloved Fable to be a traitor was deemed to be bad for the morale of Fabletown.

On his mission into The Witching Well, as depicted in the story-arc The Good Prince, Flycatcher recruited John as his squire, offering him the possibility of redemption by accompanying him. Following the completion of his quest, Flycatcher, now King Ambrose of Haven, announced that John would henceforth be known as Trusty John once more, and appointed him to be Lord High Chancellor of the kingdom, putting him in charge of the day-to-day running of the new realm.

Grimble[edit]

The security guard at the Woodland apartment building that forms the centre of Fabletown, Grimble is the troll from the tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff and quite possibly many other tales where a troll features. He has possession of an expensive glamour spell. He has been shown to assume troll form for battle. During the Fall of Fabletown due to the actions of Mister Dark, it is Grimble who snaps King Cole out of his melancholy and encourages him to carry on. It is also he who motivates the former mayor during the evacuation to Haven after Mister Dark discovers the location of the Farm. He was turned into a harmless bird by Prince Brandish/Werian Holt when he began to unravel behind his alias. Its unknown if its a permanent spell or a temporary one, since Brandish didn't want Grimble to reveal that he and Mrs. Sprat weren't Mr. Dark's prisoners.

Bufkin[edit]

A winged monkey from the Oz tales, Bufkin acts as Fabletown's librarian and thus is generally found in the cavernous business office, where he both works and sleeps. Close to Boy Blue, he hid for a week when his friend left for the Homelands, thinking that he would be blamed for not stopping him. Bufkin lacks wisdom, although he is certainly not stupid, is occasionally mischievous and prone to drinking heavily and stealing the Mayor's booze, nevertheless he is generally a good worker and rarely complains. During the events of the Storybook Love arc, when everybody was out of the office, Bufkin came to the conclusion that he was now in charge and decided to rename Fabletown Bufkintown, a change that only lasted as long as it took somebody else to find out about it. He apparently reads a lot of the books in the library, and it is suggested that he has learned skills like lockpicking from this. On learning this Prince Charming threatened to kill Bufkin if he stole his alcohol again, Bufkin is then seen with another book—one relating to Political assassination. After the magics holding Fabletown together have been unravelled he was stranded in the business office along with all the formerly imprisoned fables. During this time he was able to bottle the Djinn and kill Baba Yaga and her knights by utilizing everything he has read (in this volume, several indirect allusions to the Wicked Witch of the West are made). He was aided by the Magic Mirror, Frankenstein's monster's head, the Barleycorn maidens and several heads of the captured wooden soldiers.

After this, Bufkin climbs the Business Office's tree and finds himself in Ev (a neighbor to the Land of Oz). He is accompanied by Lily, one of the Barleycorn maidens who has a huge crush on him. While sitting in one of Ev's magic lunch box trees, he accidentally rescues a group of Oz-Fables from the Nome King enforcers. Bufkin then forms a resistance movement in order to overthrow the evil Nome King. Afterward, he, Lily and Hangy - a hanging rope which Lily brought to life, had many adventures in many different worlds before his as well as Lily retirement and death. It is also stated that he had become Lily's husband three times thanks to a mad scientist experiment, a wishing fork and a transformation gas and has many children in the species which they transform into which includes flying monkeys, Barleycorn and Korob birds.

Prince Charming[edit]

Although charming and handsome, Prince Charming is a pathological womanizer, a liar and an all-around rogue. He was also raised as a prince, to understand sacrifice necessary to be an effective leader, and the kind of king that sacrifices all to safeguard his subjects. His (known) previous wives in chronological order were Snow White, Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) and Cinderella; the latter two of his ex-wives were introduced to him by their shared fairy godmother. It is also revealed in the Jack of Fables' comic that Prince Charming is Jack Horner's father. It is most likely that Charming never knew of their relations to one another. He lived in Europe after leaving the Homelands, living off the kindness of various nobles and ex-nobles. He returned to Fabletown just prior to Rose Red's "murder". He hatched an intricate scheme, killing Bluebeard in a duel during the Storybook Love arc, putting Bluebeard's substantial wealth directly into Fabletown's treasury, then, during the events of March of the Wooden Soldiers and The Mean Seasons, successfully running for the position of Mayor of Fabletown against Old King Cole, so he would have access to those funds. Unfortunately, he made some false presumptions (and thus promises) and had a difficult time in office with public opinion turning against him. Following his victory, he appointed Beauty and Beast to the positions of Deputy Mayor and Sheriff respectively. Spending a large amount of time with Beauty on the job, he attempted to begin an affair with her; she rejected his advances, threatening to set Beast on him if he persisted.

In spite of his persistent unfaithfulness, Prince Charming has a good side few are aware of. During the Storybook Love story-arc, he expressed deep regret that his betrayal of Snow White hurt her so badly, and took it upon himself to kill Bluebeard partly because he knew Bluebeard planned to murder Bigby Wolf, whom Snow had grown fond of. Before the Battle of Fabletown in March of the Wooden Soldiers, he supervised building the barricades, then fought bravely during the battle itself, defying the gun-carrying wooden soldiers while armed with a sword. In the battle's aftermath, he led the firefighters that went into the damaged buildings to extinguish the last blazes. Despite the fact that he took the job of mayor primarily for its economic benefits, he eventually dedicated himself sincerely to the duties of mayor, including setting up defenses for Fabletown against the Adversary and, in the Happily Ever After arc, giving Bigby Wolf land next to the farm in order to live with his new wife, Snow White, and their children.

In the run-up to the war against the Empire, Charming resigned as Mayor, returning the job to King Cole, in order to focus on the war effort. During the War and Pieces storyline, he held the position of Combat Commander on the skyship Glory of Baghdad built by the Arabian Fables and commanded by Sinbad, running the offensive and defensive operations of the ship during the war and the Glory's mission to bomb the gates connecting the Imperial homeworld to the rest of the Empire. After the Glory's destruction, Charming, despite serious injuries, dragged a bomb by foot to the last remaining gate, with Sinbad accompanying him to defend against hostile forces. Arriving at their destination against considerable opposition, Charming dragged the bomb into the gatesite, stating that he would set the longest fuse possible to give himself the best opportunity to get clear of the blast.

Charming failed to emerge before the bomb detonated. His body was never found, and a coffin containing his uniform, medals and some personal effects was buried at the Farm cemetery in absentia. A statue of Charming in Fabletown is dedicated to his memory.

In 1001 Nights of Snowfall, a prequel to the Fables series, the real reason Prince Charming cheated on Snow White with Rose Red in the first place was given. Contrary to popular belief, he had not yet known of his inability to remain faithful in marriage. By request of a wedding gift, he taught Snow fencing lessons and had taken charge of investigating a series of murders around the kingdom (the victims were revealed to be the Seven Dwarves). He states one of the violent of prisoners did it and had him executed. This kept peace with the dwarves. He had known it was really Snow White, as the sword wounds indicated progressive swordsmanship. Because he had lost his trust in her, he had Rose Red move in with them in the castle, and shortly after, cheated on Snow with Rose Red, revealed in the Rose Red story arc to be a result of Rose Red seducing him, despite his initial resistance.

Theories both on and off the page speculate that he gives off powerful/magic pheromones, which are responsible for his strong ability to seduce nearly any woman he wishes. According to the answers given in the Burning Questions issue, Prince Charming had no less than 1,412 romantic conquests by the age of fifteen.[1] He stated that he is able to win any courtship, be it that of a single woman, or a political election.

In the Fairest story arc The Return of the Maharajah, it is revealed that Charming survived his injuries. Nathoo (from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book) found him and brought Charming to the Indu (the Homelands version of India), where he was nursed back to health. Because Charming is a popular Fable, his wounds healed quickly. He soon became the leader of a group of villages which joined forces in order to overthrow the Maharajah. Charming then became Maharajah Charming, after killing the original Maharajah. Charming eventually relinquishes his title, and decides to go back to Fabletown. His story will be continued in the pages of Fables.

Cinderella[edit]

Prince Charming's third wife, Cinderella is often seen as loud and rambunctious by her fellow Fables, and usually goes simply by the name Cindy. She is the owner and manager of her own shoe store, the Glass Slipper, in Fabletown. This is her first job, and possibly main income, but she also has another important job: she secretly works for the Sheriff (first Bigby Wolf and then later Beast) as one of his off-the-record spies.

Cinderella was recruited as his off-the-books agent shortly after her arrival in the mundane world, approximately two centuries prior to the present-day setting of the comics. Missions shown have included seducing Ichabod Crane in Paris to get him to reveal that he was willing to turn traitor and provide valuable intelligence to the Adversary. She served as an envoy to giants of the Cloud Kingdoms, aiming to forge an alliance with them, a mission that ultimately put her in debt to Frau Totenkinder, but that also cleared the way for Bigby Wolf's covert insertion into the Homelands depicted in Happily Ever After, a mission where Cinderella served as his briefing officer. She also participated in the interrogation of the wooden soldiers captured after the Battle of Fabletown, and later helped with the interrogation of Baba Yaga.

Cinderella considers herself to be the finest secret agent who has ever lived, on the grounds that, being immortal, she has had multiple human lifespans to perfect her craft and, uniquely among Fables, has had access not only to the magical resources of the Fables, but also all the technologies and techniques perfected by the mundane population. Her public persona is loud, brash and carefree, with most of her fellow Fables dismissing her as a shallow and largely irresponsible playgirl. On a mission, however, Cinderella is calm, calculating and frequently ruthless, displaying no qualms about killing when required.

She has had a long vendetta with Dorothy Gale, both on a physical and ideological level. Whereas Dorothy was a mercenary motivated by the thrill of murder and chaos, Cinderella is motivated by duty and pragmatism. After finally defeating Dorothy, Cinderella took her magical slippers as bounty, and is now presumably also able to use them for assuming disguises.

Old King Cole[edit]

Cole's realm was easily overwhelmed by the Adversary's forces. Only with the assistance of his loyal and loving subjects, was he able to hide in the woods and survive long enough to reach Earth.

As Mayor of Fabletown since its foundation, Old King Cole preferred to leave the actual running of the place to Snow White, his deputy, focusing more on the more ceremonial and formal aspects of the role himself, an arrangement that generally worked well. He was eventually challenged for the position by Prince Charming who won after making a series of rash promises that he would prove to be unable to keep. Leaving the Mayor's penthouse apartment, he briefly roomed with Boy Blue, who had lost his roommate Pinocchio during the Adversary's assault on Fabletown. He then moved into Beauty and the Beast's home, they themselves moved into Snow White's old place. A well-meaning and amiable man, King Cole found his defeat profoundly depressing. However, when the Arabian Fables arrived in Fabletown, Cole found renewed importance as one of the few Fables fluent in Arabic, and his diplomatic acumen led to a close friendship with Sinbad. Before this, Cole had been portrayed as a figurehead whose primary duty was glad-handling Fabletown's budget; his diplomatic sessions showed a shrewdness and cunning that he had not displayed before then. He has since become the ambassador to Fabletown East in Baghdad. He returned to Fabletown briefly to preside over the wedding of Snow White and Bigby Wolf.[1] At the start of the war with the Empire Prince Charming resigned his position as mayor, returning the job to King Cole.

Cole remained mayor after the war and, as before, delegated official duties over to the Deputy Mayor, who was now Beauty. When Mister Dark escaped his imprisonment, the enchantments upon Fabletown began to fade and caused the entire building structure to crumble. Cole had a brief moment of uncertainty until Grimble gave him an impassioned speech of his responsibility as mayor. Cole led the Fable community to evacuate to The Farm so as to regroup and figure out what to do from there. In addition, he and Beauty have also taken over babysitting duties of Bigby and Snow's cubs while the parents were sent to investigate Jack Horner's claims regarding the Literals as well as Rose Red descending heavily into depression following Boy Blue's death.

Mowgli[edit]

Mowgli was from a Homeland similar to India. Being raised by wolves, he could speak their language, and had a vast knowledge of nature and animals. His training had also trained him in tracking people and combat. When the Adversary attacked, Mowgli fled to Fabletown along with his friends Bagheera and Baloo as well as his enemy Shere Khan. At some point, Mowgli became one of the Tourists, a person who was in charge of keeping track of Fables living outside of Fabletown. From that point on, he spent 20 years wandering the world between visits back to Fabletown. After the revolution on The Farm, Mowgli found out that Bagheera had been imprisoned for his involvement. To free his friend, Mowgli agreed to track down Bigby Wolf. Mowgli was able to track Bigby to where he was hiding in Alaska. When Bigby heard that he could be with his family, he agreed to come with Mowgli back to Fabletown. After tracking Bigby, Prince Charming kept his word and freed Bagheera.

Hobbes[edit]

Originally butler to Bluebeard, Hobbes the goblin stayed on to work for Prince Charming after the Prince slew his former master. Calm and dignified, Hobbes is nevertheless a formidable fighter and fought savagely during the Battle of Fabletown. Hobbes worked tirelessly in Charming's election campaign and has generally proved invaluable to his master. He possesses a glamour for use in public, presumably provided by his masters, and notes proudly that he maintains an unblemished record of reliability with it. His great expertise as manservant leads him to be apparently very well paid; when asked about it, Prince Charming dryly noted that Hobbes was better paid as a servant than he was as Mayor himself. The name Hobbes is an obvious a pun on the word Hobgoblin. He is the first to notice that the gold covering Mr. Dark is cracking. He is also the first to fall to the now freed Mr. Dark. Mr. Dark keeps Hobbe's skull, intending to eat the goblin's teeth later, in order to summon his spirit to serve him. However, Mr. Dark is killed by the North Wind before this happens.

He is presumably named after the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes.[2]

Pinocchio[edit]

Main article: Pinocchio (Fables)

Briar Rose[edit]

Better known as Sleeping Beauty, Briar Rose was Prince Charming's second wife. She escaped from the Homelands with close to nothing, but a blessing received on her christening day, which promised that she'd always be wealthy, came to her rescue, and she rapidly gained great wealth through successful speculation on the stock market. As such, she lives in a luxurious apartment filled with expensive furniture and decoration. Her curse, however, remains in effect, with the slightest prick of her finger leading to her falling asleep, followed by everybody else in the building, which is then surrounded by rapidly growing thorn-bearing plants. A kiss from a (genuinely) loving "prince" resets the curse back to the start. It has been revealed during a talk with Bigby that in one incident when her finger was pricked, the police sent in a police dog named "Prince" and his innocent dog kiss awoke her, the affection of a dog being honest and true (though Briar threatened Bigby never to tell a soul of the incident).

While generally a hazard, forcing Rose to take extreme care and wear gloves at all times, the curse has proved useful on at least two occasions. The first was in the story A Two-Part Caper when journalist Tommy Sharp threatened to reveal what he had discovered about the Fables, the curse was employed to put the inhabitants of his building to sleep while a team led by Bigby Wolf ransacked his apartment. However when it came time to awaken her, Prince Charming's kiss did not work, most likely because he no longer loved her. Flycatcher's kiss woke her up, which ended up with her tasting flies when she awoke. Presumably the love has to be genuine but does not have to be romantic. It has never been revealed if she knew Flycatcher awoke her or not.

The second occasion was during the war against the Empire, as depicted in the War and Pieces story-arc, when the curse was deployed within the Imperial capital, putting the inhabitants of the entire city to sleep, depriving the Empire of most of its senior officials and the majority of their combat-ready sorcerers. Recently, the city was burned to the ground, but not before Briar Rose and the Snow Queen were carried away, still asleep, by a mysterious cadre of goblins.

It is implied in Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love that Briar Rose and Cinderella share the same fairy godmother, but this was later proven apocryphal in the Fables spin-off Fairest. It is also implied, still in Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, that Frau Totenkinder may have been the one who cursed Briar with her sleep spell (also implied in the Fables story arc War and Pieces); even though Fairest shows that the one to actually put the curse on Briar Rose was the evil fairy Hadeon the Destroyer (which could indicate that Totenkinder was merely the spell's creator). It is unknown if Briar knew it was Totenkinder who cursed her. Another theory is that the sleeping girl next to Frau Totenkinder and a spinning wheel is only the miller's daughter (from "Rumpelstiltskin") - not Briar Rose (Frau Totenkinder might have just put into motion the "Rumpelstiltskin" events).

In the Fairest story arc Wide Awake, a bottle imp tells Ali Baba, who is seeking treasures in the burned down city,about the sleeping girl that is blessed with eternal wealth and riches, but needs to be woken with true love's kiss from a prince. Ali Baba sneaks into the goblins' encampment, and kisses the sleeping Briar Rose, who awakens from the spell, along with the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen is seeking vengeance on Rose for putting her to sleep for years, and takes both of them captive. But instead of killing them, the Snow Queen forces Jonah, the bottle imp to tell her stories of Briar Rose's life, as the Snow Queen "is addicted to good stories", and Jonah is very good at telling stories. While Ali Baba and Briar are forced to spend time with Lumi, Ali Baba realizes that he has no feelings for Briar after all, but is in love with Lumi. It is revealed that because Ali Baba risked his life to wake and rescue Briar Rose, his actions fell under the definition of true, but not romantic, love.

Briar also defeats Hadeon the Destroyer, the evil fairy from the fairy tale. Briar's fairy godmothers then turn Hadeon into a car that can travel to any world, and the spaces between worlds. The car has to serve one thousand times before it will revert to Hadeon. Briar uses the car to travel back to the newly re-built Fabletown, as seen in the Fables story arc Snow White. When the car has been used nine hundred and ninety-nine times, she plans to take it to the junkyard and have Hadeon destroyed once and for all by dropping it into a car crusher. In the Fairest graphic novel Fairest In All the Land, Briar Rose was revealed to be having a secret relationship with the dryad Prince Aspen, something no one in Fabletown knew about. Unfortunately for her, a murderous Goldilocks did and murdered the two for apparently giving into "carnal" desires, burning them both together. Cinderella was able to resurrect her, but unfortunately she could only choose half of Goldilocks' victims; meaning she could not bring back Prince Aspen.

Doctor Swineheart[edit]

One of The Three Army Surgeons from the Grimm story of that name, Swineheart works at the Knights of Malta Hospital in New York, where the Special Research Section is in fact a cover for the private Fables-only medical facility. Swineheart took charge of Snow White's recovery after she was shot in the head by Goldilocks during the abortive rebellion at the Farm, and also dealt with her extensively during her pregnancy with Bigby's children. A battlefield surgeon without peer, his services proved invaluable during the battle of Fabletown. He appears to have taken on some mundane attitudes, most likely because he deals with mundane patients as well as his work with the Fables, to the extent that he starts to suggest the possibility of abortion when Snow expresses her unhappiness about the scandal her pregnancy has resulted in. The appalled Snow stops him going any further, threatening to throw him out of Fabletown if he persists. Oddly she insists that she must carry the pregnancy to term because of duty to society rather than to herself, although it is unclear why she thinks that society is improved by her children (possibly, it is because Max Piper had cast a curse on Fables, preventing them from bearing children - so the cubs were the first newborns in decades).

Rapunzel[edit]

Cursed by Frau Totenkinder (apparently for displeasing her by being a 'slutty little girl'), Rapunzel's hair is constantly growing, at a rate of four inches an hour, so she has to live under the most restrictive conditions of any of the city Fables, to prevent any mundanes from noticing the fast growth. She has three haircuts each day. She was part of the group of Fables who were part of the last stand in the old territory and she was also present at the Remembrance Day for those who died in the battle at the Last Castle. It is revealed in Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love that Cinderella's Fairy Godmother showed Rapunzel's prince the way to the tower she was kept in, mainly to spite Frau Totenkinder. In Fairest it is revealed that Rapunzel knows of Frau and truly doesn't believe she's reformed and has a disdain for her. It is also revealed that in order to survive the winter, Rapunzel's mother sold her for a handful of gold to Totenkinder to be the witch's apprentice. Rapunzel and the prince had a passionate love affair which resulted in Rapunzel's pregnancy. When Totenkinder found out, she threw Rapunzel out. Oddly enough, despite the bad history Rapunzel does call Totenkinder "Mom", though it could be to get on Totenkinder's good side.

After being thrown out by Totenkinder, Rapunzel tried to find her lost lover. Unbeknownst to her, Cinderella's fairy godmother forbade the prince to contact Rapunzel again, as the godmother had "plans for her". No one would take the homeless Rapunzel in, because of her past as Totenkinder's ward. As Rapunzel was giving birth to her children, a strange woman came to her aid. The woman drugged her, and stole the children, who were twin girls, away. Rapunzel spent centuries looking for her daughters across a hundred worlds. Eventually, she gave up trying to find the children, and sailed off the edge of the world in a ship, planning to die. Instead, she washed up on the shore of one of The Hidden Kingdom, a Fable Homeland populated by people and creatures of Japanese mythology and culture. There, she became a member of the Emperor's court, and had a lesbian romance with a female kitsune named Tomoko; this could mean that Rapunzel's bisexual.

It is also revealed that Rapunzel is Okiku from the famous Japanese ghost story; while spending time at the Emperor's court, she took Okiku as her new name. The shogun had Rapunzel's lover banished, along with many other yokai. He confiscated the kitsune's foxfire - her soul, which she kept outside her body. The shogun kept the foxfire in a safe locked with a sliding puzzle. When Rapunzel tried to get the foxfire back for Tomoko, she discovered that she was unable to solve the puzzle slide, and broke a plate in anger. The shogun caught her trying to break her into the safe, and beat her up and threw her limp form down a well. Rapunzel was unable to climb out the well, and ate her hair in order to survive. She coughed up hundreds of bezoars, knots of her own hair forming in her gut. They talked to her with spiny mouths. Rapunzel knotted several of them into her hair, which gave her the purchase she needed to climb out. She escaped from the well, and killed the shogun and his men.

Centuries later, in the mundy world, Rapunzel and Joel Crow venture with Jack Horner (before his break with Rose Red) to Japan, where the Japanese Fables have started a new life after the Adversary's invasion. Rapunzel gets caught in a war between Tomoko's group and the other Japanese Fables, but eventually manages to help her former lover and the other Japanese Fables find their way back to their homeland via a magical portal. Frau Totenkinder reveals to Joel Crow that she knows who took Rapunzel's children, and that this person is an enemy of Totenkinder, who would use Rapunzel to bring her and all of Fabletown down. This is why the twins were stolen, and why she can't tell Rapunzel. She persuades Joel to give Rapunzel a memory potion that will make her forget about her daughters, Tomoko and The Hidden Kingdom. It is implied that Joel gives the potion to Rapunzel.

Kay[edit]

Once a captive of the Snow Queen, Kay is now grown and living in New York, away from Fabletown itself. It has never been stated what happened to his friend Gerda or their home. He still has the troll mirror shards in his eye, with the result that he sees all the bad that people have ever done. The pain that this causes him leads him to routinely gouge out his own eyes, although they subsequently grow back over a period of around ten years. Kay has proven very useful in the past at detecting traitors, and it is with this in mind that Beast asked Frau Totenkinder to magically restore Kay's sight to assist him in rooting out Fables who might be secretly working for the Adversary. Because of his ability, Kay is the only other person in Fabletown to know the full details of Bigby's past deeds and how Frau Totenkinder truly gets her powers. Currently, he has been drained of life energy and turned into a witherling by Mister Dark. The "bad" he sees is defined so by Fabletown morals and not by Mundy justice, as he sees the "bad" in Bigby (though he was mostly doing what he did because of an understandable (from a wolves perspective) dislike of humans, and from hunger rather than for the sake of evil) and in Frau Totenkinder (though what she does is perfectly legal from a 21st-century Mundy American justice point of view). After seeing the evil in The Adversary, he was so overwhelmed he gouged his eyes out again. Soon afterward, he was killed by Mr. Dark, who devoured his teeth to make him a witherling. When Totenkinder destroyed Mister Dark's teeth by feeding him candy, most likely this ended Dark's control over Kay's body.

"The Cubs"[edit]

(From left to right) Winter, Conner, Therese, Darien, Ambrose, Blossom

Snow and Bigby's seven children are a rowdy, unpredictable bunch of hybrids that seem to have inherited abilities from all facets of their heritage. All, but Ghost, can fly, at first uncontrollably so, flight having been their natural state; they needed to be taught how to ground themselves. They can transform into wolf form.

One of the seven, later named Ghost by Bigby, is a zephyr, a rogue wind whose invisible nature meant his parents were initially unaware of his existence. This entity fed off the air of living beings, accidentally killing them before he learned control. Snow White, after a rash of deaths, discovers that they were inadvertently caused by her last child. She sends Ghost to find his self-exiled father. The family has since been reunited. On their fifth birthday, the other six cubs were introduced to Ghost, but were sworn to secrecy as to his existence, as zephyrs are considered dangerous aberrations, and their grandfather Mr. North is obligated by a prior vow to exterminate any zephyrs known to exist. Ghost appears sweet, if anything confused since he cannot feel normal things the others do. He's not hungry, thirsty or sleepy. But he is good at finding people, which was what convinced Snow to find Bigby.

Ambrose, the chubby and sweet cub named after Flycatcher, is portrayed as the weak link, often too scared to transform or fly when in danger. Ambrose narrates certain events such as the family's trip to his grandfather's castle, as well as his narrow escape from his six wild uncles, with whom his father later fought. These are done in the form of memoirs.

Darien is shown as the leader of the pack, something that Bigby has commented on. Another female cub, Winter (named after Bigby's mother), is portrayed as being shy and cuddly, often shown sucking her thumb or holding a stuffed animal, usually the only one of the cubs to do so. Her brother Darien has referred to Winter as the runt of the litter, despite her being the firstborn. She also stands out because, unlike her other siblings, she was the only one who was born completely human in appearance. The remaining cubs are Conner, who isn't too different from Darien in personality and possesses similar facial characteristics like Prince Charming;Therese, a blonde-headed cub who is observant, but tends to confuse things; and Blossom, who bears a great deal of resemblance to Rose Red, seems to have inherited some stereotypical "Fairytale Princess" qualities, and is often seen with cute cuddly forest creatures and butterflies following her around. [1]

During the Fables Fourm panel in the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, a one-page story was handed out to attendees that would foretell the fate of the cubs possibly within the next one hundred issues. Ambrose meets one of the Thirteenth Floor Witches, Ozma of Oz, the young childlike second in command to Frau Totenkinder, who at his behest tells him of a prophecy she had. She explains:

  • The first child will be a king. (Winter; see below)
  • The second child a pauper.
  • The third will do an evil thing. (Therese; see below)
  • The fourth will die to stop her. (Darien; see below)
  • The fifth will be a hero bold.
  • The sixth will judge the rest. (Ambrose; see below)
  • The seventh lives to ages old, and is by heaven blessed

The Witch further explains that her vision made no real detailed specifics as to which child is which and she leaves it up to Ambrose to decide if he should tell the others.[3]

When the Cubs approach their ninth birthday, and the first result of the prophecy is revealed. After the death of the North Wind, Bigby's father, a successor is chosen among his grandchildren. After a series of tests are performed, Winter is named the winner and the new king of the North Wind's kingdom. Winter will be sent away soon for her training, but she admits to her father that she's deathly afraid as a result of recently having nightmares of her older self as the North Wind. In her dreams, she is no longer her sweet and shy self and sees herself as a cold and selfish person that hurts people. If this will happen is not known. In the Camelot arc, it seems Winter's future may soon come. She reveals she has surpassed her training and due to her mantle as the North Wind, like Therese, she has already grown. She takes her adult appearance when she kicks out the other cardinal winds from her palace, but reverts to her child form as she believes a battle will happen between her mother and Aunt Rose. In order to protect her mother, she plans to gather a few small allies, among them Santa and the Snow Queen herself.

Therese receives a red plastic tugboat (Mr. Steampuddle) as a Christmas gift from an unknown admirer. The mysterious boat starts talking to Therese and convinces her to find some water for it. Therese, acting as if she is under some kind of spell, finds a stream, where she puts the boat in the water; the boat grows in size, convinces Therese to board it. The boat takes Therese to Toyland, a bleak, mysterious land inhabited by discarded toys, where she is thrilled to be crowned the Queen of Toyland. She is quickly dismayed to learn she cannot fly in Toyland, nor can she go home. Therese begins to starve because nothing grows in Toyland and that all of Toyland's inhabitants are toys that caused their child owners to be killed in accidents involving the toys (i.e. choking on a toy, a toy catching fire, etc.). The toys have also brought many other children to Toyland before Therese, and all of them starved to death before they had a chance to restore the toys.

Back in the "mundy" world, Darien realizes that as the pack leader, it is his job to look after the rest of the cubs. With the help of Lord Mountbatten, a magical clockwork tiger capable of taking physical form, he travels to Toyland to rescue his sister. But her army of toys attack them and injure Darien, and take Mountbatten prisoner. Mountbatten is brought before Therese. Whether due to her diminishing condition or the dark influence of the land, Therese coldly orders the toys to kill him (even after he explained he came to save her) and savagely ate at his raw flesh, then ordered the toys to cook the rest, even using the wooden toys to cook her meal.

Darien realizes that in order to save his sister, he must sacrifice himself, and impales himself on a broken mini pool cue. His blood goes into a magical cauldron and his body goes into the soil. Because of Darien's magical bloodline, his blood invokes an ancient magic. The grass begins to grown in Toyland, and the cauldron is restored and becomes filled up with food every day, always magically fresh and hot. Therese grieves over her brother for a long, long time, until a now older and more mature Therese decides it is time to put her brother's sacrifice to work and begin the restoration of her kingdom. Because everyone there, including herself, is a killer, they will have to earn their forgiveness, and save one hundred lives for each life they took.

Therese commands Mr. Steampuddle to set out on a series of new voyages across the waves: the toys are to save lives instead of taking them. Over the years, the toys save many children from various accidents. Mr. Steampuddle and the toys go back and forth many times, returning often over the years to report their successes to the queen before being sent out again. Gradually, Toyland and its inhabitants are restored and made whole again. In time, when most of the toys have been restored, and thousands of children lives have been saved, Therese returns to the mundy world, and discovers that little time has passed there: her siblings are still children, while she herself is now an adult. She tells her family about Darien's sacrifice. The story arc strongly implies that Therese is the third child from the prophecy, the one who would do an evil thing, and Darien is the one who dies to stop her, although it could also be argued that his actions cast him in the role of a hero bold. By the nature of Ambrose's narration, it appears he does not become a pauper and that in a sense he is judging the others in hindsight (though, to some, it appears he is only providing guidance to Dare - not judging him). Such interpretations have yet to be definitively proven out.

In the Fables story The Destiny Game, an adult Ambrose appears to be in a well-established relationship with the Lady of the Lake. In that story, it is also revealed that, no matter their nigh-immortality (due to their nature as Fables and part-gods), they will all die, eventually (as Bigby is fated to outlive them all). Still according to Bigby's new fate, all of his cubs will lay waste to worlds (meaning they will all do terrible things, eventually - though this is contradicted by Dare's noble suicide before he had any opportunity to commit any crime of any kind at all). However, as noted earlier, the Lady can reassign fates. In the Fables story Snow White, the adult Ambrose narrates the events that led to Bigby's death, and reveals he is the child who judges the rest as the witch foretold, by telling the histories.

Other New York Fables[edit]

  • The Forsworn Knight: A human figure in full medieval armor, the Knight hangs from a noose tied to the tree in the Fabletown business office in the early issues of Fables. All that was known about him was that he had apparently killed himself sometime in the 13th century and that, when plied with alcohol, he's prone to singing and uttering prophecies; it is mentioned that things got decidedly messy the last time that this happened. In The Good Prince story arc, it is revealed that the Forsworn Knight is the ghost of Lancelot, who has pledged his service to Flycatcher, as well as knighted Ambrose to become the Once and Future King.
  • Cock Robin: Was killed by another bird fable during the Farm revolt. Cock Robin's death in the mundane world was final, in spite of reader confusion which suggests that he came back at the end of the 'Animal Farm' story-arc. Mark Buckingham has pointed out that the second robin that appeared later on in that arc was a different robin, and not Cock Robin himself. However, it is unclear if Cock Robin was one of the bird spirits that joined Flycatcher's kingdom the story-arc 'The Good Prince' (as several of the fables killed in revolt at the Farm were shown to, their bodies presumably having been committed to the witching well for disposal.). His appearance in the series is quite controversial, since he only appeared in one nursery rhyme Who Killed Cock Robin ... a story in which we learn he had already been killed even before the very start of the nursery rhyme.
  • Jack Ketch: The executioner who killed Dun and Posey Pig after the revolution at the Farm. He is named after the infamous executioner. According to Bill Willingham, Jack Ketch in Fables is an office, and not a single person.[2]
  • Edmond Dantès: Better known by his famous alias of 'The Count of Monte Cristo', Edmond owns and runs Fabletown's Chateau d'If Fencing Academy. He can often be found in the Branstock Tavern. He is killed by Goldilocks in the Fairest graphic novel Fairest In All the Land, during a fencing lesson with Snow White, who was Goldilocks' intended victim. Although Snow is resurrected by Cinderella, Dantès is not, as Cindy can only bring half of Goldilock's victims bring back to life.
  • Crow brothers: Joel, Vulco, and Ephram Crow are the three survivors of the original twelve brothers. The brothers, warriors all, fought fiercely against the Adversary's forces and the Crows were instrumental in ensuring the escape of the last ship to leave the Homelands, as the then-surviving seven, armed only with daggers, took on and defeated a pair of dragons who were threatening the fleeing vessel, at the cost of four of their number. These days, Joel's sole task is to cut Rapunzel's hair three times a day, Ephram works as a security guard at the Knights of Malta hospital and Vulco runs the I Am the Eggman diner. The three Crows were brought in to assist with the arrest of the visiting Arabian Fables. Vulco is known to date Clara, the former dragon turned bird, in his bird form; as well as a fair maiden named Katrinelje while he is in human form.
  • The Magical Mirror: Served as an adviser to Bufkin while the latter was stranded in the business office. Other people who have asked the mirror questions are Flycatcher, Prince Charming and Jack Horner. In the Witches story arc, the mirror is also identified as the mirror from the tale of The Snow Queen.
  • Thrushbeard: Still as hirsute as his name suggests, Thrushbeard apparently managed to escape the Homelands with some of his royal fortune, as observed by Jack when he tried to sell the exiled King the magic beans; Thrushbeard, wise to Jack's ways, wanted nothing to do with it. He can often be found drinking in the Branstock Tavern. Whether his wife escaped the Homelands with him is unknown.
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf: Referred to in the March of the Wooden Soldiers story arc. When Snow White does not believe Jack Horner's story about the The Wooden Soldiers, Snow asks if he did ever hear about the Boy Who Cried Wolf; Jack replies: "Sure Snow. He lives up on the second floor" (of the Woodlands building).
  • Little Miss Muffet and the spider: Now apparently married to the spider and calling herself Mrs. Web, she is Fabletown's biggest gossip. Her husband, the Spider, was one of the victims of Snow's son Ghost. He was later among the ghosts who went with Flycatcher to Haven.
  • Frankenstein's monster: Was animated by Nazis during World War II. Bigby fought the monster (in a reference to the 1943 film Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man) when he and a squad of Allied soldiers stormed the castle where the experiment was being performed. The Monster's still-animated head is kept in the business office in the Woodlands building where Bigby chats with him from time to time. He often has phantom thirst and is given drinks by Bufkin though the last time this happened, the bottom of his cage rusted out. He is Bufkin's dear friend and ally, he teams up with Bufkin and the others when they discover they're stuck with Baba Yaga. In the March of the Wooden Soldiers story arc, Pinocchio can be seen reading the Frankenstein novel, establishing its existence in the Mundane world of the series; it has yet to be clarified whether the Monster is a true Fable (i.e., a migrant from a Homeland where the events of the novel occurred) or a rare case of a non-Fable paranormal native to the Mundane.
  • The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs: Believed killed in the Adversary's assault on the Homelands, Gudrun actually escaped and now lives in a secret den within the Woodlands building. Her eggs provided Bigby with an untraceable source of funds for his covert activities. With Bigby moved on, Gudrun now fulfills the same role for his replacement, Beast.
  • Shylock: In The Mean Seasons, Bigby talks about a man who converts the Goose's eggs into currency. Bill Willingham has identified the person as Shylock, the central character from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.[4] It seems that Shylock still works with money in some unspecified manner.
  • Jack Sprat: Killed off-screen by Ghost during The Mean Seasons story arc. He is also mentioned in the Jack of Fables story Jack O' Lantern.
  • Barbara Allen: Referred to in the story arcs The Mean Seasons and Rose Red. The character of a folksong. She was accidentally killed by Ghost.
  • Hakim: A newly freed Arabian slave, he has had trouble adjusting to modern-day New York. He became the bodyguard to Briar Rose when she agreed to use her curse to disable the Empire's capital city. Years later, he was still asleep together with Mrs. Someone, who acted as Briar Rose's magical guardian. Recently, the sleeping Briar Rose was carried out of the city by goblins, before the city was burned to the ground, and it is assumed that Mrs. Someone and Hakim were killed in the fire.
  • The Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick-Maker: Appear in Happily Ever After and The Great Fables Crossover. Jack Horner, having met the revised version of the trio at the Golden Boughs Retirement Village, claims that they are spies of Mr. Revise and not the real ones. When he orders the other Fables to arrest them, the Baker runs for his life.[5]
  • Bean Nighe: She was first referred to in a map of Fabletown, printed in the Wolves trade paperback, which says that Ford Laundry is run by "the washer woman at the Ford". She makes her first appearance in the Fairest graphic novel Fairest In All the Land, which reveals that Bean Nighe has the ability to predict the deaths of other people. In this story, Bean Nighe, along with Morgan le Fay, were victims at the hands of Goldilocks. Cinderella is able to bring back the victims of Goldilocks, but she's only allowed to choose half, and chooses Morgan Le Fay, seeing her more valuable an alley for Fabletown.
  • Fair Katrinelje: Referred to in Burning Questions. She is dating Vulco Crow when he's human.
  • S.O.S.: The Society of Seconds, a faction composed of Fables who were born in the Mundy world, most likely from before the Pied Piper's Curse. They want to go back, and establish a country in one of the now liberated Homelands.
  • Seamus McGuire, a member of Boy Blue's band who plays the harp. He is referred to in Peter and Max: A Fables Novel, and can be seen with the band in the Fables story "All in a Single Night". He has his first speaking role in The Boys in the Band story arc.
  • Baby Joe Sheppard, a member of Boy Blue's band who plays the drums. He is referred to in Peter and Max: A Fables Novel, and can be seen with members of the band in the Fables stories Single Combat and "All in a Single Night". He has his first speaking role in The Boys in the Band story arc.
  • Crispin Cordwainer: The famous shoemaker of The Elves and the Shoemaker, named for St. Crispin, the patron of cobblers. He runs the Glass Slipper while Cinderella is off doing her spy work. The elves still have a working relationship with him, though their magic gifts come with unexpected side effects. This is seen when Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love while Cindy goes on another mission (though she told him it was a business trip) he decides to run the shop his way. He convinces the elves to make magic shoes for the Fabletown women, such as jogging shoes that jog for you. However, despite their warning, he gets what he wants. And it comes with a side effect, as the women (like Rapunzel who bought jogging shoes) can't take the shoes off and it is exhausting them. This causes the angry women to organize a protest where mundys can see, which puts Crispin in trouble with Sheriff Beast. Eventually when Cindy returns, she makes the elves take back the shoes (though Cindy must pay them for their efforts, but she takes it out of Crispin's paycheck). She also makes Crispin give all the Fabletown women long foot massages for their tired feet. The elves decide to send their shoes back to the Homelands for the soldiers that served the "Emperor".
  • The Huntsman: From the Snow White fairytale. He first appears in flashbacks during the Rose Red and Camelot story arcs, playing the same role as he does in the fairy tale. In the Fairest story arc Of Men and Mice, it is established that he is a resident of Fabletown. It is implied that he and Crispin are lovers; when Crispin is in a coma after a bomb attack meant for Cinderella, the huntsman remains at Crispin's bedside for days.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Irvine, Alex (2008). "Fables". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 72–81. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015 
  2. ^ a b Nevins, Jess, Willingham, Bill, Buckingham, Mark (2013). Fables Encyclopedia. New York. DC Comics. ISBN 978-1-4012-4395-1
  3. ^ J. K. Parkin (July 6, 2009). "SDCC ’09 | The annual Fables one-page tale". Comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Questions for Bill 2009". Fabletown: The Bill Willingham Forum. 
  5. ^ Fables 84: The Great Fables Crossover, part 4 of 9