Fables 1: Legends in Exile

fables volume 1 legends in exile cover trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Introduces the characters and concepts of the long running series

Not the strongest story in Fables' run

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fables

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Bill Willingham

Artist:  Lan Medina

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2002


Fables #1

Reprints Fables #1-5 (July 2002-November 2002).  The characters of fairy tales and folk tales live among us.  Having fled the Homelands when the Adversary attacked, the Fables (as they are called) have established a community hidden in New York City called Fabletown.  When Snow White’s sister Rose Red’s apartment is found coated in Rose Red’s blood, the worst is assumed.  As the yearly Remembrance Day approaches, Bigby Wolf must hunt down a killer and uncover what happened to Rose Red.

Written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by Lan Medina, Fables Volume 1:  Legends in Exiles kicks off the award winning Fables series.  The book collects the beginning five issue storyline but also has been reprinted to include a back-up story from the novel Peter & Max:  A Fables Novel.  The series has also been collected in a hardback edition which collects the first ten issues.

Fables starts with a bang…or at least a lot of blood.  From this collection, you would suspect the series was potentially a detective series with Bigby Wolf as the star…that would be a wrong assessment.  Going back to read Fables 1:  Legends in Exiles, it is interesting to see how the series has changed over the years.


Fables #5

Fables has a lot going for it.  While the series could simply be a series with limitless prospects due to the wealth of characters, Willingham smartly crafted a strong plot.  In this first volume of Fables, the real plot of Fables (the battle of the Fables for their original world…the Homelands) is merely a subplot and not explored much.  As the series progresses, the events which lead to the establishment of Fabletown are revealed.

The mystery in this comic isn’t the strongest mystery, but it also doesn’t have to be.  It mostly serves to introduce major players in the series and give the readers an outline to how Fabletown works.  It isn’t the strongest Fables story, but it still is good.

Fables is a great series.  It has won multiple Eisner awards and is recognized often for being one of the best comics currently on the market.  If you’ve read through The Sandman and The Invisibles, check out Fables.  It might not be as edgy as the previous two titles, but it still is a fun ride.  Fables Volume 1:  Legends in Exiles is followed by Fables Volume 2:  Animal Farm.

Followed By:

Fables Volume 2:  Animal Farm

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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