Fables 16: Super Team

fables volume 16 super team cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Mister Dark meets his match, Fables as superhero tales, Oz

Sleeping Beauty story could have been better

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fables

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Bill Willingham

Artist:  Mark Buckingham/Steve Leialoha/Eric Shanower/Terry Moore

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2011


Fables #104

Reprints Fables #101-107 (March 2011-September 2011). Mister Dark now is encroaching on Haven and Flycatcher’s magic is weakening. As the Fables worry that they have been backed into a corner, Pinocchio pledges that comic books could save them all. Forming a super team to battle the Mister Dark, the fate of the Fables and the world could hang in the balance. North Wind has problems of his own, he has discovered one of his grandsons is a zephyr and destined to die…by his hand. Bufkin starts a journey of his own to become a hero and liberate the land of Oz, and waking Sleeping Beauty proves to me more difficult than anyone believed.

Written by Bill Willingham, Fables Volume 16: Super Team collects the five issue Super Team storyline (Fables #102-106) and the two independent stories in Fables #101 and #107. Following Fables Volume 15: Rose Red, Willingham is joined by his normal artists of Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha and guest artists Eric Shanower and Terry Moore.

Fables just continues to be one of the most fun title. While many writers would follow much different “patterns” in comic book writing, Willingham seems to enjoy playing with the formats and going his own way. Buckingham and Leialoha breathe life into these creations, and it all manages to come together as something unique in the comic book world by improving over time instead of crumbling.

This collection had me excited for many different reasons. I am a big Oz fan and was excited to see Bufkin go to Oz and meet classic Oz characters (I really didn’t expect the Glass Cat to show up). It sets up future Oz adventures and hopefully Willingham will dig deep into Oz lore for fans. It was only a one shot issue in this volume but has me eager for more.


Fables #106

The second reason I was excited was Willingham playing with the idea of super heroes. Superheroes are essentially modern “Fables” and instead of incorporating real superheroes (which legally they probably can’t and it would change the whole comic), Willingham decided use superhero archetypes in the battle against Mister Dark. Pinocchio’s requirements for a team (a small character…The Atom, Shrinking Violet, a strong character…Colossus, the Hulk, a rebel character…Wolverine, Timberwolf, a leader in a wheelchair…The Chief, Professor X) do fit a lot of superhero team types. Plus, this storyline wrapped up the long running Mister Dark storyline which felt like it should have wrapped up in Fables #100 (January 2011).

The next reason was a bit of a letdown. I love Terry Moore and his art, and I thought Willingham and Moore’s pairing on the Sleeping Beauty story was a great idea. I didn’t really like this issue and was a bit confused by it. It also didn’t seem to really let Terry Moore explore the characters like he normally does (like his little run of Birds of Prey…which was kind of fun).

Fables 16: Super Team was a good collection that had a lot happen in it. Fables continues to impress me and keeps me wanting more. That is tough in today’s comic book market and for a series to last with this strength and ingenuity for one hundred plus issues is a true sign of greatness. Though The Sandman and Swamp Thing are raised as “the best comic series ever”, I think over time, Fables will be up there too. Fables Volume 16: Super Team is followed by Fables Volume 17: Inherit the Wind.

Preceded By:

Fables Volume 15:  Rose Red

Followed By:

Fables Volume 17:  Inherit the Wind

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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