Fables: Werewolves of the Heartland

fables werewolves of the heartland trade paperback cover graphic novel bigby wolf
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Love werewolves and a Bigby/werewolf story is a good idea

Don't love the origin of the werewolves

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fables:  Werewolves of the Heartland

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Bill Willingham

Artist:  Craig Hamilton

Release Date:  November 2012


The werewolves are rising!

Bigby Wolf has found danger lurking in the small Midwest town of Story City.  In Story City, a race of werewolves have evolved living in isolation from the world in their own society…and Bigby is their god.  As the origin of Story City is uncovered, Bigby finds his actions during World War II have had lasting effects…and the danger could be deadly.

Written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by Craig Hamilton, Fables:  Werewolves of the Heartland is a stand-alone graphic novel spinning out the DC Comics/Vertigo series Fables.  The book was originally released in hardcover in November 2012 with a trade paperback following.  The story ties in to a story found in Fables 5:  The Mean Seasons.

I love Fables, and I love werewolves so Fables:  Werewolves of the Heartlands was a natural plus for me.  I grew up with the Wolf Man as my boogeyman as a child and this was a great concept for a story.  The idea of werewolves as a “fable” or folklore leaves a large hole open for exploration…and Werewolves of the Heartland somewhat fills that void.

I like the idea of a werewolf city, but I’m not a huge fan of the origin given to the werewolves which springs out of The Mean Seasons (Fables #28-29).  The story has a Nazi scientists storyline during World War II leading to the origin of the werewolf species.  I would have preferred a longer origin…having these creatures mix with humanity for centuries instead of fifty or sixty years.  It seems like the myth of the werewolf would have been a better starting point and would create old rival of Bigby.


Bigby: Go big or go home!

I do like the set-up of Story City with werewolves controlling everything.  It echoes the story from The Howling (particularly the original novel), and it makes sense.  Wolves are pack animals and it seems logical that they would live in a pack.  Unfortunately, the set-up could have been used better.

I never felt that there was any danger in the story.  Bigby is too strong and too powerful.  He is (as the people of Story City say) a god.  He goes to Story City and essentially wanders around until he decides that the town needs to be razed.  It doesn’t have enough suspense or danger for the character.

Fables:  Werewolves of the Heartland is a rather typical Fables story.  In that sense it is a disappointment because it could have been a really good and intense story…instead it is just a good story.  The ending of Fables:  Werewolves of the Heartland leaves an opening for a follow-up and I’d look forward to seeing it.

Related Links:

Fables 5:  The Mean Seasons

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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