Fairest 1: Wide Awake

fairest volume 1 wide awake cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

More Fables is a good thing

Feels like it misses the mark to highlight female writers

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fairest

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Bill Willingham/Matthew Sturges

Artist: Phil Jimenez/Andy Lanning/Steve Sadowski/Mark Farmer/Andrew Pepoy/Shawn McManus

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2012

fairest #3 cover snow queen

Fairest #3

Reprints Fairest #1-7 (May 2012-November 2012).  Ali Baba is in trouble.  His kiss has awakened Briar Rose, but he has also awakened the Snow Queen.  Now free of Geppetto’s control, the Snow Queen is untethered…but the return of Briar Rose’s enemy Hadeon the Destroy could be the end of them all.  Plus, Beast finds himself in 1940s Los Angeles hunting a criminal who doesn’t want to be caught.

Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges, Fairest Volume 1:  Wide Awake is a DC Comics title published under their Vertigo imprint.  The series is a spin-off of the popular Fables series and features art by Phil Jimenez, Andy Lanning, Steve Sadowski, Mark Farmer, Andrew Pepoy, and Shaw McManus.

Fairest was an interesting premise.  It was meant to showcase the women of Willingham’s Fables series.  With great characters like Rose Red, Snow White, and the Snow Queen, Fairest had a deep playlist it could borrow from…but oddly, the first volume feels like it misses the mark of the series’ goal.

fairest #7 cover lamia review

Fairest #7

To be fair, Fables often features female characters.  It could be argued that Snow White is the lead character of Fables so to have a series featuring female Fables is a bit redundant.  The storyline of the first issues is about the Snow Queen and Briar Rose essentially, but it is revolving around Ali Baba and an imp.  It feels like the series should be told and feature female led characters as the storytellers instead of someone like Ali Baba.

The second stand-alone story likewise is told from the perspective of the Beast.  Once again, it feels like Beauty should have been the focus of the story even if she is tangentially the focus.  It is rather short and not expansive enough to really get much of a feel before it ends.

In general, the best idea for Fairest would have to have the series have been a showcase for female comic book writers (or writers in general).  Since Willingham isn’t necessarily “bound” to write the series, it would have been a great springboard for writers by tapping into the popularity of Fables and allowing female characters to be presented with a female voice…it seems like a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, Fairest didn’t go this route and instead just feels like mini-series from the world of Fables.  Fairest 1:  Wide Awake is followed by Fairest 2:  The Hidden Kingdom.

Related Links:

Fairest 2:  The Hidden Kingdom

Fairest 3:  The Return of the Maharaja

Fairest 4:  Of Men and Mice

Fairest 5:  The Clamour for Glamour

Fairest:  In All the Land

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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