Fairest 2: The Hidden Kingdom

fairest volume 2 the hidden kingdom cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Fun blending of stories

Would love to see different Fables explored

Comic Info

Comic Name: Fairest

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Bill Willingham/Lauren Beukes

Artist:  Inaki Miranda/Barry Kitson

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2013

fairest #9 cover rapunzel

Fairest #9

Reprints Fairest #8-14 (December 2012-June 2013).  The Hidden Kingdom of Japan has summoned Rapunzel and reawakened a past that Rapunzel tried to forget.  The Fables of Japan are about to reveal themselves to Rapunzel and she could be more familiar with them than she ever believed.  Rapunzel is on the hunt to find her missing children…children that everyone tells her are dead.  Rapunzel is about to learn the truth could be worse than she ever believed.  Plus, Reynard goes on a date…with a dryad.

Written by Bill Willingham and Lauren Beukes, Fairest Volume 2:  The Hidden Kingdom was released by DC under the Vertigo imprint.  Following Fairest Volume 1:  Wide Awake, the collection contains the six issue “The Hidden Kingdom” (Fairest #8-13) storyline and the standalone issue “Altered States” (Fairest #14).  The collection features art by Inaki Miranda and Barry Kitson.

Fables is a great series while its spin-offs have often been good but lesser titles.  With Jack of Fables taking an entirely different tone than Fables, Fairest is actually closer to Fables.  This volume expands on the Rapunzel mythos and throws in some fun Japanese folktales while doing it.

fairest #12 cover rapunzel

Fairest #12

While the story is a Rapunzel story, it is really a means to explore a whole different culture.  I can’t say I’m very versed in Japanese folktales, but I know a few and it is fun to see them woven into the story.  In addition to classic folktales, the story adds modern stories like The Ring and The Grudge into the story.  If you don’t know classic Japanese folklore characters you probably will know these characters.

The one-shot storyline is also fun and I could read a whole book of stand-alone Fables tales.  Reynard has been featured multiple times, and I wish that there had been some completely new Fables explored, but it still is a fun little issue.  With so many different fairytales and fables that the series can focus on, it is difficult for there to be enough space for all of them (though I still would like to see more modern Fables show up like video games like Mario or more recent books like Harry Potter).

Fairest 2:  The Hidden Kingdom is a solid entry in a series that is good but not great.  Fairest still stands above many other titles, but it isn’t quite up to the level of its parent title.  Hopefully, the series will continue to develop.  Fairest 2:  The Hidden Kingdom is followed by Fairest 3:  The Return of the Maharaja.

Related Links:

Fairest 1:  Wide Awake

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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