Fairest 3: The Return of the Maharaja

fairest volume 3 the return of the maharaja cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Interesting story with a different lead


Comic Info

Comic Name: Fairest

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Sean E. Williams

Artist: Stephen Sadowski/Phil Jimenez/Andrew Pepoy/Dan Green/Russ Braun/Meghan Hetrick/Christian Alamy/Jose Marzan

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2013

fairest #15 cover prince charming

Fairest #15

Reprints Fairest #15-20 (July 2013-December 2013).  The village of Nalayani is being besieged by bloodthirsty dholes that threaten the livestock and the villagers’ lives.  In a desperate attempt for help, Nalayani sets off on a journey to the palace to meet the new Maharaja.  Nalayani is about to learn the Maharaja’s name is Charming, and Prince Charming discovers that Nalayani could give him something he’s never experience before:  true love.

Written by Sean E. Williams, Fairest Volume 3:  The Return of the Maharaja is a DC Comics title under the Vertigo imprint.  Following Fairest Volume 2:  The Hidden Kingdom, the collection features art by Stephen Sadowski, Phil Jimenez, Andrew Pepoy, Dan Green, Russ Braun, Meghan Hetrick, Christian Alamy, and Jose Marzan.

While Jack of Fables felt like an entirely different series than Fables, Fairest feels a lot like the core series Fables.  This volume has a leading woman, but it also pairs her with one of the leading men of Fables:  Prince Charming.  With that in mind, despite not being written by Bill Willingham, this entry of Fairest feels like a Fables story.

fairest #18 cover maharaja

Fairest #18

This is a bit of a different outing for a Fables story in that the Nalayani character is basically an adaptation of the Indian tale Mahabharata which is unfamiliar with a lot of Western cultures (I know I hadn’t heard of it).  Nalayani’s character shows patience and events like the leprosy were part of the original tale.  The basics of the story are placed in the context of the bigger Fables world (the men of Nalayani’s village leave to fight the Adversary and never return), and Prince Charming becomes the man enamored with Nalayani.

Though Nalayani is the feature of the collection, it feels a bit odd to give so much time to Charming, but the Charming aspect of the story does highlight her virtues.  She’s strong, independent, and giving.  Charming has always been a taker…and it is interesting to see the tables flipped on him.

With solid art and a story that feels less familiar than some of the other Fables tales, this is a decent collection in the run of Fairest.  I still argue that it could have fit in Fables just as well as Fairest, but you could only have so many excursions and limited series.  If you skipped Fairest and only stuck to the core Fables series, this collection might give you the Fables fix you’ve been missing.  Fairest 3:  The Return of the Maharaja is followed by Fairest 4:  Of Men and Mice.

Related Links:

Fairest 1:  Wide Awake

Fairest 2:  The Hidden Kingdom

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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