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Fairest, Vol.4: Of Men and Mice by Marc…
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Fairest, Vol.4: Of Men and Mice

by Marc Andreyko, Shawn McManus (Illustrator)

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Description: Cinderella returns in an all-new epic! After an assassination attempt on Snow White, Cind is called back into service to unravel an age-old conspiracy that dates back to that fateful midnight ball! Can Cind uncover the plot and prevent a massacre in Fabletown? By critically acclaimed writer Marc Andreyko (MANHUNTER, Torso, The Lost) and legendary artist Shawn McManus (CINDERELLA, SWAMP THING), FAIREST VOL. 4: CINDERELLA - OF MEN AND MICE ties directly into FABLES!

Thoughts: Maybe it's because I read this so long after the Fables volume it ties in with or maybe because it's just gone off the rails, but I didn't get this installment of Fairest/Fables at all. What is the point? Why waste Cinderella on this story? Ugh.

Rating: 2.75

Liked: 2.5
Plot: 2.5
Characterization: 2.5
Writing: 3
Art: 3.5

http://www.librarything.com/topic/194128#5234693 ( )
  leahbird | Aug 5, 2015 |
This story arc in the Fables-verse illustrates too many of the issues inherent in the Willingham's universe. To start, Fairest is a series meant to give character to the oft-underdeveloped women of Fables, and the advertising gives the suggestion they're going for an outdated "Girl Power!" approach.

[N.B. This review includes images, and was formatted for my site, dendrobibliography -- located here.]

Let's look at who was in charge of this series...
1. Bill Willingham
2. Matthew Sturges
3. Lauren Beukes
4. Sean E. Williams
5. Marc Andreyko
6. Mark Buckingham

One woman out of six writers got to partake in a series meant to be not-shitty towards women. (Her story is also very good, and very different in tone or ideas from any Fables story.)

There's no ditching Willingham as the creator of Fables, but what's with the rest of the list? One of the big reasons I had unrealistic hopes for this spin-off was Willingham is fairly well-known by savvy readers for his misogyny. As one of the most prominent faces for "great, mature writing in comics," that's a serious concern: His female characters tend to be more flat and more abused and more heavily locked into traditional, submissive roles than any males--and he and his characters outright celebrate it, either through condescending speeches or physical punishment. (I can only think of Snow White as breaking this role, and only if Bigby is AWOL and Willingham needs a mouthpiece to give one of his many Mary-Sue lectures.)

Williams wrote a bizarre entry--he didn't bother following the titular theme at all and made it dick-centric from page 1, and women were once again objects between condescending "Girl Power!" moments.

And then we got this Cinderella story, a semi-sequel to two limited series (From Fabletown with Love & Fables are Forever) that laid the groundwork for the Fairest concept. The "Of Men and Mice" arc is bad even for Fables' unpredictable standards, and rife with plot holes and inconsistencies in the artwork--and a cyborg chick straight out of Neuromancer. OK.

How does it start for our eponymous spy? She's tied to a chair being tortured and wearing nothing but a bikini. She's rescued and murders her captors while spewing one-liner after one-liner after one-liner. Her breasts are barely covered. She pulls every move except the final wink that says Women are strong, too!

That set me on edge. It really did. That's low even for Fables.

A couple pages later Cinderella gives a smile and says she just slept with a guy to get a free helicopter ride. The context for this was unnecessary and nonsensical. (She gets funding for this sort of thing, making it even more gross.)

More pages pass and she's whining about having to sit in coach instead of her usual first class--"but at least the tickets were free."

I don't want to read about this person anymore. ( )
2 vote alaskayo | May 4, 2015 |
Summary: Cinderella's typically the Fables' toughest secret agent, but when a new enemy surfaces with ties to her past, it may be more than she can handle. There's a race of mice/human hybrids that are wreaking destruction and violence across the world, and Cinderella suspects it may be the work of her fairy godmother. Cinderella tracks her down, but soon finds that she might be in over her head, even with help from an old friend… there are a *lot* of mice in the world, and they've come for a reckoning.

Review: This was a fun story, nicely self-contained while still being fairly closely tied in to the main Fables storyline, which has not necessarily been true of all of the Fairest spin-off volumes. I appreciated the combination of the traditional Cinderella story with the Fables invention of her secret agent identity, a tough of Indian mythology worked in, and the Three Blind Mice getting to play a role. I also loved Cinderella and Snow White working together to kick ass and then needling other about shoes and guys. 3.5 out of 5 stars. ( )
  fyrefly98 | May 3, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marc Andreykoprimary authorall editionscalculated
McManus, ShawnIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140125005X, Paperback)

Cinderella returns in an all-new epic! After an assassination attempt on Snow White, Cind is called back into service to unravel an age-old conspiracy that dates back to that fateful midnight ball! Can Cind uncover the plot and prevent a massacre in Fabletown? By critically acclaimed writer Marc Andreyko (MANHUNTER, Torso, The Lost) and legendary artist Shawn McManus (CINDERELLA, SWAMP THING), FAIREST VOL. 4: CINDERELLA - OF MEN AND MICE ties directly into FABLES!

New York Times bestselling, award-winning creator Bill Willingham presents a new series starring the female FABLES. Balancing horror, humor and adventure in the FABLES tradition, FAIREST explores the secret histories of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White, Rose Red and others.

Collects issues #21-27.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:28 -0400)

"Cinderella returns in an all-new epic! After an assassination attempt on Snow White, Cind is called back into service to unravel an age-old conspiracy that dates back to that fateful midnight ball! Can Cind uncover the plot and prevent a massacre in Fabletown? By critically acclaimed writer Marc Andreyko (MANHUNTER, Torso, The Lost) and legendary artist Shawn McManus (CINDERELLA, SWAMP THING), FAIREST VOL. 4: CINDERELLA - OF MEN AND MICE ties directly into FABLES! New York Times bestselling, award-winning creator Bill Willingham presents a new series starring the female FABLES. Balancing horror, humor and adventure in the FABLES tradition, FAIREST explores the secret histories of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, Snow White, Rose Red and others. Collects issues #21-27"--… (more)

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