“I want to make one thing clear from the very beginning. We’re not talking about Fables as you’ve understood the concept up until now.”
DC’s superheroes aren’t the only ones going through a “rebirth”, as Vertigo’s new series Everafter #1 evolves from the recently closed pages of one of Vertigo’s greatest comics. Writers Dave Justus and Matthew Sturges both have experience in this realm. Justus having written the Wolf Among Us comic; Sturgues having written Jack of Fables. With two veterans at the helm it’s no surprise Everafter strives to be the quintessential continuation of Fables. A nostalgic mix of brutality and cartoonish humor creates the kind of tone that keep you coming back for more. The art by Travis Moore and the colors by Michael Wiggam perfectly capture that light-hearted tone while giving us brief glimpses of some bloody, vicious violence. Whether you came because of the recent Wolf Among Us video game, or because you need something to fill the void left by Fables’ departure Everafter is the story you’re looking for.
The title serves well as both a sequel and as an effective jumping on point for new beginners. Conner Wolf is reaching an age of restlessness. His parents, Snow White and Bigby “The Big Bad” Wolf, could use some peace and quiet. Thus begins his introduction to the Shadow Players, a spy organization made up of both Fables and the mundane. As he meets the group we get our own initiation to this newly enchanted world. With the outside world in pieces it falls to this small band of agents to help put it back together. A metaphor that resembles Fables’ own Humpty Dumpty. Featuring fast cars and secrets hideouts the world of the Shadow Players should make for an interesting undertaking for Snow and Bigby’s boy.
While Conner gets a warm welcome, fan favorites Hansel, Bo Peep, and Peter Piper are on a mysterious special assignment. By making us wonder at their mission objective we’re immediately pulled into their gripping adventure. Said excursion is made all the more interesting by the colorful personalities of the team. The natural dialogue is a testament to the quality of the script by Sturges and Justus. The two are great at juggling all of the the unique elements that make a successful Fables story, including a handful of action set pieces worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster. Also, the different protagonists help to convey the multiple tones at play here.With two storylines and almost every fairy tale to draw from there’s no shortage of intrigue for the writing team to explore.
Being bookended by horrific battles does little to hamper the fun in Everafter #1 thanks to the stellar work by artist Travis Moore. Yet another Wolf Among Us vet, Moore demonstrates his talents with beautiful layouts and enchanting backgrounds. He moves deftly through Fables’ magical realm with a realistic touch. If only the character designs were as thorough.
The lives of the Fables and the mundane have finally converged. Why then are the character’s costume designs so simple? The most intricate outfit being Hansel’s Indiana Jones-themed coat and hat. It made sense for the Fables of old to hide their magical nature from the “mundane” human world. But here it seems like a missed opportunity to have nearly every character in everyday clothing, the exception being Bo Peep and her modest chainmail. Despite these straightforward ensembles, the work of Moore and colorist Matthew Wiggam effortlessly captures the beauty and tragedy of this land of fae.
Fables was one of the most prolific titles in Vertigo’s history. With it’s unique and mature interpretation of everyone’s favorite fairy tales, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon that transcends the local comic book shop. It’s no surprise then that several spin-offs have appeared over the years. But none has felt like an actual successor to the original series. That is, this debut issue of Everafter #1. Dave Justus and Matthew Sturges are well-versed in this fantasy realm. Together they’ve crafted a new beginning for comic favorites like Bigby Wolf, Snow White, and their son Connor. Along for the ride are artist Travis Moore and colorist Matthew Wiggam. With the exception of some mundane outfits the two are inspired choices to interpret the colorful and lively scripts of the writing duo. The end of Bill Willingham’s original series was a momentous occasion for Vertigo and Willingham. A bittersweet end to an iconic dreamland destined to live on in video games, novels, and comics. Featuring an imaginative premise and a talented creative team, Everafter #1 proves worthy of the Fables mantle.
- Witty and humorous
- Tense action and violence
- Vivid illustration and colors
- Dull costume design