Read Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham Mark Buckingham Peter Gross Andrew Pepoy Mike Allred David Hahn Online


Winner of Fourteen Eisner AwardsCollateral DamageThe great war between Fabletown and the mighty empire of the Adversary is over, and the victorious free Fables have brought their defeated enemy back from the Homelands to join them in exile. Their celebrations, however, are destined to be short-lived. As it turns out, not even beloved storybook heroes can escape the law ofWinner of Fourteen Eisner AwardsCollateral DamageThe great war between Fabletown and the mighty empire of the Adversary is over, and the victorious free Fables have brought their defeated enemy back from the Homelands to join them in exile. Their celebrations, however, are destined to be short-lived. As it turns out, not even beloved storybook heroes can escape the law of unintended consequences. In the post-war chaos of the Adversary's former realm, a terrible force is about to be unleased - an evil that threatens not just Fabletown but the entire mundane world. Collecting: Fables 76-82...

Title : Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781401223168
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 173 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fables, Vol. 12: The Dark Ages Reviews

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2018-12-07 10:24

    I think that this volume more than others in the series conveys such a powerful sense of loss and risk. In fact, it feels very melancholy. No doubt that was Willingham's intention. A character dies and it feels like an enormous hole is left in the Fable community. This volume touches on how someone can be such a part of your life and you take them for granted, until they are gone. I don't know if I will get over the loss of this person, and in that I feel I identify with the characters. The same has happened to me in my life outside of the pages of books.Right now, theme of loss and death is hitting me hard, after having lost people and my beloved pets so recently. I feel that this is probably therapeutic for me, but it hurts, much like when a doctor debrides an infected wound.Along with the harbinger of loss, there is a harbinger of a cloud of doom over the heads of the Fables. They have rejoiced in conquering the Adversary, but someone has awakened a sleeping giant who makes the Adversary look like a schoolyard bully. I really hope the Fables can band together and deal with this thread without losing more beloved members in the process.I think this is another five star read. I find myself scared to pick up the next volume, honestly!

  • Brendan Nicholls
    2018-12-16 06:31

    This book kicks off with a new threat being unleashed, one that threatens the Fables. The artwork is very similar to the Hellboy pages and this is one of the best books in the series, more a reboot after Adversary conclusion. There are a few characters that meet bitter ends here and while it is shocking, it is clearly building to the next story arc of the series. The series is unpredictable and you never have a clear indication where it will go next. Great storytelling and an interesting series arc.

  • Jonathan Terrington
    2018-12-16 04:18

    The Dark Ages is the perfect combination of things I love in any story: pathos, tragedy and a glimmer of hope. My personal favourite types of stories are not those full of nothing but despair and pseudo-grit but really those with a conflict between darkness and light. That is what this volume of Fables has.Following the defeat of the Adversary in the previous volume, things look set to improve. The most interesting thing about the beginning of this volume is how Geppetto, once a tyrant and sorcerer, now has to readjust to life in Fabletown, among people who strongly dislike him. Things go from bad to worse however as in the Homelands a new evil emerges from captivity under the Adversary. (view spoiler)[Fabletown ends up in ruins and everyone ends up heading up to the Farm, which leads to a bit of conflict as Bigby can no longer be the force in the Fabletown community that he was previously. (hide spoiler)]Again, it remains up to the individual to decide whether they like the look of this as a series. To me it remains remarkably consistent from novel volume to volume with the odd volume being better or worse. Again, I would liken it to a television show which has differing strength on an episode to episode basis but a strong overall narrative arc. Curiously Once Upon a Time seems to have been slightly inspired by this, but obviously take their own approach to fairytales (which I love).

  • [Name Redacted]
    2018-12-11 12:35

    Wherein we see the Adversary try to adjust to life after empire; bid farewell one last time to Prince Charming; learn what the fall of the Adversary means for different strata of Fabletown society; see a terrible new enemy unleashed by a pair of not-so-subtly familiar characters; witness the relase of Baba Yaga and the death of poor Kay; witness someone finally read the spoiled, self-centered Rose Red the riot act without caring what she thinks; and a hero dies needlessly, giving birth to what may be a new Fable religion.This was an incredible volume. I love Mister Dark so far, and I think I'll enjoy him as the new central enemy. I also thought that his introduction was handled very deftly and believably. A series like Fables doesn't need a "big bad", not now that it's become as much about the characters and their lives as it has about warfare, but the explanation for Mister Dark's existence, release and rise makes perfect sense in context and helps explore the aftermath of an empire's fall.

  • Arielle Walker
    2018-12-18 05:31

    ohhhh no this is not ok, not ok at all. (view spoiler)[ Seriously, Blue??? Did it HAVE To be Blue?? And did it have to happen like that??? (hide spoiler)] Willingham is a cruel writer indeed.

  • Nancy Meservier
    2018-11-26 07:39

    You've defeated your arch nemesis and have emerged from war victorious. What happens next? If you're Bill Willingham, the creator of Fables, the answer is to not get too comfortable. There are consequences to the Fables' victory. The fact that the evil Geppetto was offered amnesty after his defeat, and is now walking around Fabletown as a free man is the least of their problems. In The Dark Ages new enemies emerge, and old ones resurface as our heroes deal with the consequences of victory.If Willingham really wanted to, he could have ended Fables at volume eleven and I would have been pretty satisfied. At first, the fact that he decided to continue after the defeat of the Adversary had me a little nervous. The main storyline was technically over. Where could the series go next? By the time I had finished The Dark Ages, I realized that there was plenty left to explore. In many ways, the decision to continue the comic after it's natural end is very like Fables. The series has always been willing to embrace complexity, so it makes sense that they would recognize that even complete victory has it's drawbacks. For example, what's to happen to the dozens of worlds that were once held captive by the Adversary? Sure, many of the Fables might want to return to their Homelands, but what about the worlds they have no connection to? Is is appropriate to step in and take the spoils of war, or would that make them just as bad as the Adversary?Another one of the strength of Fables is it's large cast of characters. Given that we've stuck with the same cast for twelve volumes now, we've seen many of them grown and develop in impressive ways. We've seen Boy Blue (who plays an important role in this volume) grow from Snow's assistant to a reluctant war hero. We've seen Flycatcher change from pretty much a throw away character to one of the most compelling figures in the series. So while The Dark Ages is mainly about introducing the new villains who are sure to wreak havoc on the Fables in future volumes, it's also a very character centric volume that continues to bring our heroes to interesting places. For example, after finishing The Dark Ages, I couldn't help but feel curious about where Willingham is going to bring the character or Rose Red next. The artwork, done by Mark Buckingham continues to be impressive. Guest artists are brought it for the one shots that surround the main arc, and I found their work less compelling. This is especially true for Michael Allred's work on “Around the Town.” In this issue, the characters are drawn very differently than the style that I've grown attached to.Final Thoughts: The Dark Ages proves that even though the Adversary has been defeated, there are still interesting stories to be told in the Fables Universe. The realization that there are negative consequences, even to complete victory, is very fitting to Fables's complex world view, and what we see of the new villains here makes me eager to read more.

  • Jessi
    2018-11-21 09:23

    I was a bit worried about how Willingham et al would keep the Fables story going after ending the big bad war in War and Pieces. My fears turned out to be completely unjustified, as this was an amazing (albeit sad) book and perfectly set up the next great arc in the Fables saga.The book opens with Geppetto being escorted around Fabletown by Pinocchio, who's trying to get him adjusted to life after ruling the Empire. Not everyone is happy with the newest Fabletown resident, but I thought it was interesting to hear Geppetto's side of the story. He believed he was acting for the greater good, so sacrificing a few thousand lives was worth it, because in the long run he saved billions, or so he claims... Now that the Fables have taken him out of power, he believes the other worlds will suffer even more.Geppetto's warnings seem to have merit, though, as back in a recently-freed-from-the-Emperor-land a pair of marauders unknowingly release a very powerful new enemy. This new adversary wants revenge on the Fables for taking away his magic and using it themselves, and he means business. The Fables are forced to evacuate The Woodland and move upstate to the Farm after the magic spells holding their community together begin to crumble. Baba Yaga comes back, and although she didn't get to do much in this book I'm curious to see what havoc she'll wreck in the next one. Even Frau Totenkinder is scared!The main purpose of this book seemed to be setting up the new big bad and the next event in the Fables series: The Great Fables Crossover (with Jack of Fables, an offshoot of this series that I also really enjoy). The other big part of the story was the death of a character (one of my personal favorites) that brought up questions of what happens to the Fables when they die. We've seen some come back (there are always three little pigs, for example, and Snow White managed to survive a gunshot to the head), so I'm hoping this character will reappear at some point, too. But it was still an emotional arc and really made me question just how great a surgeon Dr. Swineheart is. He seemed like a bit of a pompous jerk, actually, but that could've just been me projecting because of the way he was treating said beloved character.There was also a smaller mini-story that dealt with Mowgli returning to a jungle world with Bigby's brothers that was a bit more light-hearted and I nice diversion from the darkness in the rest of the book. Oh, and Flycatcher's back! That was one of my grumbles with volume 11, so it was nice to have him back...even if he is still clueless about his relationship with Red Riding Hood.

  • Steppenfreak
    2018-11-22 12:13

    I am officially done with Fables. The last few volumes have become increasingly rambling, with few events worth caring about and the continuous hick "us v them" - or perhaps more accurately: white vs brown - attitude towards the Arabian fables. A white western writer kills Prince Charming in such a manner that he dies a "hero", as we have seen in countless films, books, TV shows, even on the news - but it's only Arabs who consider this a positive thing, right? And Nordic mythology (where much of these Western European fables are originated) never condones dying for a cause, right?In addition to this and the other examples of unresearched ignorance evident in every volume since Arabian Nights, there was the whole friend zone revenge scene between Blue and Rose Red. Guys, if you get friend-zoned, know that it's only because your love interest is a heartless broken bitch and not because you're actually a bit of a loser.Yeah, I think I'm done. Fables has been mediocre from the start, at best a lazy sort of soap opera and constantly striving to hit a note it never seems to attain. Poor writing at its best.

  • Matt Garcia
    2018-11-30 09:38

    Not bad. It did seem however a bit unnecessary given the events of the last volume but I suppose why stop if people still want more to read. Two of my favorite characters were killed off which was unfortunate but the new main villain seems interesting. The writing and art were pretty good once again.

  • Scott
    2018-12-02 06:13

    5 STARS

  • Andrew
    2018-11-24 09:18

    First of all, this probably is more of a three stars, but I think I am overrating it because Fables has not been great for some time. Entertaining, but not great. Well The Dark Ages is not a sure fire return to greatness for the whole series. In fact I hear terrible things about the crossover event, next trade. However, this story made me quite happy that the war was over and we were moving on.Willingham introduces the new antagonist, and he really surprised me with the character. Not in that it was an especially new and refreshing styled villain. It is a fairly typical direction, and would seem boring after the Adversary. I was just surprised how well he was able to make the villain stand out and make me honestly fear him.Willingham also gave me something to hold on to for later. I think the series was best when you felt that Bigby and Snow were the main characters, even within the midst of the diverse cast of characters. And that has been missing for sometime. But in this book there is hinting that a new character will be stepping up into a lead role. I think this could greatly help the book.As for the conclusion, I unfortunately got this spoiled for me, but there were still some surprises along the way.Overall the story is mostly just introducing a new status quo, but with a with a few major character moments to back it up. I am looking forward to where Fables will be going for the first time in a while. Or at least I will be once I have that stupid crossover event out of the way.Oh, right. And the art. Mark Buckingham does the main story (yay!). But they brought in a new inker that I sometimes like and sometimes don't (I think it is the inkers fault. I am not the best judge on such things.) He makes some things look almost Mignolaish, and others his big black lines feel like they weaken the image. Mike Alldred had done a previous mini-story for Fables that I had kinda liked the art for, and he returns for the Buckingham gets a break issue here. This is the first time I have seen his art since having read X-Statix, so it was interesting seeing him not as intentionally copying Jack Kirby. There were a couple other artists as well, who I am not remembering the name for. Both were fine, better than the old drop in artists they'd use.

  • David
    2018-12-08 05:18

    This is the first post-war volume. I was wondering what Willingham would do now that the Adversary has been defeated and the Empire has been destroyed. He ended up going with the "New Dark Lord" storyline -- so, the Empire had a lot of really dangerous, powerful, evil magics all bottled up while Geppetto was running things, and now they're being unleashed. Hence, a new Big Bad who right off the bat kills off a few notable Fables and then destroys Fabletown. And that's just in the beginning.While I enjoyed the story, and it was interesting to see the Fables beginning to explore more of the universe and their place in it, asking questions that haven't been asked in all the time they were at war with the Empire, I still wish it didn't look like we're just going to have another large multi-volume story arc in which they try to figure out how to defeat another super-powerful evil magical being. One of the virtues of the Vertigo line is that it can publish series that are long-running, but not necessarily endless. Whereas you know that the fundamentals of the DC Universe will never change permanently (they might mess around now and then with Superman's origin, marry him to Lois Lane, or even do a 12-issue miniseries where they "kill" him, but he's always going to come back and he's always going to be Clark Kent and Lex Luthor is always going to be his nemesis), in a series like Fables, there is no guarantee that it won't end eventually, and that things won't change radically along the way. Hence the actual end of the war that had been going on since the start of the series, and the destruction of Fabletown, which has also been a constant since the start of the series, in this volume.That said, since we have seen Fables return from the dead before, I'm not entirely convinced that the characters Willingham killed off will remain dead, since we know with supernatural magical beings, he can bring them back any time he has an excuse to do so.So anyway, the series is still good, but it's starting to recycle things just a little, so I hope it's not limping along in this vein ten years from now, still doing more story arcs with Big Bad IX.

  • Reenie
    2018-12-03 07:15

    I've found, as I've gone through this series, that I like parts of Willingham's style less and less the more exposed I am to it (or maybe the problematic parts come through more and more, I'm not sure). I'm not fond of the tendency of a variety of characters to parrot bits of what must be the author's political stance on the 'mundy world' in the context of their own stories. I suppose this may be due to a dislike of the stance itself in this instance, and I may just not notice when these sorts of things agree with me, but I like to think not - in Fables it really does feel like author talking directly to the audience through his characters, and to be honest, I find that a bit tacky.Also, the parallel Willingham likes to keep drawing (in his notes and with his characters) between Fabletown and Israel makes no bloody sense. (At least not until Fabletown starts starting wars with its neighbours in its new home.)So why do I keep reading? Well, it can be heavy-handed (in the plot & characterisation itself, aside from my bitchy complaints about the use of the story as a pulpit) compared to other things from Vertigo, but it's still an enjoyable story that manages to keep you sucked in and wanting to know more. Mr Dark is a bit of a caricature, but the shape of his story as a new unforseen (and degrees of magnitude worse than what preceded him) is an excellent move, and his thing with the teeth is truly creepy. Teeth are. (I forget what the percentage of the population is supposed to be that has recurring teeth nightmares, but it's significant, and I'm definitely one of them.) And the art is generally excellent - particularly the covers, which are some of the most gorgeous things around in comics today. Pretty things will keep my interest up, it's true.

  • Cathy
    2018-12-04 07:38

    I'd feel bad about complaining that the last volume wasn't Grimm enough if this hasn't been written several years ago. Clearly the author didn't get a chance to see my comments before moving on with his plans, sour isn't my fault, guys, don't blame me! I guess I can't whine about how dark it gets when I'm given pretty much what I asked for, huh? It's a much better story for the turns it's taking, even if it is somewhat distressing at points. It's good to see Frau Tottenkinder at a loss too, we're in brand new territory now. I thought that post-war stories would be just that, pretty much just post-war stuff. And that's obviously going to be part of it from what we saw of the Mowgli story at the end. But it'll be interesting to see how the rest of this develops as well.I will complain about a technical thing. If different artists are going to do different comics, they shouldn't change big things like wardrobe at the same time that they change a character's appearance by a huge amount. Pinocchio is completely unrecognizable again (it's happened before in previous comics with the same artists) in the first story in this volume. If the penciler chose to draw him as a little kid instead of trying to draw him the way Mark Buckingham does, fine, but at least put him in a green shirt and jacket so we have an idea of who we're looking at. Everyone else looks pretty close to right, but there's this bizarre big-eyed kid in yellow and blue calling Geppetto, "Pops," who looks exactly like one of Snow and Bigby's kids. I just don't understand why they wouldn't at least use the right colors, if not try to make him look a little more like the other character.

  • Kat
    2018-12-08 12:29

    Basic Plot: The war against the Adversary is over, but now the Fables have to deal with the aftermath of the power vacuum left by the adversary and pay the price for the magic they used to win.A lot happened in this volume, as it sets up the next big set of story arcs coming down the line for the fables. If I were to actually list everything, it would take a considerable amount of space, and some of it would probably be considered spoiler-y due to the nature of relationships, deaths, and disappearances. I hesitate to actually do that, so I'm just going to say that a LOT happened and to a LOT of characters. There were emotions. It was hard to believe that a certain character died. The nature of Fables, though, is that they live on...It looked like a few different artists worked on this arc, and it was most noticeable in how Pinocchio was drawn. It threw me off to have him look like an actual little boy for the first part. Frau Totenkinder, too, was drawn differently, and lost a lot of her "edge" when drawn by the other artist. It was obviously still very good, this series is nothing if not consistent about that, but some of the characters just seemed off in those parts. I continue to really enjoy this series, so I'm looking forward to the next volume when I can pick it up.

  • Regina
    2018-12-15 10:21

    Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn. Please.This installment of Fables was pretty intense, but mainly because it was completely unexpected. We've just finally finished the war, buried our fallen, and attempted to move forward. None more than our loveable siren, Rose Red, who has moved on in some very interesting ways. Meanwhile, back in the homelands, the war has caused some rather "dark" events to unfold. Two treasure-hunting thieves have stumbled upon a find that will change everything for our friends in Fabletown. The proverbial Boogeyman is coming.I really enjoyed this edition, though it was a bit light compared to the past two. The effects of the war on Boy Blue were hard to watch, but done in a really touching way. And to finally have something come up that even Frau Totenkinder had to quake a little about, was just the right bit of frightening. A jungle book crossover, and another look at Bigby's meddlesome brothers gave a much needed bit of comic relief, also. I'm curious to see what our exiles from the 13th floor have discovered about the role of Mundy's, and also to find out just how far the Boogeyman's wrath will reach. Perhaps we're finally about to get to the bottom of how powerful the Mundy popularity health theory is.

  • M. Ashraf
    2018-12-14 12:35

    Two big funerals in one volume, so sad :( I return to the Fables series after a year, with the capture of the Emperor, all the Empires falls in chaos without their fearless leader... but again his speech about; he did what he had to do and he prevented more danger and maintained peace among the Empires for thousands of year might come to play after the Dark one and all other darkness.The first funeral was sad but not like the second one, at the end of the volume, it felt so real and it was unexpected :( + with the fall of Fable town it was all just :(The talk between Blue and Red was great!The Dark One looks and feel ominous 3:) Though Once Upon A Time/TV is compared to this series, I don't think they are anything alike just for the main idea, but the content is so much different and this series is great in everything that the mere comparison is unfair, as the show airs on abc network, they draw a lot from Disney with fluffy and optimistic stories unlike this series where it can go dark and bloody with no happy endings :) Anyways, great volume, very sad and now I am going to finish it...

  • Matt
    2018-11-30 10:09

    Volumes 10 and 11 ("The Good Prince" and "War and Pieces") were so strong, that I was a little let down with "The Dark Ages." Because volume 11 brought a resolution to the series-long storyline of Fabletown vs. the Adversary, I saw volume 12 as the beginning a new storyline, with a new villain being introduced. Mr. Dark doesn't seem to be as compelling as the mystery of, "Who is the Adversary?," however he seems to be a formidable opponent for our Fables. For me, the highlight of this volume was Frau Totenkinder's conversation with Stinky the badger about the Mundy world actually being magical, "in a different way" (p. 135-136). I am glad that they are addressing the fact that the Mundy world is the only world in which stories of the Fables exist. It is important to ask the question, "Did the Fables create the stories and those who have written them, or did the stories create the Fables?" Is the Mundy world an even more magical world than the others, as it is a world of story makers? Is there some sort of Master Storyteller? Some of this has been touched upon in the "Jack of Fables" series, however, I am interested in a further exploration of this topic.

  • Doreen
    2018-12-04 08:16

    I'd forgotten how much I missed the Allreds' work (primarily on their brilliant run on X-Force) till I read the first issue collected in this volume. I've always loved Mike's expressive style, and Laura continues to do amazing work with color. Which also goes to show you how much I appreciate what they do: I very rarely start reviewing a graphic novel with commentary on the art work instead of going over the written text.Anyhoo. Great book, as always (and I also love Buckingham's pencils!) It's nice that Willingham is exploring what happens to the multitude of homeworlds now that the Adversary no longer oversees them; the bit with the S.O.S was also a pointed bit of commentary that I, for one, thoroughly appreciated. And, geez, the psychiatric evaluation that Red gets towards the end is spot on! I disagree with Blue, though, in that I don't think any one incident broke her as a kid to act that way; it probably derives from a need to prove to her mother that she's better than her sister ('cause you just know Snow was the favored child.)

  • Kaimynas
    2018-11-20 12:17

    Wow, what a great start of the new story. When I started reading this series I thought it will end after adversary's arc, later on when I knew it's not the case I was a bit afraid of what will be next, but all my worries were blown away. This was my favorite volume by far, dark, melancholic filled with heavy subject like loss and how to cope with it. One of the losses definitely left a big hole in me and all Fables world. And Darkness himself for main villain, hell yeah, I'll take that.One of the nitpicks is change of art direction, in the first issue it was new one and it was ok, then it was back to normal and last one is new one again, but this one was so bad and all these changes are so disturbing my immersion that I would like them just stick to the main one and left others to special issues.P.S Covers to all issues were always brilliant, but cover for issue 82 was so brilliant, so beatifful that I WILL HAVE TO PRINT IT AND FRAME THIS MOTHERFCKER.

  • Caitlin
    2018-11-28 09:11

    After such a disappointment in Fables, Vol. 11: War and Pieces, it was great to see this one end with such an AWESOME villain! I can't wait to see what Mister Dark has in store for us! I was really, really happy to see that the war which was so easy turned out to have seriously dire consequences. And I loved seeing Geppetto face all the Fables he'd wronged, it was exactly what I expected from him and all the more enjoyable for it. Definitely a good addition to the series!

  • John
    2018-12-03 08:24

    This series has really hit its stride.This was another very interesting entry in the series.A new evil calling himself Mister Dark has unleashed a assault on Fabletown and things will never be the same.The inhabitants of Fabletown are forced to relocate to the farm do to the destruction of their former home by dark outside forces.Cap this off with a very touching scene between Boy Blue and Rose Red that signifies Boy Blues last moments in the overall story arc.This series just gets better and better.

  • Bry
    2018-12-16 09:19

    This was a pretty good installment but holy cow was it sad. A lot of things happened in this volume that I hated, but overall the story was solid and I can see how the events that transpired will lead to further plots and characterization. But still. Major sad face. Oh I and I may have disliked Rose Red in the last 2 volumes or so but I despised her in this one.

  • Craig
    2018-11-28 04:38

    The death of Boy Blue sure was sad and it's nice to see that there's still life left in this storyline, as it's discovered that there may be worse things than Gepetto out there in the former homelands.

  • Markku Kesti
    2018-12-14 11:20

    Sodan loppumisesta ja pääpahiksen kukistamisesta seuraa tietenkin, että pitää kehittää uusi ja pahempi päävihulainen. Joten pari palkkasoturia käy löytämässä kirstun, jota ei koskaan pitänyt avata ja sen jälkeen shit hits the fan ja myös Fabletown on kusessa.

  • Sarah Hogman
    2018-12-17 06:29

    4 1/2 stars. A powerful volume that answers (though more likely raises) more questions on the origins of Fablekind. Boy Blue's epiphany regarding Rose Red is striking, and a poignant addition to this beautifully written volume.

  • Sam
    2018-11-18 08:22

    Awww Flycatcher's sadness made me all worried!

  • Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
    2018-12-09 12:38

    I am finally done with the Fables graphic/comic book series.I enjoyed it.I honestly thought the ending could have been better.But I highly recommend it with out a doubt.2 thumbs up.

  • Karen
    2018-12-16 06:14

    Oh this one was a bit of a tear jerker for me.. But another good book in the series

  • James Eckman
    2018-11-25 12:23

    Not as much fun as the earlier ones, some stories suffer from poor artwork.