Waiting For The Trade – Jack of Fables: The New Adventures of Jack and Jack

Writers: Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Chris Roberson
Pencillers: Tony Akins, Russ Braun
Inkers: Jose Marzan Jr, Andrew Pepoy, Tony Akins, Russ Braun
Colourist: Daniel Vozzo
Letter: Todd Klein

After the events of the Great Fables Crossover the Jack of Fables book takes a new direction with the narrative splitting in two and presenting us with an ongoing story of Jack Horner alongside one of his son Jack Frost. Young Jack is just beginning his heroing career and is full of vim and vigour and just wants to be a hero regardless of whether he gets paid or not, in fact in that respect he’s almost the polar opposite of his father. This contrast between the two characters really does a great job of highlighting how far Jack Horner has fallen, and makes a nice change from stories of his exploits and generally selfish-bastardishness.

There’s an initial issue which stands alone before we get into the Jack & Jack tale, it’s relatively throwaway but entertaining nonetheless, plus it has apes…lots of apes, and if there’s one rule in comics it’s that you can’t get enough apes. Although I must admit I’m not sure I needed the implied inter-species sexual relationship between Jack and one of them (yes, I wish I was joking too). Still, cameos by King Kong, Curious George, Magilla Gorilla and others are all good fun.

In the main arc we find something isn’t right with the elder Jack and along with his one remaining pal, Gary the pathetic fallacy, he finds himself become more and more slovenly and the cause of this is gradually revealed within this volume. As mentioned above the younger Jack gets his first heroing gig, which is an interesting story and certainly nowhere near as straightforward as it could have been. Jack F is accompanied in his adventures by the wooden owl MacDuff, a great character for Jack to play off without necessarily detracting from the focus on Jack, due to his limitations in being a wooden owl.

I think this is a great jumping on point for Jack, you really don’t need to know much more than he’s “the Jack of fables” and that he had a son with the Snow Queen who is in turn Jack Frost…pretty much everything other than that’s on the page in front of you. If you read Fables and haven’t given JoF a try then what better opportunity? Just go into things knowing that Jack has a lighter more whimsical tone than the main Fables book and you’ll be fine.

Rating:
Reviewer: Dave Williams

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