Exile’s Read of the Week – 1/6/10
Now the only thing I love more than a good spy story, is a a good, smart, funny, action packed spy story. Now I don’t mean Austin Powers (which don’t get me wrong, I liked… well the first one, before everybody was like “Yeah, Baby… Do I make you horny?) I mean Get Smart (The original, not the movie). Would you believe… Mel Brooks! Great stuff. Chuck. of course! The Man from U.N.C.L.E.a great Cold War era spy show that is a lot of fun. (How has that not been turned into a movie yet?) Of course all the great ones even had comics (Get Smart was published by Dell, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – Gold Key and Chuck - Wildstorm
I have always been kinda of surprised there hasn’t been more fun spy caper comics.
Sure we had Danger Girl, and Codename: Knockout – but the both ran a little more cheesecake, and while sex is certainly a key element in most spy stories, it can detract if its a little to “in your face” Which leads us to Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, a six issue miniseries from DC/Vertigo spinning out of FABLES – Bill Willingham’s hit comic. Haven’t read it? Shame on you. OK quick primer, all the characters of all the fables you have ever heard or read as a kid are real. The all lived on their own Fable world, (several of them actually) Some time ago, their homelands were taken over by someone only know as “The Adversary” and they fled to our “mundane” world over 400 years ago, and set up a small community in Lower Manhattan called “Fabletown”… They had their own shadow government, which included their own espionge faction. Their number one Agent? Cinderella.
Yes that Cinderella. Very few Fables know Cindy’s real role in their world. She has carefully tailored a “party girl – world traveller” image (The Paris Hilton of the Fable set) living off the income from her trendy West Village shoe store, and more so, the alimony from her ex-husband, Prince Charming. When actually she has been Fabletown’s best secret weapon. And now, she is after magic items that have been smuggled from Fable world and into the Mundy World.
In this story, she is joined by another famous Fable, Al-Laddin of the Arabian Fable community (which came to the Mundy World much later) is also looking for the artifacts. Even tho they are both Fables, they do not work for the same people, The Arab Fables have their own community. So there is a bit of animosity and rivalry between them, but of course they also both adrenaline driven, attractive, killing machine. So of course there is a lot of witty, sexually charged banter between them.
Like all good spy stories, there are surprise turns, exotic locales, gadgets (of course being Fables, their gadgets have more of magical bent to them, flying carpets, and charmed bracelets. Rings of power and lamps with genies.
There is a humorous side plot of what is going on in Cindy’s shoe store “The Glass Slipper” and her “put upon” employee, Crispin Cordwainer, as he decides to expand the business (which often is filled with mundy shoppers) with some more “fabulous” stock.
Shawn McManus has done a great job creating a world filled with colorful, bigger than life characters, but not going overboard with the more outrageous elements of their magical spy world. Chris Roberson has done a great job working in Bill Willingham’s world, keeping the voices of the character true to their FABLE appearances.
- Grade A