|Issue 141 - 1st of the Happily Ever After finale chapters. Cover by Nimit Malavia|
In true classic storybook-ending style, this story ends as it begins, with the sisterhood conflict of Snow White and Rose Red - but turned up to 11.
“HAPPILY EVER AFTER!” part 1. Good knight vs. bad knight. King Arthur vs. Morgan le Fay. Rose Red vs. Snow White. The two sisters are caught up in the roles Camelot has set for them, and now they’re ready for battle. Plus, don’t miss the backup story illustrated by P. Craig Russell!I admit I'm not caught up yet, having yet to navigate my way through the various crossovers etc but I've kept a general eye on things and have been following the Fairest spin-off, which also culminates at Issue 150.
Note: Issue 150 will be 150 PAGES LONG! I'm kind of looking forward to that actually. Since it has to finish, I have fairly high hopes that this will finish well and Willingham will pull out all his stops to add the notes from his fairy tale research that he hasn't yet been able to use. *fingers crossed* And I'd like an annotated version of the comics with reference to all the research too please... (No I did not happen upon a genie and am making outrageous wishes, I'm just choosing to be extremely optimistic!)
A little bit from Willingham on the finale arc (note Flycatcher is "The Frog King" for those a little hazy on the many, many denizens of Fabletown. He's also a fan favorite, and included on my short list too):
"I'm not saying that everyone dies and everything's horrible. But as the story plays out, it becomes clear that that's it. The story comes to an end."
Some characters in Willingham's expansive Fables cast will have their final curtain calls in the main story line — others star in short backup stories in the last run of issues, beginning with Flycatcher in No. 141, and then moving to Sinbad, Cinderella, Prince Charming and others.
There will also be some skipping around in time, Willingham says. "The final story of Flycatcher for example takes place at some undisclosed time in the future, but apparently he's had time to have kids between now and then."
The article mentions how Willingham made good use of a Fables forum to keep track of all the questions of character fates, unresolved plot-lines and other fan puzzlers (smart!) and will be dealing with a lot of those danglers in the final arc as well. Hopefully that will be satisfying story-wise without being too "i" dotting and "t" crossing.
You can read much more about The End HERE (though it might seem a little confusing if you're not a decent way into the series).
I read vague possibilities of Fables one-off "specials" in between the lines of Bill Willingham's admission that it's not as easy to let go as he originally anticipated.
"Just doing this last story line," he says, "these pesky characters keep suggesting, well, if you've done this then here's something nice, or here's something that could happen to this character down the road."Oh - and don't forget: the movie is still actively in development. Things are still looking very good for a Fables film.