I’ve always thought that in the cast of “Fables,” Cinderella was a character begging to be used more. The Fables who lived in modern society already were having to juggle their public persona with their secret identities, so a Fable who hides her true nature from her fellow kind? It’s a smart core for the character, doubly so with her being a secret agent for the higher-ups in Fabletown.
Chris Roberson takes this character concept and opens the mini-series in media res, as Cinderella defeats the bad guy in London, all while losing a slipper. That’s the closest you’ll get to a dainty Cinderella, though; from there it’s all about her next mission, shifting her from Fabletown to Dubai while being armed with magical devices courtesy Frau Totenkinder. Of course, if you’ve read “Fables” in the past year or so, you realize the one big problem with “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love.” Namely, that it’s badly out of sync with “Fables” itself.
With the entire status quo of “Fables” having moved beyond this point about a year ago, “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” feels slightly like an anachronism. It doesn’t quite fit any more, and presumably at this point the events of the mini-series won’t have any effect on the parent title. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be enjoyable, but it does remove a certain level of excitement or tension from the story. It’s firmly set in the past.
Fortunately, there is a lot to like here. Roberson’s script moves at a good place, doubly so when you consider that most of it is exposition to set up the character and her motives. The plot itself is only just starting to tick forward now, but it still feels like a lot has happened. Shaun McManus’ art continues to have that full-figured, rounded face look that I’ve come to associate with him. I strangely enough found myself liking how he drew the non-human Fables more than anything else in this book; who knew he was so good at animals? Best of all, though, the opening three pages of “Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” is a strong, energetic action sequence that grabs the reader’s attention instantly. As this is a spy caper book, I’m looking forward to seeing what else he does along those lines.
“Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love” #1 is off to a good start, but it really is a shame that it wasn’t published a year ago, or somehow got updated to fit the current status quo. Still, it’s enough fun that I want to read more, and it gives me hopes for Roberson’s upcoming “I, Zombie” series at Vertigo. That’s a thumbs up in my book.