Are you ready for the next great Fables spin-off from mastermind Bill Willingham? Well get ready, because where Fables itself focuses on what happens when fairy tale characters live together and start being real; Jack of Fables gave us the debauched solo adventures of everyone’s favorite titular cad; and the various Cinderella series posited that everyone’s favorite shoe obsessed character was actually the world’s greatest secret agent... Fairest, which launches today from Vertigo Comics, focuses instead on the real housewives (and, er, Snow Queens) of Fabletown.
The first arc brings us the true story (true story) of Briar Rose, who you might know better as Sleeping Beauty. But she’s not the only beauty in Fabletown with secrets to share, and an axe to grind. Here - looking down the roster on the full cover by Adam Hughes - is who we might expect to show up on the first season of Fairest, from left to right:
The Snow Queen
This icy fox rules Winter with a cold, hard fist… Though she wasn’t always this way. After a torrid affair with Jack Horner, she was abandoned by the cad, and even though they share a son – the similarly cold Jack Frost – she swore herself to the side of bad to get back at the elder Jack. She allied herself with Geppetto, leader of the invasion of the Homelands, but ended up falling asleep – maybe forever – along with Briar Rose. Will she wake up? And if so, will she be more ice… Or fire? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Sure, she seems like an unassuming, ditzy owner of the most popular shoe store in all of Fabletown. But secretly she’s Sherrif Beast’s top agent, a spy so deadly she’s even taken down the wicked Dorothy. So what if she has a tendency to tumble into bed with the men she’s often forced to protect/team up with? This is one former fireplace-sweep you don’t want to mess with.
Along with Prince Aspen, this clothing deprived wood nymph was charged by Grandfather Oak to guard Geppetto once he was under house arrest in Fabletown’s Annex The Farm. She was banished back to the woods by Rose Red, but will the powerful creature return? And will she learn what pants are?
She may be known for her looks, but this is one Fable with powerful brains, too. The wife of Sheriff Beast, she’s given birth to a baby with certain, er, beast-like qualities that she may or may not know about quite yet. We don’t know what’s next for Beauty, but we do know she’s one hot MILF. You know: Mother I’d Like To Fable.
You all know the roguish Prince Charming, the dashing Fable who has bedded and wedded nearly every woman on the Fairest #1 cover. But when we last left him, he had, well, blown up. And was buried. Still, we’ve never seen the body, and it’s been well established that the more famous a Fable is, the harder they are to kill. We he be returning to add a little sexy rompiness to the book?
This was a tough one to suss out, but we think this is the formerly fat Mrs. Sprat. After her husband died, she took up with the evil Mr. Dark, going on a weight loss and beautifying regimen that left her thin, sexy, and ready to take revenge on the Fables who tormented her for years (in her mind, anyway). Recently recovered from a false “captivity,” Mrs. Sprat is ready to eat no lean in a whole new way.
Okay, we’re actually not sure who this teapot holding hussy is… Reactions from friends varied from it maybe being Alice (of Wonderland fame) to Wendy Darling (from Peter Pan). All we know is, with a fox like this, we’re ready for tea-time!
The conniving witch-child from the land of Oz has immense power, control of the Council of Witches, and an agenda that’s all her own. She looks innocent, but can you truly trust her? This is one son of a witch we don’t want to mess with.
Cursed by the evil (now reformed) witch Frau Totenkinder, Rapunzel needs her hair cut three times a day, and because of that, is basically a shut-in. We don’t know a lot about her from the various Fables series – particularly as she died early on. But like we said before, it’s very hard to kill Fables the more famous they are. And that’s one famous head of hair.
The fairest in all the land, Snow has proven time and again to be one of the most resourceful Fables alive. She’s married to the Big Bad Wolf, mother to seven kids who are half wind gods, half werewolves, and the sister to Rose Red. If there’s an Alpha Female in this group, it’s Snow. Just don’t try to ply her with any apples.
Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty
Another character we don’t know a lot about, mainly because she’s been in a coma most of the series. Used as a nuclear option to stop the evil Geppetto, she was carried off by goblins and hasn’t been seen since. Still, we should find out a lot more about this bed-ridden women very, very soon.
Weak where Snow was strong, deceitful where her sister was faithful, most of her life Rose Red was defined by trying to be what Snow wasn’t. But now she’s stepped up, taking responsibility for the Fables’ Farm Annex. And she’s also starting to get over the death of her true love, Boy Blue. Still, with a past like hers, you have to imagine there’s a few skeletons in her closet (and not just in the one she shared with the murderous Bluebeard).
It’s possible this isn’t the most famous tiny lady in all of Fable-dom, which we’ll get to in a second. But if it is, she was the only woman in Smalltown for decades, causing a fair amount of jockeying for her tiny little hands. Now, though, there’s a ton more little ladies like her, including a Barleycorn maid in love with Winged Monkey Bufkin. So who knows? We just care that they’re small and ready to… Go to a ball. Cough.
Fairest #1 hits comic book stands -- and is available on the new Vertigo comics app -- today!