Author: Bill Willingham
Artists: Mark Buckingham, David Hahn and Lan Medina
Titan Books
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84576 124 3
Available 24 February 2006

Having beaten back the Adversary's first advance into their world, the residents of Fable-Town must now prepare themselves for the full-scale war that is sure to follow. For one particular Fable, this means skipping town to launch a new career as a venal Hollywood mogul - a path he hopes will be paved with gold and immortality. For another Fable, though, it means a journey down a much more dangerous road - one that winds through the Fables' old Homelands into the very heart of enemy territory, where the mystery of the Adversary's identity will finally be revealed...

Homelands collects issues 34-41 of the Fables comic book series. But don't let that put you off if you're new to the series. It's not overly difficult to pick up what is going on, and there is a handy guide, at the front of this release, to the key players in this collection.

In a nutshell, many of the residents (every fictional character that has ever been created) of Fable-Town now live in the Mundy (their name for us humans) world amongst us normal folk. Well, not all of them... only those that can pass as human. The talking animals, giants and monsters still live on The Farm in Fable-Town. There are also a few Fables who have no desire to walk amongst the Mundys.

The first tale in this collection, Jack Be Nimble, Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk; Jack and Jill; and Jack Be Nimble fame) has made his way to Hollywood. He's smuggled Jill out of Fable-Town (who shouldn't be in the Mundy world due to the fact that she is the size of a doll) along for the ride. Jack has managed to steal a truck full of loot from Fable-Town and is planning to make his fortune in Hollywood. His plan? Set up a film studio and produce a series of movies based on his exploits. This way he can be rich and famous for the rest of his days. Also, was that a bit of leg pulling at Harvey Pekar's (of American Splendor fame) expense I witnessed in amongst the pages? I sincerely hope so!

The other main tale (Homelands) sees Boy Blue on a mission. But what and why remains a mystery until later in the story. There's a rather nice red herring in this tale too - which I won't spoil for you, but is quite amusing. And half way through, we get a short break as we return to Fable-Town to discover that someone has been a bit naughty. Who has been spying on the rest of the Fables and why?

Homelands is another worthy addition to the Fables range of graphic novels. I can't recommend this series enough.

Nick Smithson

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