The resulting cover-up and frame job on the reporter is simply amazing and shows Willingham’s versatility as a writer. I was in stitches when I read the lengths everyone went to in order to preserve their secret, and I loved the tension that built up between Bigby and Bluebeard, which only foreshadowed the graphic novel’s next arc.
“Storybook Love” concentrates on the coup that Bluebeard and returning fave villain Goldilocks initiate to get Bigby and Snow White out of the way so they can take over. The back-and-forth play throughout the plot is a perfect thriller and perfect escapism. Readers get a broader look at the whole world, and the fact that much of the interest focuses on the emerging relationship between Bigby and Snow, though no one knows for sure which path that’s going to take.
The action sequences in the story are very well drawn and accentuate the pacing. The fact that Bigby’s father was the North Wind and that he can still blow down houses (and forests) came out of nowhere but fits perfectly with what we’ve learned about the character. I loved the Mouse Police (Mounted Police) and would love to see them in action again (though there was a significant loss in this story). And Bluebeard’s fight with Prince Charming is wonderful, although it sets up more shenanigans that will be shortly forthcoming.
The final story “Barleycorn Bride” is different. The art is markedly different but suited the tale well enough. And again Willingham shows his remarkable chameleon writing gifts as he crafts a story that truly could have been a fairy tale.
I’m loving this series. I only regret that I discovered it so late, but at least now there are a lot of graphic novels at the local library to catch up with.