Here’s an interesting proposition from the writer of the rightfully acclaimed ‘Fables’ series Bill Willingham. Although he’s dabbled a little in Batman books previously, this is the first time that his Fables characters have crossed over into Gotham City. For those not in the know, Fables concerned traditional fairy tale characters, making them real entities with real problems, the main of which was that they are forced to live in a secret New York enclave with us normal people (or “mundies) after a great war in their own realm.
One of the most popular characters was Bigby Wolf, once known as the Big Bad Wolf, who served as Fabletown’s lawman, and if we’re honest had a lot of traits similar to Batman, both being hard assed detectives, though Bibgy is the only one that can turn into an actual oversized wolf. Knowing this, the fact that this six issue series sees him in Gotham whilst people are being attacked by what seems to be a giant wolf… let’s just say it’s not the best start to his visit, though I doubt it’s anything to do with him in the end.
With this first issue, we don’t find out why he’s there, or what is actually chomping down on Gotham citizens, but I suspect that he’s not the only Fable in town. We get a nice set up, an introduction to a new villain who is unnamed at this point (probably a Fable) and a nice clash between Bats and Bigby. Basically, it delivers just what you’d want from a first issue, with a few mysteries set up and characters introduced.
There’s three artists involved, and I’m not too sure who does what and where, but between them Brian Level, Jay Leisten and Lee Loughridge do a decent enough job that won’t wow anyone. Some of the figurework is decidedly lumpy, and I thought a few people were dwarves at first glance, but the job is competent enough overall, with that Batman/Bigby confrontation being the best of it.
One thing is for sure is that this won’t be a straightforward mystery, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what directions Billingham takes this in over the next five issues. DC have generally impressed with their Black Label releases, and Batman Vs Bigby: A Wolf In Gotham looks like continuing the trend.