Six years after the end of Vertigo's seminal fairy tale series Fables by writer Bill Willingham, both Fables and its creator are back in an upcoming new DC crossover title along with the return of the ongoing series (picking up right where it left off) next year.
First up is the September debuting Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham six-issue series featuring the fan-favorite Fables character crossing over into the DCU.
The DC Black Label series is written by Willingham and with pencils by comic book-tattoo artist Brian Level, inks by Jay Leisten, and colors by Lee Loughridge.
"With the blood dry at Gotham's fourth gruesome murder scene in as many weeks, Batman is stumped," reads DC's description of Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham from its subscription page. "The same hallmarks haunt each investigation: brute-force entries, bodies ripped to shreds and stamped with enormous bite marks, and clumps of fur- wolf fur - scattered in the wreckage. The streets buzz with rumors of the 'Werewolf of Gotham.'"
In DC's official announcement that followed Newsarama's breaking the news of the series, Willingham says he's wanted to write this story since the very first year of Fables.
"Why? Because Batman is a detective, and Bigby is a detective, and I love a well-crafted story crossing over characters from two different fictional worlds," he says. "It's automatically a fish-out-of-water story for at least one of the main characters, and that sort of story always works."
Willingham also says he knew from the beginning of Fables that his fictional universe would allow for what DC is calling a "crossover detective story" to happen.
"Even though those cosmic story structures wouldn't be introduced in the Fables books for a year or more, they were baked in from the very beginning," he says.
Fables will then return on its own merits in May of 2022 just in time for its 20th anniversary when the series picks up with Fables #151, an interesting decision in this era of frequent relaunches and new #1s.
The return begins with a 12-issue story arc 'The Black Forest' which picks up where the series originally ended but what DC also calls a "perfect jumping-on point for new readers."
The return of Fables also features the return of the series 'core' creative team joining Willingham - penciler Mark Buckingham (who will draw all 12 issues of the new arc), inker Steve Leialoha, colorist Lee Loughridge, and letterer Todd Klein.
Willingham says the first arc will introduce a new character to Fables mythos and serve as a catch-up for many of the established characters.
Finally, Willingham's return to DC will also include Cursemas, a 48-page standalone holiday special featuring the Justice League. The publisher didn't provide any additional information about that special.
The return of Fables coincides with DC's recent publication of the original series in a new format. Fables Compendium Volume 1 came out last October, Fables Compendium Volume 2 out in May, and Fables Compendium Volume 3 is planned for August - just a few weeks before Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham debuts.
All of the Fables comics are available digitally as well as in print. For the best digital experience, check out our guide to the best digital comics readers for Android and iOS devices.