FABLES - The Greatest Comic Book Series of All Time!

FABLES recently (with the conclusion of the WITCHES arc from issues 87 to 91) bumped the 1980s Paul Levitz LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES series from my #1 spot to a tie for #2 with HELLBLAZER

It's not easy to bump one of my number ones from its position.  

ROSEMARY'S BABY/THE EXORCIST have been my #1 films for close to 20 years. 
DARK SHADOWS has been my #1 TV series of all-time for well over 20 years. 

Other films (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK/REVENGE OF THE SITHF13: THE FINAL CHAPTERTHE LION IN WINTERTHE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER, PART II, among others) and TV series (BUFFY and FARSCAPE and SEINFELD and DOCTOR WHO and THE X-FILES and DYNASTY, among others) have moved up and close, but they can't topple my number ones.  

The basic premise of FABLES is simple:

An unnamed and unseen (until issue #40, when all was revealed) Adversary started a process of expanding whereby the homelands of the characters out of European fables were conscripted in to The Empire. The refugees (or LEGENDS IN EXILE) fled to the mundane – i.e. "our" world – and set up shop in Manhattan and Upstate New York.

FABLES, from issue 1, has driven me to unquantifiable amounts of distraction and is the only series I read twice a year, in full, up to whichever the current issue is.  I also tend to flip through random issues (usually the current issues that have yet to be collected into a TPB) multiple times a week.  

THE GOOD PRINCE (issues 60 to 63 and 65 to 69) is one of the greatest comic book stories ever told.  It is unlike any comic book story I ever read before or since.  The range of emotions the story elicits from me each time I read this breathtaking story are immense and powerful.  It's gotten to the point that I can't think of the titular Good Prince of the story without getting all verklempt.  King Ambrose – the former Frog Prince – has to be the most tragic character to ever appear in a comic book series. 

FABLES #56 is the single greatest issue of the series and gives a brilliant, yet deceptively simple, explanation for why and how Santa Clause does what he does.  

FABLES #81 features the death of Boy Blue, a character who started as a supporting player in the first section of the series, then moved up to main character and eventually evolved into super-hero status and after his death, into a messianic figure currently expected by some to return in a blaze of blue glory.  (Boy Blue was struck down by a magic arrow during the WAR AND PIECES arc and, being a longtime comic book reader, I assumed he would get better in two issues (max!) time.)  

During THE DARK AGES, I read along as Boy Blue deteriorated and ultimately succumbed to his illness.  FABLES #81 is the saddest comic ever published.  (There, I said it!)

The current arc is titled ROSE RED and is delving into the characters of Rose Red and Snow White with an extended flashback to their youth and the origins of the centuries long estrangement.  

It was the combination of THE GOOD PRINCETHE DARK AGESWITCHES and the currently being published ROSE RED stories that finally made me realize that FABLES is my favorite comic book series of all time. 

If you have any friends interested in getting into comic books, this is the series (starting with ANIMAL FARM) that I would recommend telling them to read. 

In the coming weeks I'm going to post my thoughts on each of the major arcs of the series.