I've heard through the grapevine that Fables will be ending its run with issue 150. While I've had a lot of fun with this series and seeing how Willingham has developed the idea of fairy tale characters come to life, living in our world, I have to say I'm glad that he's opting to end it. The series is still going strong, and Willingham has proven that he has enough ideas to keep it from becoming too stale, but there have been some re-hashing of old ideas that have popped up along the way. The recurring theme of Gepetto and his war has grown a little tiresome, though it seems like, with this volume, Willingham is starting to look at taking that in a different direction. I'll have to wait to see what happens.
This collection starts off rather poorly, with a throwaway story about the Oz characters rebelling against the Nome King. This story must have taken 2-3 issues to tell in the periodical printing, and had I been reading the series through the individual issues, I would have gotten a little fed up with it. It seemed rather pointless and uninteresting, which is a shame, since Willingham's other "cleanse the palate" interludes have been a lot better than this one. I'd recommend skipping over it all together, if you can.
The rest of the collection is pretty standard fare, with Brandish returning to claim Snow White as his bride, while Bigby is out trying to find where their missing children are. Snow White falls unwillingly into the "damsel in distress" here, though she still retains enough of her independence and fortitude to try to get out of the dilemma on her own. Brandish is just too powerful, and has planned too far ahead for her to be able to outwit him. In the end, the story isn't about outwitting him, but simply overpowering him, and even though Bigby returns to save her, she still manages to be the one to get rid of Brandish (though not without paying a price of her own). Since Brandish is a stereotypical male chauvinist character, it's fitting that she be the one to defeat him.
I'm curious to see how Willingham will end the series, and I get the feeling that this volume is setting the stage for how it's going to develop. I'm curious to know, though, if it will end with a happy ending, or if it will end in destruction and disaster. Given how Willingham has run the series so far, I could honestly see it going either way.