I figured this would be worth mentioning this while “Fables” is still fresh around here for now. Though I haven’t gotten to reading the “Cinderella” spin-off titles, as they were not written by series creator Bill Willingham, this story by Marc Andreyko actually makes me want to go and give them a shot. For those of you who aren’t familiar with “Fables’” interpretation of Cinderella, she’s basically the James Bond of Fabletown as she travels the world and takes care of any threats it might face from without. Here, the problem turns out to be more personal to her after a group of mice-men attack Snow White and her kids, and a suicide bomber tries to take out Cindy’s shoe-salesman friend Crispin as well. The woman’s first instinct is to question someone who knows a thing or two about turning mice into men: her own fairy godmother. Yet FG’s involvement is only the tip of the iceberg in this adventure that has Cindy trekking across the globe once again to find the source of this magic-gone-awry.
To get my criticisms out of the way first, this story runs a bit too long at six issues and its choice of villains feels remarkably arbitrary in the end. Andreyko is clearly trying to give his story stronger ties to the main series by using them, but they don’t add a whole lot to the narrative by their presence. Aside from that, this is a fun adventure that’s worth reading just for the little touches the writer brings to the proceedings. Whether its Cindy taking out a slave ring run by trolls, FG’s brief stop in an Amsterdam hash bar, the mouse whose many, many loves keep him human, or the final fate of Cindy’s most evil of stepsisters, there’s ultimately just enough here to hold your attention until the story’s end. You’ve also got Shawn McManus providing the art with his lively and cartoonish style proving to be a perfect fit for the madcap proceedings. Being a “Fables” spin-off book, that makes this story one for the fans. “Of Men and Mice” also happens to be one they’ll actually like this time around.