Even though Jack is perhaps my least favorite Fable in the wonderful imaginative universe that Bill Willingham has created, I once again have been completely blown away by one of his collections. This addition to the sequence features some truly wonderful twists. There are also a number of additions to the overall Jack narrative that significantly increases the complexity of the tale.
The big surprise is that the revelation that Jack is the not the original of the Jack/John stories, but the copy. If you've read any studies dealing with European folktales, you have undoubtedly encountered the idea of Jack stories (very similar in Native American folklore concerning Coyote stories). There are a host of stories centered on this character, more of a type than a specific individual. Here the idea is introduced that through the Powers that Be, Jack was a copy of John, insted of the other way around. The stories were actually about John, whose memories Jack has been provided.
The real meat of the story, however, lies elsewhere, as we learn a great deal more about Mr. Revise and hints about the particular kind of being that he is, as well as the revelation that there are others like him. I am not buying the individual issues of this series as they come out so I have not checked to verify this, but I suspect that the next group of issues focus on this. Suffice it to say that this book is crucial in introducing essential plot twists to come.
The book also ties in rather nicely with Volume 10 of the FABLES story, in a couple of ways. First, this volume is entitled JACK OF THE FABLES 3: THE BAD PRINCE, while the other is FABLES 10: THE GOOD PRINCE. Second, in the Jack volume a sword is rammed through his chest by someone who appears to be Merlin. In the FABLES volume we learn that the sword may have resulted from more than just that.
All in all, another great addition to one of the best ongoing comics series around. If you love comics, you should definitely add this to your collection, but only after you've added the previous FABLES and JACK releases.