Warning: Spoilers for the previous Fables volume, Superteam, abound in this review.
A new Fables volume is always a good thing. I was a little disappointed with the last installment, but even when a volume is a bit off, it's still better than most comics I've had a crack at. Inherit the Wind is a fine follow-up to the somewhat anticlimactic defeat of Mr. Dark, mostly because it promises new directions and new storylines to explore.
The title is a reference to the death of the North Wind, aka Bigby Wolf's father and the Cubs' grandfather. The main storyline involves the zephyrs' deliberations to determine who will be the new North Wind - one of the cubs, naturally. They're put to a series of tests, and the new King is not who you might expect.
The other main story follows Bufkin and his sidekicks as they try and undermine the Nome King's tyrannical rule over Oz. It should come as a surprise to no one that I love how much Willingham writes about Oz and its inhabitants (definitely a new perspective on Ozma!).
Another story follows Rose Red's return to the Farm, and yet another shows how newly-thin Mrs. Spratt is coping with her master's death.
There's a lot going on, and most of it is set-up for the new stories Willingham has planned after the Mr. Dark arc, but it never feels like straight exposition. I really enjoy seeing how the events of the past volumes have impacted each character. My one quibble is that each of these stories is broken up into little chunks, and told in rotation. It became distracting after a while - I just wanted to get on with one story without being interrupted after just a couple of pages with another.
Still, that's often the nature of comics. And as always, there are some smaller stories with guest writers and illustrators appended at the end. I enjoyed all of these, and that's saying something, since I usually find them pretty erratic in quality. And of course the art is uniformly outstanding.