Comic Books


In the conclusion to “Orpheus In the Underworld,” Tom meets the King of

Hell again—and this time it’s even more unpleasant than before. The only way out is up, and the only way to get there is through a story. But what if the story says you have to lose?

This issue leads directly into the epic fiftieth issue, and the start of THE UNWRITTEN FABLES!

Story by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross
Cover by Yuko Shimizu

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  1. Tom Taylor Vs. Mr. Bun(aka. Pauly Bruckner)

  2. I was rather unimpressed with last issue, so I was happy to see this one pick up the pace a bit. There was some very interesting developments to the ongoing mythology of the Leviathan(s?), and even though most of us knew about the impending Fables crossover, it seems like it could lead to an interesting chapter in Tom’s adventure.

    The art was good, but it seems to have morphed a bit over time. I don’t know how much of it Peter Gross is still doing, but it definitely has undergone some changes since the first few trades. It’s not bad by any means, just different, I don’t know maybe it’s a new inker.

    Yuko Shimizu, still earning Eisner nominations, adds another gorgeous cover. I still hope to one day see an over-sized collection of these(a la James Jean) once it’s all said and done.

  3. I think this book deserves more discussion so I’m gonna attempt to get the ball rolling. ******SPOILER*****ALERT******* just to be safe.

    Pullman’s speech to Tom atop the giant tower in Dubai wrinkled my brain a bit, but I think his point was that stories have shaped the world into something that it’s not. Sayings like, “History is written by the victors” are good examples of what I think he is getting at. Because of collective conscience, and our human tendency to groupthink we have transformed the world into a perverted version of itself. What we live in everyday is an amalgamation of centuries of humanity perpetuating ideas and beliefs so that we’ve formed societies and behaviors that reflect how we think the world is supposed to be, based on what we experience and what we’re taught. Organized religion, morals, crime, and punishment have all shaped the planet in both good and not so good ways. I think he is speaking about more than just literature too, we could include journalism, and gossip(often one in the same) in this category too.
    I know it’s a bit of a rant, but does anyone else have some thoughts? Even if it’s just to say I’m wrong or crazy that’s fine, as long as you back it up with evidence or opinion. Ready….GO!

    • No, I agree with you the true essence of petty gossip can create stories which lead into tales & can make dramatic acts of history!
      All forms of media can be the same as are most politics, it takes a lot to define what is true or what is fact. We as a race in modern society have so much at are disposal now everything is almost limitless & the same can be said with what Pullman was getting at.
      Words can alter the world even down to the most insignificant, so I agree with your point completely!

      Now bring on the Fables!!!!

    • I too was really struck by Pullman’s speech at the tower’s top. My reading is that Pullman was arguing that layers upon layers of stories have blinded us to the “truth.” It is impossible to visit the “real” Paris because you cannot step foot in the city without a certain per-concieved set of ideas, even if it is an anti-romantic image of the city, your “idea” is still based on something you heard without being there. Tommy does not refute this, but simply says that stories are a necessary evil. We need our imaginations, we need to be able to tell stories in order to relate to our world & express ourselves. Do they mask or divert from the truth? Yes, at times they do, but that doesn’t mean we stop spinning fables, we simply try telling better ones. We’ve already seen in previous issues what the disappearance of storytelling does to people, how it strips us of our humanity. Without imagination, we would be unable to perform even the mundane tasks of everyday life. Pullman doesn’t care, since people are just sheep in his eyes. Tommy on the other hand has faith in humanity still.

      Anyway, that’s how I read the story. Incidentally, I thought that this issue was outstanding. The scenes with Lizzie were particularly moving. Can’t wait to see what’s next. I’d say it’s my Pick of the Week, but I do have Nowhere Men and Mind MGMT left to read (I know, I save the best for last ).

    • Thanks for the replies guys!

      I like your ideas as well, there’s definitely a lot going on in this book, and I like hearing/reading other people’s opinions and thoughts on it. One of my favorite things about this story is the ideas it presents, and how deep some of those ideas really are when you stop and ponder them.

    • I agree. One of the reasons I love Unwritten so much, is how Carey has been exploring ideas of storytelling and its importance.

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