(Titan Books �10.99)

JACK of Fables is the legendary hero from our fairy tales, the same character who enjoyed adventures as Jack Horner, Jack Be Nimble and Jack O’Lantern. A morally ambiguous womaniser and trickster always looking for his next get-rich-quick scheme, Jack is virtually immortal thanks to his popularity amongst the normal “Mundy” population, who believe him to be nothing more than legend.

This latest collection of stories from the ongoing series finds Jack experiencing a karmic comeuppance for his past misdeeds, and effectively writes him out of his own series for the time being in order to focus on his son, also known as Jack, the one-time Jack Frost of legend, who has decided to reinvent himself as a hero.

Deftly contrasting Jack Horner’s world-weary cynicism with his heir’s fresh-faced idealism, this volume is an interesting reorientation of the series by writers Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham, setting out a new direction for future volumes which marks a dramatic shift from earlier instalments, but is no less entertaining because of it.

A post-modern fantasy with a knowing wink and a nudge, JoF is full of in-jokes and self-parody, but never forgets the need for drama and characterisation. Although both this title and the main Fables series are now so far along that they may prove somewhat inaccessible to newcomers, they are also two of the strongest ongoing comics being published today, which is a good argument for starting both runs from the beginning. And if you’re already a convert, then you need no persuading to pick up this latest fantastic volume, so stop reading this review and order a copy now!