Read about one of the Outhousers' favorite characters in the weekly Character Spotlight! This week, we look at Fables' Bigby Wolf!
In an Internet filled with overwhelming negativity and pointless hatred of frivolous stuff, it's sometimes necessary to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember why we enjoy comics in the first place. Character Spotlight is a weekly feature showcasing some of the Outhouse's favorite characters that epitomize why we read comics. Maybe you'll learn something, maybe you won't, but regardless we hope you enjoy the Outhouse's Character Spotlight!
I'll show them! Every day I'll hunt! And each time I'll and feast on something bigger than the last thing I killed, until I am bigger and stronger than anything!
In a bit of irony, this statement comes from a time in the character's life when he was anything but bad (or big for that matter). Born to a wolf mother and a Shape Shifting Deity Father (North Wind), Bigby Wolf would have humble beginnings as the runt of his litter that included 6 other brothers who were born with all of the physical gifts that Bigby lacked. It would take his mother (Winter) dying for him to set himself on a course where he would go from being a small game hunter to the most feared force of nature in the Adversarial Empire. However, it wouldn't be until his humbling by his father and a random act of kindness in saving his future wife (Snow White) from dire slavery that truly set Bigby Wolf on the path to become the Sheriff, Detective, Military Leader, Husband and Father that we all know and love.
What makes Bigby so awesome?
...I thought so Tough Guy. When you get done pissing yourself with fear, tuck tail and do what I told you to do. Obey Me.
When describing Bigby Wolf, the first thing you realize is that the character cannot be put into a box. Even at his thinnest, Bigby hunted for the chance to become the strongest he could be. It would also be those dimensions that would allow him to feel something other than his natural urges to hunt and feast to save a woman whose name he didn't know and it would again be those same feelings that allowed him to give up his true nature to become a man and the first, last and only line of defense of Fabletown and its secrets as its Sheriff.
Over the centuries, Bigby would not only use his physical (and metaphysical gifts) to protect Fabletown, but would gain many skills that would elevate him from just your run of the mill enforcer as he would show on many different occasions that not only could he fight with the best anyone has to offer, but could use his mind to solve situations where using his powers were not enough. Another aspect Bigby would develop is an unwavering sense of Patriotism as he would fight in 3 different American wars (The American Civil War and both World Wars) and would use to experience to help Fabletown win its war against the Adversarial Empire. Through all of this (and everything else that led up to those years), Bigby would show an extremely admirable sense of loyalty to these people and the causes he cares about. From defending the United States from its enemies, to putting his life on the line to preserve Fabletown, to quitting his position as Sheriff out of loyalty to Snow (due to her ex-husband becoming the mayor), to almost sacrificing his life to fight Mister Dark to preserve his cubs' future, Bigby has shown that he's willing to do anything to protect things that are important to him.
In spite of his history, character dimensions and admirable traits, the one thing that will attract most people to Bigby is his overwhelming ability to get shit done. Whether it's solving a murder, stopping Fabletown from burning, destroying the Enchanted Forest, taking down the puppet Emperor, or standing up to his God of a Father, Bigby Wolf is the character that most women will love for his animal magnetism and most men will want to be for the same reasons.
Bigby's Defining Stories (In Fables Universe Chronological Order):
We've been a part of this country far longer than any Mundy. Some might reasonably argue that that only increases our duty to fight for it.
The Runt: Every great journey has its humble beginnings and this is where the journey begins for Bigby Wolf. Was Bigby always the Big Bad Wolf? What tragedy gave him his first great purpose? How did the setbacks set him on the path to becoming what he became? Many of those answers will be revealed in this gripping, yet harrowing tale of what happens when you use life's challenges to define yourself. (Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall)
1883: After years and years of evading Fabletown, Bigby has finally tracked down Jack Horner to the Wild West to stop the latter's reign of terror. Can Bigby Wolf put an end to the Jack Candle Gang, or will Jack finally do what no one else has ever been able to? (Jack of Fables #22 – 24/Jack of Fables Vol. 5: Turning Pages)
Who Killed Rose Red: So what exactly happened after "Happily Ever After" for our favorite Fairy Tale characters? For a small group of them, they've come to New York to live among us after centuries of running from a force only known as "The Adversary." Where have the years taken these beloved characters? The answers begin to unfold amidst a murder mystery like none other. (Fables #1 – 5/Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile)
Storybook Love: After years and years of unanswered and growing tension, Snow White and Bigby are finally put in a situation where they not only have to come face to face with those unanswered questions, but the machinations of two people who want them dead for past perceived humiliations. Can Bigby and Snow survive the adventure that awaits them and even if they do, will their lives ever be the same? (Fables #14 – 17/Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love)
March of the Wooden Soldiers: The aftermath of their adventure has left on mark on both Snow and Bigby, but they will have very little time to deal with the consequences that come with what happened in those woods, as the Adversary has finally made its way to Fabletown in a form that brings Pinocchio to the forefront of the proceedings. Can Fabletown survive a threat that can withstand most of what they can bring to bear and can Bigby Wolf get back in time to turn the tide (Fables #19 -21 and 23 - 27/Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers.
Wolves: After being denied the right to see his kids due to long standing laws and edicts, Bigby retreated to Alaska where he drown his sorrows in booze and a lover that greatly resembled Snow, physically. However, after Charming finds a way to solve the problem of his banning from the Farm, Bigby pulls off one final mission as an official employee of Fabletown Government in the hopes of sending a message that the true Adversary would hear loud and clear. Can Bigby accomplish the impossible and can he finally win the woman he's wanted for more than half a millennium? (Fables #48 – 50/Fables Vol. 8: Wolves)
Super Team: Fabletown is on the brink of destruction. With their old home in New York City destroyed and mad retreat to King Ambrose's kingdom of Haven, the last line of defense lies in an idea that Pinocchio plans to exploit to its maximum advantage. Can the great powers of Fabletown pool their abilities together to combat the nigh-unstoppable powers of the dread lord of Nightmares, and who will finally win the long awaited battle between Bigby and his father The North Wind? The answers will most definitely shock you (Fables #102 – 106/Fables Vol. 16: Super Team)
Can Bigby defeat Superman?
You'll find out pretty quickly if you've got the temperament for this job. It's a pretty eclectic mix of small town sheriff and clandestine spy-master.
This battle could go a lot easier than anyone might imagine, simply because he has one advantage that Superman has a much harder time answering and that advantage is magic. With Bigby's being the son of one of the 4 Primordial winds, his latent shape-shifting nature gives him access to strength and energy manipulation (in the form of his Huff and Puff) that would be a challenge for almost any force out there, especially when you take into consider the centuries he has had to hone other combat skills that make him one of the most dangerous fighters in fiction. Beyond that, the thing that could send Bigby over the top in this battle is his merciless nature in battle. When his objectives (or very life) is on the line, there is no doubt that Bigby will not hold back if it means the difference between victory and defeat and in the right situation that's something that could bring down Big Blue. Yes, I know it's not as flashy as some of the other answers to this question, but since the character in question goes for form over flash, it's quite the fitting one.
Where can I read about Bigby Wolf currently?
Merry Christmas. See you both back at the castle in about two weeks. Not before then.
Despite the fact that Fables has moved on from having Bigby (along with Snow White) as the central focus, he still plays a very important role in the universe at present day. In just the last year alone, Bigby played an important role in both of the big Fables storylines "Super Team" and "Inherit the Wind." In the former, Bigby would go on to convince the one force that could hope to defeat Mister Dark to do what needed to be done to accomplish this feat, with the principal aftermath of this decision is dealt with in the latter storyline when Bigby's cubs are pitied against each other to decide who the North Wind is with a result almost no one could guess. In addition 2012 (which is the 10th Anniversary of this series) will start off with "Cubs in Toyland", putting more spotlight on the cubs and in turn, Bigby himself. No matter what happens in that story (or after it); Bigby is most certainly going to be involved in the future of Fables in one way or another.
Written or Contributed by: Linwood Earl Knight