Fables fans apparently can't get enough of Cinderella, super-spy.
After the character got her own mini-series last year with Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, the fashion-conscious spy is back in February with another story of espionage and action.
Cinderella: Fables are Forever, a spin-off from the hit Vertigo series Fables, reunites the same creative team as last time, with i, Zombie's Chris Roberson writing and Shawn McManus drawing. Chrissie Zullo is also back doing covers.
And this time, the story will be tied to what's going on in the main Fables title.
Newsarama talked with Roberson to find out more about writing Cinderella and what readers can expect from the story.
Newsarama: After your first mini-series, did you get a lot of feedback from fans? What do you think was the overall reception and why?
Chris Roberson: I got loads of feedback from fans. Fables has an incredibly devoted fanbase, and from the day that the first issue of Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love hit the stands I started hearing from them. And they didn't hesitate to let me know everything they liked, and didn't like, about the series. Thankfully, the vast majority of the feedback I got was positive, and considering how much affection the readers have for Willingham's characters and the universe they inhabit, that was really gratifying.
Nrama: Obviously, you've got an affinity for this character and the Fables universe. I know we've discussed this before, but what is it about Cinderella that makes her such a compelling character?
Roberson: I think it was Chris Sims (he of the Invincible Super Blog fame) who first pointed out that Cinderella was tailor-made for the life of a spy, since her original fairytale is all about her assuming another identity and "infiltrating" a place she had no business being. (For all I know that was Bill's original inspiration for making Cinderella a superspy, but it was the first time I'd seen it spelled out in those terms.)
Beyond that, there's the fact that Cinderella is this incredibly moral character who has taken on a job where she has to do all of these incredibly dubious things in the defense of her people. The inspiration for this second miniseries came when I realized that there was another fairy tale character who's background made them equally suited for that kind of life, and in this series we get to compare how the two character have chosen different paths along the way.
Nrama: What is the premise of the story this time around? Is it another mystery that requires Cindy's special skills?
Roberson: The new miniseries is Cinderella: Fables are Forever, and as it opens, Cindy learns that someone has murdered one of the 13th Floor Sorcerers in the "Fabletown in Exile" up on the Farm. The evidence suggests that the murderer is none other than Cinderella's arch nemesis, another Fable character who we've seen glimpsed in the Fables universe so far, but about whom we don't really know too much. Cindy has assumed that her nemesis has been dead for years, ever since their last encounter back in the 1980's, but if they aren't dead, then it can only mean that truly bad things are in store for Cindy and the rest of the Fables.
Nrama: Will she team up with another character similar to how she worked with Aladdin last time around? What characters get involved?
Roberson: As the series unfolds, we'll be meeting a whole group of Fables that we never knew existed before now. It turns out that not everyone who fled the Homelands during the Emperor's reign ended up in Fabletown, and that for years there was an entire community of Fables living behind the Iron Curtain, a kind of "Shadow Fabletown" whose existence was kept a secret from most of Fabletown--but who Cindy got to know very, very well.
Nrama: Anything you can tell us about the villain in this story?
Roberson: The identity of Cindy's nemesis will be revealed in the first issue, so I don't want to give too much away yet. But what I can say is that this is a Fables character who had a habit of killing witches for personal gain, and who quickly learned that they had a taste for the work.
Nrama: Will she be traveling again? What worlds will we visit in this story/ what's the setting?
Roberson: Cindy will be ranging all over in this one, not just in the present day but in a series of flashbacks to her adventures during the Cold War when she last faced off against her nemesis.
Nrama: You introduced quite a few new characters to the Fables universe during From Fabletown with Love. Will we see some of those characters showing up again?
Roberson: I have to leave SOME surprises for the book, don't I?
Nrama: Can you confirm when it's coming out? And will it intersect at all with what's going on in the main book at that time or any other Fables spin-offs?
Roberson: The first issue comes out in February of next year, and this time out we'll be tied much more closely into what's going on in the main titles.
Nrama: What can you tell us about the artwork on the comic?
Roberson: We've gotten the whole band back together again for this second miniseries. Shawn McManus is back doing the interiors, and Chrissie Zullo will be providing the covers. Both of them did amazing work the first time out, and I can't wait to see what they come up with this time.
Nrama: Chris, as long as we're talking, anything you want to tell loyal iZombie readers about what's coming up in the series?
Roberson: Our "Spot-light" issue on Spot the were-terrier just came out last week, and so next month we'll be starting up the second arc. Gwen eats another brain, and is obliged to finish the business that the dead person left unfinished when they died, just as in the first arc--but this time out, that means coming face to face with someone who knew Gwen in her previous life, and Gwen discovers that she's forgotten more about her past that she realized. Meanwhile, Ellie learns some new ghost tricks from Amon the mummy, Spot deals with his new "roommate" (who we met at the end of iZombie #6), and we learn the identity of the mysterious woman who dug up Claire the vampire after the monster hunters had buried her at the end of the first arc.
We've got a couple of standalone issues with fantastic fill-in artists coming up, that will hopefully be announced before too much longer. And then once the third arc starts up next spring, we'll find out a lot more about Gwen's world, and the supernatural folks who lurk in its shadows.
Nrama: We recently spoke about your Superman/Batman story coming up in December that's based in around DC One Million. Are there more DC Universe stories coming from you?
Roberson: None are planned, but I'd love a chance to play around in the DC Universe some more!
Nrama: Will you be doing more Fables-based stories in the future?
Roberson: It's always possible! At this point I'm hard at work on this second Cinderella miniseries, but if Willingham and editor Shelly Bond are willing to hand me the keys another time when it's done, I won't say no!