I've been pretty frustrated by Fairest so far, and while this issue wasn't exactly stellar, it was far less obnoxious than the first three. Mostly that had to do with Jonah, the bottle imp, who was more tolerable than usual, not trying so hard to be a source of humor and instead helping to actually push this plot somewhere interesting. Of course, we're still forced to wait until next issue to actually see the most interesting development be played out, but all the same, at least we're finally getting somewhere.
As I have said before, though, the real reason to read Fairest is Phil Jimenez's art. The Snow Queen's kingdom always looks so amazingly realistic yet fantastic, and his characters are deeply expressive and alive. Jimenez puts an incredible amount of care and detail into these panels, especially in the few moments where we revisit the Snow Queen's past. Her kingdom in its former glory seems a lively and exciting place, and her figure when she is broken and beaten before Geppetto goes a long way toward redeeming her, humanizing her, and making her a character we can support. And the final moments of her kingdom in ruins promise to make next issue a dynamic, explosive ride.
It's a strange beast, Fairest, and one which is hard to judge as a whole based only on this first story. But with Fairest #4, there is a definite boost in my interest. Mostly, though, I've been enjoying the look of it all, the rich and magical atmosphere created by Jimenez's visuals. When the story and creative teams switch, I'll be glad for a new narrative, but extremely upset to lose such consistently fabulous art.