|“||I had no love of playing the hero. Why would I willingly do it again?||”|
— Boy Blue's words to Bigby in the after life.
Boy Blue lived happily in his homeland. When the Adversary's forces invaded, At the tail end of the Adversary's campaign against the European fables, with most of them having either already escaped, enslaved or killed, Boy Blue fought with Colonel Bearskin's Free Company, eventually becoming the colonel's aide-de-camp, and survived several battles: "Boxen, Ruby Lake, Oakcourt, and the hellish rout at Hollyfield", among others.
The Keep at the End of the World
They were eventually forced back to the defence of the last free castle, the Keep at the End of the World; the Keep guarded the last known portal to the mundane world.
The day before the last battle, a woman claiming to be Red Riding Hood rides into the fort nearly dead from arrow wounds. She and Blue quickly became infatuated with each other, to the extent that she suggests that Friar Tuck should marry them so that Blue will be allotted a seat on the last ship out. Citing his duty, he refuses. Arriving for battle in the morning, he learns his new orders: he will observe the battle from a high parapet and, at the appropriate time, will use a powerful but poorly understood item known as the Witching Cloak to teleport himself to the ship with the message that the last defenders have fallen and they are on their own. Fabletown will need to know what happened, Bearskin tells him, but he also sees this as a way for Blue and Riding Hood to be together. Unfortunately, when Blue arrives on the ship, he discovers that Riding Hood, not wanting to live without him, had given up her spot to a stranger and stayed behind.
Boy Blue inevitably became apart of Fabletown. In 1972, when it became clear that Snow White needed an assistant, Boy Blue came to work for her as an office gofer and clerk. He is one of the few people who can get Bufkin, the flying monkey who serves as Fabletown's librarian, to do his work. His roommate was Pinocchio; the two of them, along with Flycatcher were best friends. Blue lived a typical "nerdy" lifestyle, avidly reading comic books and playing board games. He occasionally tried to get gigs in Harlem jazz and blues clubs, but was always told that he is too young, too white or "too hayseed".
When Rose Red went missing and was apparently murdered, he along with Fly, helped Bigby in the investigation. He and Fly replicated the crime scene for Bigby. When Snow White took Rose Red and Colin to the Farm, he was the first to notice that something was wrong with the farm, by realizing that Cock Robin was dead. He managed to convince Bigby to gather Bluebeard, Bufkin and Prince Charming to come with him to the Farm. They arrived in the middle of a stand-off between Snow White and the Revolutionist. When Snow White got shot, Boy Blue and the others helped restore order to the Farm.
Boy Blue was part of the team that raided Tommy Sharp's apartment with Bigby.
March of the Wooden Soldiers
Blue's life changed when Red Riding Hood suddenly appears in Fabletown, claiming to have recently escaped the Adversary. She is initially angry at Blue, claiming that he had abandoned her to the Adversary's forces. However, she soon seeks him out and says she is sorry and wants to resume their relationship. After a sexual encounter, he realizes that she is not the Riding Hood he remembers. "Red" reveals that she is actually Baba Yaga using Red's form as a mystical disguise. Along with three wooden soldiers, she tortures Blue for several days, breaking all his fingers, before having the soldiers deliver him, along with a message from the Adversary, to the Woodlands business office.
Against Snow's objections, Blue has Dr. Swineheart patch him up and bind the Vorpal Sword to his hands so that he can fight in the "Battle of Fabletown." In the street-level battle, Blue is injured by gunfire. After the battle, Dr. Swineheart's treatments allow Blue to regain full use of his hands.
Return to the Homelands
After Pinocchio is dismembered during "The March of the Wooden Soldiers," Blue left for the Homelands, taking the Vorpal Sword, the Witching Cloak and Pinocchio's puppet body. Blue spent some time killing the Empire's soldiers, impersonating at least one governor, killing at least one dragon, and working his way toward the capital. While in Rus, the Homeland corresponding to real-world Russia, he kills three knights that are magically connected to Baba Yaga; the fact that their decapitated heads keep talking alerts Blue to the fact that she is still alive in Fabletown.
During the Emperor's bimonthly public address, Blue impersonates a peasant so that he can get close enough to decapitate the Emperor. This reveals that the Emperor is only a giant puppet, like the wooden soldiers who'd attacked Fabletown. The Snow Queen encased Blue in a block of ice, trapping him. He wakes up without any of his magical equipment, imprisoned in Geppetto's cabin. He offers Geppetto, who still holds some affection for his first-carved son, Pinocchio's body to revive in exchange for two demands and one request: The full story behind the Empire's rise, an audience with the real Red Riding Hood, and a chance to speak to Pinocchio after his revival, respectively. When Red Riding Hood arrives, Blue discovers that woman he had met centuries before was, like Baba Yaga, an impostor and spy. The true Red Riding Hood had never met him before. A heartbroken Blue calls the Witching Cloak to him, slays Geppetto's guards, and escapes back to Fabletown. Pinocchio, again intact but now under a loyalty spell to Geppetto, does not come with him. Blue does bring along the true Riding Hood, whom he feels is no longer safe in Geppetto's lands.
Although the Fabletown community believed that Blue had stolen the Vorpal Sword and Witching Cloak, in actuality Blue had been sent on a secret mission by Prince Charming and has used the Witching Cloak's infinite storage space to store books from every library he'd come across. He brings Fabletown hundreds of volumes containing valuable maps and intelligence. Unfortunately, Charming is unwilling to make this knowledge public, so Blue has to stand trial. He is sentenced to two years of hard labor at the Farm. Rose Red, the Farm's administrator, considers him a hero and takes a very loose interpretation of "hard labor."
When Bigby returned from his exile and completed his mission in the Homelands, Blue led the construction of Bigby's house in Wolf Valley and served as Bigby's best man when he married Snow. Meanwhile, Blue nurtured romantic feelings for Rose.
During the war to reclaim the Homelands, Blue is given the job of transporting back and forth from numerous points to act as messenger and delivery boy to the Fables' strongpoints; Glory, Fort Bravo, Fabletown, Wolf Manor, the Farm, Haven, and the hotspot in the center of the Empire where Briar Rose is stationed.
Everything runs smoothly until the Empire makes a final attempt to shift the tide. Blue is at Fort Bravo when a magic arrow is shot at Bigby. Blue tries to use the Witching Cloak to shield Bigby, but the magic of the arrow allows it to penetrate the Cloak, lodging Blue's arm and scratching Bigby. The effects of the arrow cause both Blue and Bigby to fall unconscious for several days. Upon awakening, Blue keeps what is left of the arrow sticking in his arm. Even wounded, he continues to use the Witching Cloak to retrieve and deliver weapons. He ultimately uses the Vorpal Sword to chop the head off the Emperor. Later, he, along with Pinocchio, retrieves Geppetto and brings him to Fabletown.
Dark Ages and Death
During the aftermath of the war, Doctor Swineheart removes the remainder of the arrow. Despite this, an infection sets in, causing Blue greater discomfort than before. These complications are later revealed to be caused by a minute thread of the Witching Cloak still lodged in Blue's arm, a problem possibly exacerbated by Mr. Dark casting his unbinding spell on the cloak before the thread was removed. Swineheart eventually amputates Blue's arm above the elbow.
Boy Blue's condition continues to worsen despite both Frau Totenkinder and Doctor Swineheart's best efforts. After the collapse of Fabletown, he is moved with the other refugees to the Farm, where Flycatcher attempts, unsuccessfully, to magically cure Blue's condition. On Blue's deathbed, Rose Red immediately leaves her husband and tries to marry Boy Blue before he dies, but Blue turns her down. He points out that she is only attracted to those who offer the most excitement, good or bad, and that he deserves better than her. He apologizes that she is broken but he is not the one to fix her.
Blue requests that he be buried on a hill overlooking the baseball field in Haven rather than with the other war dead, to reflect his lifelong preference for a quiet life over heroics.
Some of Blue's friends wonder whether he will return from the dead, as some Fables do. Pinocchio and Flycatcher conclude that, since Blue is only known to the mundanes in one nursery rhyme, it is unlikely that he will be able to come back soon or even at all. Nevertheless, Rose Red resolves to become a better person, someone worthy of Blue, by the time he returns, though this could be because she's too shattered by his rejection. When she has finally recovered from her sickbed, she kept this dedication in mind and reunited the Fable community, which had been in turmoil due to conflicts involving Geppetto's rights as a citizen of Fabletown.
After Blue's death, the non-human Farm Fables, particularly Stinky the Badger, elevate Blue to quasi-religious status, wearing blue scarves as signs of their devotion. Stinky preaches with great conviction that Blue will one day return to usher in an age of great peace and equality. When Jack Horner returns to the farm during "The Great Fables Crossover," Stinky and some others mistake him for the returning Blue in disguise. Jack is quick to take advantage of the situation.
Clara notes with unease that Stinky's eyes, formerly brown, have turned blue. Despite this, Boy Blue has yet to come back and, although Mr. Dark was defeated, it wasn't by Blue. Stinky still believes that Boy Blue came back for the battle and that he and other followers missed it.
Boy Blue meets Bigby Wolf shortly after the latter enters the afterlife and advises him of his options (mentioning that Colonel Bearskin had helped orient him). He tells Bigby that he, Blue, is leaving to be reincarnated in a different universe so that he can have a chance at a quiet life with no heroics and that he might try his hand at falling in love. He requests that, if Bigby should manage to come back to life, he ask Brock and the others at the farm to stop worshiping him. The second-to-last compilation, Fables: Happily Ever After, shows Blue at an open mic night in another world, where he performs songs about his old friends.
Blue briefly returns as a soldier in Rose Red's vast army when she raises vast cosmic powers against Snow, all in an attempt to gain yet more power from Snow. Rose, seeking advice from what she believes is a common sword bearer, realizes she is on a foolish quest after listening to a short tale from Blue. Inspired by this, Rose brings a successful truce.
The Last Boy Blue Story
In a musician lover's heaven, Boy Blue works as a janitor, fulfilling his desire to live a simple and uncomplicated life. One evening, Blue performed performed songs about his old friends at an open mic night.
Boy Blue used to desire for glory when the Adversary first attacked the Homelands. However, the War and the losses of so many of his friends has caused him to lose any desire for it. In Fabletown, he is known as a nice and nerdy bookworm with a delusion of musical talents. He is humble and wants to stay in a dull office job and be ordinary, but has proven time and time again that he has never lost his bravery and retains his skill as a cunning and dangerous warrior. Blue does not like to play the hero, but if his friends and community require it, he does not hesitate. Despite being cheerful and optimistic most of the time, Blue also feels a lot of guilt and anger, which drive him during his mission in the Homelands, as well as the war. Near the end of his life, he has also proven to be insightful and wise, such as he was able to see the motivation behind Rose Red's marriage proposal.
He is a close friend to Pinocchio, Flycatcher and Bigby. He served as Bigby's best man during his wedding.
Throughout Fables, Boy Blue is depicted as a young man in his mid-to-late teens with blue eyes and blond hair. In Fabletown, he has his hair cut short and wears modern clothes in his signature color. He usually has a modern, valved trumpet of some kind on or near his person. He wears Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
In flashbacks, notably "Fables: The Last Castle," Boy Blue is shown as a medieval squire or page in blue livery, with hair that touches his shoulders.
During "Fables: Homelands," Blue, when not transformed or in disguise, is drawn with a blue cloth mask tied over his hair and the top half of his face, matching the dark blue color of the Witching Cloak. He carries a blowing horn. When Blue takes the shape of an animal for travel or concealment, the color blue usually remains prominent in some way: he is shown once as a mouse with a blue traveling cloak and repeatedly as a bird with blue feathers. It is not revealed whether this is because of Blue's affinity for the color or an inherent trait of the Witching Cloak.
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: As a Fable, Boy Blue is effectively immortal, with a lifespan that goes back several hundred years. The extent of his immortality is allegedly based on the popularity of their tales.
- Swordsmanship: Blue has had extensive practical military experience, and is a highly skilled swordsman.
- Skilled Trumpet Player: Blue is one of Fabletown's most skilled musicians; he takes his horn with him everywhere.
- Indomitable Will: Boy Blue was tortured for days by Baba Yaga without revealing information to the enemy.
- Vorpal Blade: The Vorpal Blade magically attacks nearby people and can cut through most spells and enchantments.
- Witching Cloak: The Witching Cloak acted as Blue's impregnable armor; it cannot not be burned, stretched or ripped; it provides endless personal carrying capacity, and it gives its wearer shape-shifting abilities. It can also be taught to respond to commands.
- In All in a Single Night, Rose Red visits a land of lost souls. A shadowy, semitransparent figure strongly resembling Boy Blue gets her to promise him a kiss, but when she learns he is noncorporeal, he tells her that her promise means she must also restore him to life. Whether or not this shade is Boy Blue is unclear, and Rose did not seem to recognize him.
- Boy Blue is a reference to the nursery rhyme Little Boy Blue. The rhyme is as follows:
- Little Boy Blue, go blow your horn.
The sheep's in the meadow, the cows in the corn.
Where is that boy who looks after the sheep?
Under the haystack, fast asleep.
Will you wake him? Oh no, not I,
For if I do, he'll surely cry.