"Blood Tells"
In which the boys make a big mess, more blood is spilled, and a determination is made about a missing Fable.
First published in Fables #3 (September 2002)
Reprinted in Fables: Legends in Exile
Fables Deluxe Edition Vol. 1
Written by Bill Willingham
Pencilled by Lan Medina
Inked by Steve Leialoha
Lettered by Todd Klein
Colored by Sherilyn van Valkenburgh, Zylonol
Assistant Editor Mariah Huehner
Editor Shelly Bond
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"Fables 2"
Next story
"Fables 4"

"Blood Tells" is the third story in Fables.


"Blood Tells" is Chapter Three of the first story arc of Fables (collected in the trade paperback Fables: Legends in Exile), which involves the mystery around Rose Red's apparent murder. In this chapter, Bigby Wolf and Snow White continue their investigation.


Bigby brings Flycatcher and Boy Blue to an apartment in Rose Red's building that is identical to her's and has them recreate the crime scene by covering it in blood.

Snow meets with King Cole to report on the progress of the investigation to him. She tells him about the interrogations of Jack and Bluebeard and also that Frau Totenkinder, Prince Charming, and herself have been interrogated. She mentions another possible suspect: the Adversary who attacked the Fables in their Homelands and might have now followed them to their new home. King Cole tells Snow that the investigation has to be completed by the time of the Remembrance Day ceremony because otherwise the Fables will lose faith in their ability to run things.

Bigby asks Snow to check out the contents of Jack's computers and tells her he's already solved most of the investigation but doesn't want to share his information with her yet.

Bigby finds out that Bluebeard has gone into Jack's cell so he can torture a confession out of Jack. Bigby turns into his wolf form and confronts Bluebeard. Bluebeard attempts to defy him first by threatening to fight Bigby and then by threatening to kill Jack. Bigby makes it clear he is not intimidated by these threats. Snow finds out about the situation and heads to the cell armed with the Vorpal Blade and reinforced by Grimble (in his troll form), Trusty John, and Bufkin. But Bluebeard has surrendered to Bigby before they arrive.

Bigby tells Snow that she must go to the Remembrance Day gala with him as part of his investigation. He then gets a call from Boy Blue telling him the results of their recreation. Bigby has to tell Snow that the amount of blood at the crime scene was more than anyone could survive losing and Rose Red must be dead.




  • None


  • King Cole says he received a call "last night" from Bluebeard about the way Bigby and Snow acted in his office. Bigby also tells Snow later than Cole waited "two days" before calling him to pressure him on the investigation.
  • Bigby says that Prince Charming returned to New York City a few days before Rose Red's disappearance. He also says that Snow began her job as King Cole's assistant "recently".
  • While Snow is telling King Cole about the interrogations, we see dialogue from the scenes. But the dialogue we see in Jack's and Bluebeard's interrogations doesn't match what was said at the actual interrogations shown in "The (Un)Usual Suspects". We also see dialogue from Bigby's interrogation of Prince Charming even though Snow says she didn't overhear their conversation.
  • Frau Totenkinder is identified as the Black Forest Witch in this issue. She is shown knitting. This will be a recurring motif with her appearances.
  • This is the first time we see the Homelands, albeit only for a single panel.
  • Bigby admits he cannot handle machinery. He says he can't run computers and doesn't know how to drive.
  • The poster behind Grimble in the foyer says it is five days before Remembrance Day.
  • Bluebeard says that Bigby's transformation back to a wolf is occurring "after all these years".


  • First appearance of King Cole.
  • First appearance of Frau Totenkinder.
  • First appearance of The Adversary.
  • When Snow goes to King Cole's apartment, we see a collection of pipes, three fiddles, and a large bowl of cereal in reference to his originating poem. A more obscure reference is King Cole wanted his pipe, his bowl, and his fiddle in the original version of the poem so he could celebrate a holiday.