Following up on the short vignette at the end of Volume 15, we find Bufkin, the formerly flying monkey, vying for the role of king of the business office. The Mirror and Frank postpone Bufkin's elevation to the throne by suggesting that he needs to first perform several heroic feats, a la Hercules. As all other ways out are shut, Bufkin seeks fame and glory, up, up, up, the magical tree that grows in the business office.
Meanwhile, the exiled, exiled and exiled again, Fables make a last ditch effort to defeat Mr. Dark. Pinocchio, taking inspiration from his favorite comic books, decides that the Fables must assemble their best fighters to take on Mr. Dark superhero style...with costumes, nicknames and catchphrases. Along with Ozma, the cute-girl-with-awesome powers witch, he assembles a team that might be able to finally kill Mr. Dark, although chances are they'll fail and Haven will fall....
The North Wind, however, is more concerned with the existence of the zephyr who is his grandson. Years ago, he vowed to kill all zephyrs, a promise that will put him at odds with his son, Bigby Wolf, and his other grandchildren.
There's also a short section that answers my personal question: "So what happened to Rose Red?"
All in all this was a fun, if not slightly anticlimactic volume in the Fables series. Those expecting a big, showy battle against Mr. Dark may be disappointed by the somewhat Deus ex Machina ending. Not quite Deus ex Machina, particularly since that plot thread resolves another ongoing thread. But Mr. Dark's end feels a bit abrupt.
Ultimately, the feel of this volume is rather transitional, or like a calm before what I hope is an upcoming storm. Not the best of the Fables, but fun.