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Template:In-universe Template:Notability Template:Superherobox Bigby Wolf is a major character in the comic book series Fables. He is the Big Bad Wolf of legend (now with the ability to take human form at will, somewhat like a werewolf) and served as the sheriff of the exile community known as Fabletown for several hundred years. He is the son of the North Wind and a female wolf named Winter.[1]

Fictional character biography[]

Before Fabletown[]

Bigby Wolf was one of seven cubs born of the she-wolf Winter and the North Wind (who took the form of a wolf called 'North'). Bigby was the runt of the litter and so felt a need to prove himself and his abilities, resulting in his siblings sarcastically dubbing him the Big Bad Wolf, or Bigby for short. Hence, he promised himself that each creature he preyed upon would be bigger than the last. As a small cub, he originally only ate insects and birds, but by adulthood he had grown to massive size due to his magical nature and diet of increasingly large animals. After being defeated by humans in the story of Little Red Riding Hood he vowed that he would only ever prey upon humans, and soon found himself devouring entire towns and armies of humans at a time, and still growing increasingly large. Such actions caused Bigby to become truly infamous in the Homelands, to the extent that the inhabitants of the Farm refuse to allow him anywhere near the place. Of the inhabitants of Fabletown, only Bigby himself and Kay, with his ability to see the evil deeds done by others, are aware of the true extent of his actions.

At a time before the Adversary came to his homelands, his growing strength and infamy prompted him to face his absentee father, the North Wind. Bigby traveled to his father's homeland in an attempt to avenge his mother, who died of a broken heart after the North Wind left her. When Bigby arrived, the North Wind was impressed by Bigby's stature and thought that he, unlike his six brothers, was worthy of his heritage and the lessons his father could give. The North Wind was insulted by Bigby's attempts on his life. Bigby tried to kill his father seven times and seven times his father blew him away to a land beyond his own. After the seventh attempt, Bigby swore to "think no more of his father" and "be no one's creature but [his] own".[2]

With the arrival of the Adversary's armies, life changed for the Wolf. Angered by their intrusion into what he considered to be his territory and by the fact that they killed some of the inhabitants that the Wolf had been saving to eat himself, the Wolf went on the offensive. Roaming ever further from his own lands, he struck at will, with no discernible pattern to his attacks, spreading fear among the enemy forces. Increasingly large forces were dispatched to deal with him, which the Wolf took great pleasure in evading or destroying.

Years passed in this fashion and the Wolf encountered a chain gang, in which were held Snow White and Rose Red. Freeing them, he led them to a portal leading to the mundane world, which he had established himself as the unofficial guardian of, tasting each person as they passed through for the taint of corruption that would mark them as a spy of the Adversary. In similar manner, the Wolf helped many Fables escape from the clutches of the enemy over the years that he guarded the hidden portal.

Two centuries later, around the year 1650, driven by the Adversary's increasingly sophisticated attempts to eliminate him, the Wolf had crossed through into the mundane world and was living in the mountains of Carpathia, preying on the local inhabitants, who put the blame on a local noble, a Count of some notoriety whom the Wolf had befriended. He received a visit from Snow White, accompanied by Feathertop, who asked him to come and join them in their new settlement (Fabletown). The refusal of the Farm residents to take the Wolf meant that it would be necessary for him to be able to pass for human and, with this in mind, Snow had brought along a lycanthropy-stained knife. Snow stabbed the Wolf with the knife, giving him the ability to take human form. He then accompanied her to Fabletown. Along the way, Feathertop, out of hearing range of Snow, noted that he had thought that Bigby agreed rather quickly, and asked what his real motive was for coming. Bigby did not answer, but remembers that he had been intrigued to see Snow White again.

Tenure as sheriff[]

Not much is known about Fabletown's history before the late 1990s, but Bigby has been the sheriff since its inception. He took time off to fight in the American Civil War and both World Wars. As Sheriff of Fabletown, his image is much like that of a film noir detective.[1]

At the beginning of the series, he was asked to investigate the apparent murder of Rose Red. He determined that she and her boyfriend Jack had faked her death in order to buy time to scrounge together money they owed to Bluebeard. Bigby tried to use these events to confess his romantic feelings for Snow White, but she flatly rebuffed him.

After the abortive rebellion at the Farm, Bluebeard gave sanctuary to Goldilocks, the rebellion's leader. To keep Bigby and Snow from discovering this, he enchanted them and told them to go on a camping trip to the Pacific Northwest; he also sent Goldilocks to kill them. During their trip, Bigby explained his feeling to Snow more completely. He said that he was always able to pick up on her emotions and that, try as he might, he could never ignore her. He knew that she was lonely and he wanted to change that. After the two dispatched Goldilocks, Snow told him that she might be amenable to starting a relationship. This changed when she discovered that she was pregnant, due to the two sleeping together when they were still under the spell. Though they had both been enchanted, she blamed Bigby for letting this happen, or at the very least, for not mentioning that it had happened.

When Red Riding Hood arrived at Fabletown claiming to have recently escaped the Adversary, Bigby was suspicious. He went to investigate the transdimensional gate she had emerged from and discovered that the Fabletown guards there had been killed. Riding Hood was Baba Yaga in disguise, paving the way for an invasion by the Adversary's elite wooden soldiers. After destroying the gate, Bigby returned to Fabletown and used his breath ability to defeat the wooden soldiers. Though Baba Yaga's body was ostensibly dumped down the Witching Well (a hole from which nothing has ever emerged), Bigby and Frau Totenkinder kept her alive for interrogation.

Prince Charming was elected as Fabletown's new mayor the day that Snow gave birth to Bigby's seven cubs, only one of whom looked fully human. Knowing that Snow and the cubs would have to go the Farm, and despising Prince Charming, Bigby resigned his office. He tried to convince Snow to come live with him in the wild, but she refused, which Bigby took as an insult to him. He left Fabletown without telling anyone where he was going.[1]


Bigby in his natural form, with Snow White.
From Fables #27, art by Mark Buckingham

Bigby described his job as "a mix of small-town sheriff and covert spymaster". In addition to keeping tabs on Fabletown's residents and the Fables who lived among the mundane population in New York, he employed three "Tourists" (Mowgli, Feathertop and the Woodsman) to keep track of Fables around the world. Cinderella was a completely off the books agent of his. He used the gold from the goose that laid the golden eggs to fund his covert operations; the eggs were turned into untraceable currency by Shylock. Fabletown's current sheriff is Beast.

After Fabletown[]

Bigby spent some time traveling the world, visiting, among other places, London and Russia (where he lived among a wolf pack). He eventually moved to an isolated cabin in Alaska, where he had a rebound relationship with a woman named Sarah Tanaraq. At some unspecified point, he was found by his seventh child, the zephyr who Snow had sent to find him after the child had unwittingly caused several deaths; Bigby named him Ghost. His life was interrupted by Mowgli, who had a proposition from Prince Charming: conduct one mission into the Adversary's territory and Charming would exploit a loophole to let Bigby live with Snow and the cubs.

Bigby climbed a magic beanstalk at the Farm, which took him to a cloud kingdom inhabited by giants. From there he parachuted into the Adversary's homeland, entered his cabin, and informed him of Fabletown's new policy: the Israel analogy. From now on, Bigby said, Fabletown would repay any attack the Adversary made against him. As payback for the invasion of Fabletown, Bigby destroyed the magic grove of trees from which the elite wooden soldiers were grown.

Family Man[]

Returning to Fabletown, Bigby was given a portion of the Farm's land, to be renamed Wolf Valley. He proposed to Snow and she accepted. Flycatcher and Boy Blue marshaled every builder and manual laborer in Fabletown to build them a house in record time. After a wedding ceremony presided over by Old King Cole, Bigby and Snow honeymooned in Paris (despite Bigby's antipathy towards the French). Bigby retired at that point from any sort of covert business and dedicated to raising his children.

With the arrival of the Imperial emissary, Lord Hansel, in Fabletown, Beast has requested additional funds and manpower in order to keep track of his movements and those of his staff. Prince Charming has given him full access to the Fabletown coffers and full permission to recruit new agents, including the suggestion of bringing Bigby out of retirement if necessary. Bigby was eventually talked into helping recruit soldiers for the impending war and occasionally participate in their training. His trips away from home were temporary, preferring to stay home moreso than anything else.

On a recent trip to the home of Bigby's father Mr. North, Bigby got him to agree to finding and sending zephyrs to Fabletown so they could be used as spies. He also found his six brothers, who had learned to shapeshift and were trying to eat Bigby's cubs. After defeating them, they were turned into goldfish for the cubs to take care of.

In the War & Pieces storyline, Bigby was in charge of Fabletown's "Fort Bravo" in the Homelands. The fort was established to protect the magic beanstalk used to get into the Cloud Realms from the Homelands. The troops managed to maintain and thwart all attempts at attack before any of the Empire soldiers could close enough to engage in physical combat. The tide momentarily turned when the an Imperial general, while waiting for the Emperor to arrive, had a Korta Vulma Urso arrow fired with Bigby as the intended target. Boy Blue manage to block the arrow with his arm, but it went through enough to scratch Bigby on the neck. The effects of the arrow knocked both out for many days, leaving the troops having to defend the beanstalk against a massive all out attack from the Empire led by the Emperor himself. Both Bigby and Blue managed to awaken to news that many lives were lost to prevent the Fort from being overrun. Bigby decided to engage in final combat with the Emperor, first in his giant wolf form to weaken as much of his opponent before faking retreat and reverting back to human form to employ the strategy used by the Mouse Police in the Battle of Fabletown by swiftly hitting vital spots with just a crowbar before the Emperor was taken down with heavy artillery fire. Boy Blue arrived to finish off the Emperor with the Vorpal Sword and the troops celebrated victory by having a wienie roast after setting fire to the remains of the Emperor's body. Bigby and Blue later then went with Pinocchio to retrieve Geppetto and bring him to Fabletown so that he would be forced to sign the Fabletown Compact, thereby officially ending the war.


In the aftermath of the war, Bigby replaces the deceased Prince Charming in running the Homeland Recovery Program. He remains at home, preferring to continue raising his family despite his new role. He allows his brothers out of becoming goldfish, enlisting them to aid and protect Mowgli and Bahgera who are returning to their homeworld, Indus, to see if it can be recolonized. If the brothers complete their task to Bigby's liking, he will consider calling them wolves again. Mowgli later returns to report that Bigby's brothers using their transformative powers to sow fear and panic among the Adversary's remaining goblin troops.

After the destruction of Fabletown by Mister Dark's unbinding spell, all the Fables to retreat to the Farm. Bigby and Beast got into a violent fight that was seemingly set off by Bigby's belief of being singled out by Beast in regards to the laws of the Farm. However, both eventually recognize that the dark powers that had caused Fabletown's destruction were influencing them both.

The Great Fables Crossover[]

Jack Horner shows up at the Farm, and tells Snow White about the Literals, beings who embody literary principles rather than legends. One of them, Kevin Thorn, is a writer who is planning (and able) to erase the entire universe so that he can start a new creation with a clean slate. Most of the Fabletown authorities dismiss the claims, but Snow and Bigby decide to investigate.

Bigby and Snow travel to the Dino Diner out somewhere on Route 66, where they find Jack along with Mr. Revise, the Pathetic Fallacy, the Page Sisters, and other Literals whom Jack had encountered in his adventure. Bigby goes to have a word with Jack outside, but this quickly devolves into a fight.

Feeling disrespected again, Jack leaves, while Bigby, Snow and the literals go to confront Kevin. They first go to Kevin's apartment in New York, but it is booby trapped. However, Bigby manages to get enough of Kevin's scent before the bomb goes off and directed them toward the Catskill Mountains, where Kevin has gone looking for a quiet place to write.

Kevin, aware that someone is coming after him, decides to harass Bigby, first by writing him into a chimpanzee and then dropping a 1993 Volkswagen Passat onto him. Kevin then turns Bigby into a donkey, an elephant, a pink cartoon elephant and finally a blond little girl, much to Bigby's annoyance.

The group venture further and encounter the Page Sisters, having decided to finish off Kevin themselves instead of waiting back at the Diner, in the middle of a firefight with the Genres, whom Kevin has called to help him with ideas for his new universe. Bigby gets bored with the whole thing being stuck in a stalemate and decides to put an end to it. In spite of being in the form of a little girl, Bigby maintains his normal strength and rage, massacring the Genres by biting their heads off and tearing them limb from limb, finally transforming back into a giant wolf. He figures that Kevin must have been trying to force him into using his natural shapechanging abilities, which would have turned him into an identity-less creature like his father. Instead, Bigby snarls that he is exactly what he has decided to be: "A man sometimes, and a wolf all the time."

Abilities and traits[]

In his wolf form, Bigby is massive, shown to be considerably taller than a human being, and at times substantially larger that that as well. In this form, he can carry people with no apparent stress and is a formidable fighter. Other wolves defer to him, calling him "Lord of Wolves" or "God of Wolves." His mixed ancestry gives him the ability to blow massive gusts of wind (the "huff 'n' puff" of the Three Little Pigs story) and can also briefly command local winds to do his bidding. Bigby can drown but he is able to hold his breath for an extremely long time; three weeks straight in one chapter. He also swam across the Bering Strait without getting cold (he even referred to it as "an enjoyable swim.") Every one of his senses is far above the normal human ability. He is also extremely quick to heal and cannot be killed by conventional weapons. He can, however, be slain by silver or fire. As a Fable, he does not age.

In addition to his wolf and human forms, Bigby is sometimes drawn as intermediate form similar to the wolfman of legend- it is shown that his powers allow him to reassume any shape from wolf to man whenever he is forced to take another form (such as those authored by Kevin Thorne.) In this form he possesses great strength, rapid healing, and the claws and teeth of a wolf. Bigby's father, the North Wind, has stated directly that due to his heritage Bigby could have learned to shapeshift of his own will into any form he wanted, but he rejected that form of his heritage and grew too old to learn. (Bigby's brothers, who did decide to learn, can assume any shape they wish.)

Because of his extraordinary senses, Bigby is able to pick up on the emotions of thousands of nearby strangers, to the extent that he smokes cigarettes constantly in order to drown them out. The only one whom he cannot drown out, or tune out, is Snow White. Due to his rapid hair growth, he has to shave several times a day.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Irvine, Alex (2008), "Fables", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 72–81, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  2. 1001 Nights of Snowfall