Template:In-universe Template:Notability Template:Otherpeople Template:Superherobox Jack Horner is a fictional character in the comic book series Fables by Bill Willingham. His first appearance was in issue #1 of Fables and continued as a regular character of the series until leaving the series for his own title, Jack of Fables. The character is based on various nursery rhymes and fables with characters named Jack including Little Jack Horner, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, Jack Be Nimble, Jack Frost, Jack O'Lantern, and Jack the Giant Killer and others.
Jack is typically portrayed as a rather benign trickster, always looking for quick ways to make a buck. However, Jack also displays a complete disregard for human life or the feelings of those around him, traits most often seen in those with sociopathy. Despite his scheming and reckless personality, he is a devoted foe of the Adversary and a capable combatant in his own right, due to his years of experience fighting giants. In the series, Jack creates a film trilogy of his adventures to increase his popularity in the Mundy world making him nigh-immortal. Jack is often presented as believing himself to be far smarter than he truly is and for a man who has lived a long time, has little regard for history (at one point, he compares himself to Sam Bowie and Hector and how "like them, I will be victorious."). The common thread is how Jack honestly believes he is the most important person around and only his needs and desires matter.
The characters of Jack Sprat and Jack Ketch have been established as completely separate entities from the fable Jack, who is in fact a representation of Jack Horner.
In an interesting plot twist, it was recently revealed that Jack was not, in fact, involved in the Beanstalk or Giant-killing incidents, but is actually an unknowing copy of an older fable named Wicked John. Upon Wicked John's death some great power decided to write the trickster back into some later stories, but got his name wrong, thus creating Jack. John was later revived, and now both Fables exist and enjoy a greatly antagonistic relationship.
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- The Official Bill Willingham Homepage
- Bill Willingham at Wizard World L.A.: Writer Bill Willingham discusses the legend of Fables and his other current and upcoming projects (video)
Vertigo site with comic based on character