Somewhere, in one of the volumes of Fables before this one, Jack of the Tales split and got his own series. I’m not exactly sure where that happened as Jack is not a character I particularly cared about and now that he’s back (for a limited time), I’m even more inclined to wish he would be set on fire.
Jack’s past gets revealed quickly and with not much detail, which is probably means you should’ve been reading his series concurrently with the main Fables tales. Jack is something that is half fable and half writing trope/literary device. (I’m hazy on this and it’s mostly glossed over in this book, so just go with the idea that literary devices are personified in this series and Jack is one of them. They are called Literals.) Jack has some sisters that hate him, which isn’t surprising given that Jack is Jack. There’s another Literal that has the power to erase the world just by writing. Some other things happen. Bigby gets turned into Shirley Temple at some point, which is about the only highlight.
Jack really sucks. I didn’t think he was that much of a douchecanoe when Fables first started and maybe he got a personality enema in his own series, but he really, really sucks now. His biggest crime is that now he’s a meta, fourth wall breaker, unfunny Deadpool rip off. It’s seriously cringe-worthy. At one point, he threatens to leave the comic because he is no longer the center of attention and oh, how I wish he would’ve followed through on that threat. Instead, he decides to visit the farm and see what his old girlfriend, Rose Red, is up to. Red has lost any type of character development since her introduction and is instead bed-ridden and in serious need of some sort of mental health intervention after the loss of Boy Blue. (It makes me furious just trying to type out what happens next.) Rose, who is delusional in her grief, tells Jack several times to get out of her room, she doesn’t want to see him and she certainly doesn’t want to have sex with him. Then she mistakes him for Boy Blue and rather than correcting her, Jack turns into a Dick. The next panel shows, off screen, Rose calling out for Blue while thumping occurs. It’s super icky and super rapey and super gross and is the point I decided not to read Fables anymore. Later, they try to make it seem like it was consensual, that Rose knew it wasn’t Blue, but wanted to pretend it was. It’s treated like no big thing, which is also super icky.
In the end, the one guy doesn’t destroy the world and the Literals go someplace else or something because they are too powerful or whatever. I have no idea what happened to Jack because he is dead to me and I refuse to acknowledge his existence in the comics anymore.