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Jack Horner is a major antagonist in Fables and the main villainous protagonist in the spinoff Jack of Fables.
Jack was born to Prince Charming and Prose Page as their bastard child. Jack grew up without ever knowing of his relation to his father. Jack left as an infant in care of a poor peasant woman, who took care of him for years. Jack has claimed to have done incredible things throughout his life such as slaying giants and exploring a kingdom in the clouds which were all lies in order to improve his reputation. Jack was actually created by Kevin Thorne who was writing a new story which gave Jack all of Wicked John's memories and acted as a completely different individual.
Before and During Exodus
While attempting to con innocent people of their money, Jack reached an ice castle of the powerful snow queen Lumi. Jack attempted to win over Lumi by replacing her recent lover Waldemar. Waldemar challenged Jack to a duel after Jack insulted him and Jack won through trickery and made him look completely foolish, losing Lumi's interest in him and sent him to a far away land. Jack became Lumi's new lover and inevitably impregnated her to which they were both unaware of. A sick Lumi couldn't make her seasonal trip to the next kingdom to bring the season of Winter, instead she appointed Jack to do it and gave him her powers making him Jack Frost. Jack promised to give her powers back to her when she felt better, but Jack abused the powers he gained to cause havoc across the land by killing many people and tried to sleep with many women while traveling. His ice demeanor made many women reluctant to sleep with him and he moved across many other lands while messing up the seasons in the lands bringing chaos to them. An angry mob eventually caught up to them and Jack killed all of them before moving on while Lumi found out she wasn't sick but pregnant with jack's child. Jack never had any intention to give Lumi back her powers and Lumi's palace was tarnished by an angry mob of her displeased subjects, a powerless Lumi escaped to live with one of her sisters and gave birth to her son.
Four years later, Lumi lost her sweet demeanor and became bitter and cold while Lumi's sisters rallied an army to capture Jack and give Lumi's powers back to her. Not wanting to be hunted down and going at war with the three goddesses, he gave Lumi her powers back and then he was dumped into a land that the Adversary already invaded. Jack was captured by the Adversary's forces and then took the opportunity to lead his abductors to the realm of Lumi and her sister's in exchange for his freedom, which eventually led to Lumi siding with the Adversary and Jack fled the Homelands to the mundane world.
Jack participated in the American Civil War. where he served as a confederate officer. After being kicked out, he cut through a swamp and won a bag from Satan that never runs out of space. When he met a woman who was meant to die that night, he used the bag to capture death. After finding out that nothing could die while Death was captured, Jack released Death in exchange for a year of the woman's life, Jack then lost both the bag and the girl within a week.
Jack then came to Fabletown and had a reputation for being a schemer, although not a terrible one. On December 22, 1956, Jack traveled to the Homeland's North Pole to steal Santa Clause's naught and nice lists, hoping to sell them internationally for a profit, which led to Santa catching him and he was arrested and charged back in Fabletown. When the twenty-first century came, he began an online business at about the same time that such things fell apart. One of his schemes was to sell the remaining magic beans to grow the famous beanstalk, however he was never successful as people in Fabletown knew very well of his tendencies, which is very fortunate as he doesn't possess the beans at all; as they are held by Fabletown. Fabletown's sheriff Bigby Wolf, never trusted Jack as he knows very well of Jack's true nature and inability to change, even arresting him immediately on false charges.
Four years before his departure from Fabletown, Jack and his girlfriend Rose Red, conspired together in one of his get rich quick schemes. The plan was that they would have a fake falling out and break up in order to get Rose Red to be together with Bluebeard. Once he proposed she asked that she have the dowry upfront and that they keep their relationship a secret which allowed Jack to use the money to start an internet scam and the time to pay it back however was all lost, so the two staged Rose's murder. Bigby eventually caught the two and were given $10,000 in fines as well as 200 hours of community service at the Farm. The two managed to pay back the money by selling Prince Charming's titles and lands back to him, which was previously won by Jack.
For the election of mayor, Prince Charming won and Jack came to the conclusion that Fabletown was done. For another plan for Jack was stealing contents from one of Bluebeard's treasure rooms (who was killed by Prince Charming), which contained two billion and five hundred-million dollars, he left Fabletown in the company of a Lilliputian named Jill who had assisted him in the theft.
Jack, alongside Jill, headed for Hollywood, where he used his new wealth to set up a new studio called Nimble Pictures, taking the alias of John Trick. His primary objective was to create a film trilogy about himself, which he felt would increase his popularity among the Mundane, making him more powerful. Jack kept up this scheme for five years, until Jill who was fed up with his treatment of her, managed to call Fabletown and ask them for help. Fabletown took over Nimble Pictures, with Jack's right-hand man, Moss Waterhouse, as the new head of the studio. Beast came to Hollywood where he explained to Jack that Fabletown wants his head. Beast didn't want blood on his hands and told Jack to leave while allowing him to take a small amount of the money with him, and that he never wanted to see Jack again, with no other option, he agrees.
The Golden Boughs Retirement Community
Jack began to hitchhike, with no particular destination in mind. He was suddenly picked up by a van which he suddenly realized that the people in it were specifically looking for him to which Jack attempted to escape from but failed and was sent to the Golden Boughs retirement Community, effectively a high-security prison populated entirely by Fables. In a short amount of time, Jack slept with Goldilocks, briefly saw Alice, was severely beaten by Paul Bunyan and met the head of the community, a man named Mr. Revise. Jack was informed by Mr. Revise that his goal was to rid the world of magic to which he almost succeeded till the Fables showed up hundreds of years earlier and now with Jack making his movie trilogy has ruined his plans which gave Jack an immediate reasoning to escape. Jack asked the other Fables on who was with him and he developed a friendship with two inmates Gary the Pathetic Fallacy and Old Sam who had forgotten he was once Sambo. With the help of the Tooth Fairy and the fairies of A Midsummer Night's Dream, he and dozens of other Fables escaped The Golden Boughs. After escaping, he learned that Goldilocks was a spy for Mr. Revise, though his logic was complex, after that he was once again hitchhiking across the country, with no destination point.
The Bad Prince
After the events in Las Vegas, Jack and Gary are captured again by Priscilla Page who already captured Wicked john. Jack and john began to fight in the van, it crashes off the road into the grand Canyon to which they recovered from the crash. Jack, Gary, and Priscilla all sit by a campfire when a mysterious man appears and plunges a sword through Jack's chest and dies thereafter. John suddenly appears with the Gertrude where Gary explains that Jack is actually a copy of John and Jack delighted with the news, pulls Excalibur out of his chest and impales John with it. Raven shows up after that and the party decides to move out of the canyon while leaving John behind. While trying to get out of the canyon, Jack tells Raven that he and Priscilla had sex which leaves her shocked and tries denying it several times. Jack, Raven and Gary soon ditch Priscilla and Gertrude and end up in a motel near the interstate in New Mexico.
In the motel, Jack put Humpty Dumpty back together again, then Jack explains he brought his parts with him, as Humpty promised to lead Jack to a hidden treasure which is located in Americana, so the foursome breach the magical border by jumping on the Great Train and bump into Hilary and Paul Bunyan.
After they arrived in Americana, they find out that the man Hilary thought to be her father, the "Bookburner", isn't and that he holds a grudge against Revise for stealing her mother away from him. He sends Natty Bumppo and Slue-Foot Sue after them until they finally shake them off and end up on the spot where Humpty's hidden treasure lies. During which he and Hillary have a quick moment of passion, to which he brags in front of her that he slept with Robin and Priscilla as well; much to her anger. This course of action causes Hilary, Raven, and Humpty attempt to get rid of Jack and Gary, they eventually escape. Afterwards, Raven was waiting, though mostly because her animal spirit threatened her to which Humpty revealed that he has all the gold in a suitcase; leaving Hillary and Humpty with rocks and are captured by the Bookburner and he begins his march against the Golden Boughs.
Jack is seen briefly during the Turning Pages story, as it is revealed that he was telling the truth about sleeping with Robin and Priscilla though their reasons were different than in his version. During the Books of War story, Golden Boughs is under control by Jack to be used against the Bookburner, but they are losing the battle until Jack managed to actually create a good plan and escapes the Bookburner. This course of action led to the downfall of Golden Boughs as it is blown up by the volcano spirits, shortly after Jack would also get startling news that he was the illegitimate son of Prince Charming and Prose Page; the Page Sister's mother; thus meaning he committed incest with his half-sisters.
But then, after Jack took possession of Revise's books which he added to his treasure in his briefcase, Jack Horner lost his immortality due to the greed caused by harboring the treasures, mirroring the story of Fafnir. At the same time, Gary also lost his literal powers, Jack and Gary didn't know what was happening to them, but Gary theorizes that the former artist of the comic did this as a revenge to Jack's insults to him back then. Unknowingly cursed, Jack began aging and bloating, before becoming a dragon destined to be slain by a hero, to which the curse can be broken if Jack gave up his selfish ways, but due to his nature, it was impossible for Jack, so both he and Gary had to wait for his destined foe to come and slay him.
As time passed, a destined foe eventually came which turned out to be his own son Jack frost ll, to which Jack somehow saw the events that would unfold before with his precognition. As the two battle intensively with each other, Jack finally burns the books and his treasure in rage, and Gary and a large number of Fables were killed. Jack Horner, stricken by shock, finally ended the battle by beheading his own son as the latter finally pierced his sword on Jack; killing him. When the Devils came to collect his soul, all of them started arguing to whoever can claim it. Since all of them are too proud to surrender their prize, they were all destined to bicker for eternity. Thus Jack's soul escaped them yet again while they do so. The last panel show Jack's spirit trying to hitch a ride like he did in the first issue of Jack of Fables.
While hitchhiking, the now ghostly Jack Horner was abducted again, this time by the Legion of Devils he has tricked before. They've all eventually decided that Jack would be put in his own personal Hell since none of them can surrender their claim to his soul. Jack used this opportunity to concoct another scheme to escape his fate, to which he used his reality-warping powers as a Literal, Jack then resurrected Gary to his Hell, and asked his help to use his powers to turn his Hell into another universe where he is a God-King and Gary rules alongside him, and the two now enjoy their new lives in their new universe.
Jack is a con artist always trying to find out new ways to make a buck. Jack has no regard for human life except for himself as he is a complete sociopath and will throw anyone aside even if it means manipulating or killing them just to get what he wants. He is also a pathological liar as he lies constantly about what happened in his life in order to gain fame or attention and is an arrogant man who always boasts about the adventures he apparently had to make himself look like the best fable. Jack is also a coward as he runs away from stronger opponents and always begs for his life when cornered or pinned down showing more of his pathetic side.
Despite all the pain he's caused, he displays feelings for some people such as when he mourned of his wife's death and risked his life to protect Gary. Jack is protective of Gary but is too stubborn to admit his real feelings but helps him when he creates a new universe for him and Gary to live so they can live in paradise as gods for all eternity.