|“||Millions died as I carved out my Empire. Millions more were delivered into dire bondage, where they certainly didn't survive long. But that resulted in a life of peace and security for untold billions that spanned many centuries.||„|
|~ Geppetto's motive for starting the Empire.|
Geppetto is the primary antagonist of the Fables comic series (though briefly replaced by Mister Dark), often going by the alternate name of the Adversary - once a kindly toy-maker (just like the legend) he grew more corrupt after the now human Pinnochio proved to be just as troublesome as he had been as a puppet: going on adventures and leaving his father/creator alone in solitude - unable to cope Geppetto began to create new puppets and every now and then the Blue Fairy would arrive and grant one of them life, she too was hurt by Pinnochio's roguish nature and made sure that Geppetto's new children would be born virtually without freewill, able only to serve their father.
However Geppetto did not truly become a threat until he was approached by a group of elders from a local community - they were concerned with the increasingly erratic behavior of the local Count and wanted Geppetto to replace him with one of his magical constructs. At first Geppetto was unsure about the plan as it would involve the murder of the Count but eventually agreed to do it. The switch was made and sanity was restored to the land.
However things started to go horribly wrong after the new Count passed away; his son proved to be incompetent and as such had to be replaced by a double much as the original Count had. This process soon became habitual and before long almost every major official in range was secretly one of Geppetto's creations (and, thanks to the Blue Fairy's magic, were loyal to him).
Eventually the Blue Fairy grew tired of this and Geppetto was forced into learning magic for himself. However he lacked the ability to turn his creations human so had the Blue Fairy capture and strapped into a machine that allowed him to create elixirs from her body that could turn his creations human.
Geppetto then addressed the problem of his co-conspirators as he felt too many people knew what was happening and he felt it was only a matter of time before one of them revealed it. Some died of old age but others were of Fablekind and didn't age: as such Geppetto proceeded to murder and replace the remaining conspirators.
After this Geppetto decided to create an Empire, having gained a taste for power and feeling that only he could rule. The key to his empire became expansion via military strength and he soon amassed a huge army by which to conquer any that would oppose him. He also created the massive Emperor, a figurehead by which to inspire terror in his enemies while staying out of sight himself.
Geppetto now rules a vast empire, normally hiding inside his cottage workshop, and has tens of thousands of creations which he allows to rule his empire - though Geppetto will rarely emerge from his cottage to deal with matters of great importance.
Dealing with Fabletown
At the time the series starts, Geppetto has conquered many of the European worlds and has moved on to his conquest of the Arabian worlds. While responsible for the Fables' exile, he remains a faceless villain and seemingly uninterested in conquering the mundane world to which they fled to. This changed when he sent one of his spies, Baba Yaga, in the guise of Red Riding Hood, to the Fabletown community, as well as Hugh, Dou, and Lou, three wooden soldiers who had brought other wooden soldiers with them. His goal was to reclaim magical items in Fabletown's possession that he believed truly belonged to the Empire. However, Fabletown chose to resist Baba Yaga, and defeated both her and the wooden soldiers in the deadly and infamous Battle of Fabletown.
His next encounter with Fabletown was Boy Blue's one-man invasion through the Homelands, which caused disruption and chaos, especially when he sliced the head off the Emperor...or at least what everyone thought was the Emperor. After witnessing this, Blue is frozen by the Snow Queen, Lumi, and taken to Geppetto's cottage, where he is revealed to be the Adversary (as opposed to when Pinnochio thought his father was the Adversary's slave). He appears to be warm-hearted and hospitable, but this is only while Blue is recovering, after which he is likely to be executed (though he truly is grateful for having his son returned to him). Blue escaped his cage with ease, though failing to kill Geppetto due to the centuries of protection spells that had been placed on him. While Blue escapes with the real Red Riding Hood, a confused Pinnochio stays home with his father.
His ire only grew further during his next encounter with Fabletown, this time in his own cottage with Bigby Wolf. Wolf warned Geppetto that any damage down to Fabletown would be returned to him several times over; he makes an example from the Battle of Fabletown by destroying Geppetto's cottage (and in turn, his sacred grove) with explosives, though he saved Geppetto and Pinnochio from the fire that consumed his cottage.
This was when Geppetto finally decided Fabletown had to be dealt with, and called for a conference with several elite members of the Empire. The synopsis of his plan was to wage an all-out war that would not only destroy the Fables, but the entire mundane world as well. It wasn't until Pinnochio explained the most realistic response to that attack, Geppetto found it best to assassinate the Fables prior to the attack in order to avoid mundy interference. Also, he sends Hansel as an Imperial envoy to seemingly make negotiations with Fabletown, but in reality, his mission is to locate Baba Yaga and find the missing wooden soldiers to return them home.
His plan was expected to take three years' time, but was halted when Flycatcher formed the Kingdom of Haven in the Homelands by leading the residents of the Witching Well into a new paradise. He originally sent his more monstrous military to attack, but found themselves weakened by Flycatcher's ability to turn his residents back and forth from beings of flesh to the spirits they were in the Witching Well. Because of this, not only did they fail, but many of them found themselves joining Flycatcher's new kingdom, repenting for their past crimes. Growing impatient, Geppetto sent his army of wooden soldiers to attack, and despite Flycatcher's powerful magic, it seemed to be an equal battle. However, the power coming from Flycatcher's armor turned the wooden soldiers into trees, forming a new Sacred Grove. Since there could only be one Sacred Grove in all the worlds, the one originally in Geppetto's cottage would never grow back, stripping Geppetto of his ability to make more children.
The loss of his soldiers (many of them his sons) brought Geppetto into a deep depression, conforted only by one of his enchanting daughters (also carved by Geppetto). Without Geppetto, the Empire was left on its own to defend one final attack from Fabletown, which resulted in all the magical gates between them and the mundane world to be destroyed. His son Pinnochio, along with two other children named Rodney and June (oddly enough, a married couple with a daughter Junebug), were able to defy their binds to the Empire using a simple loophole thought up by Pinnochio...they were made loyal to Geppetto in the sense that they would act in his best interest, and since being an evil warlord was not in his best interest, they were able to help bring down the Empire using vital information...in exchange for allowing Geppetto to sign the Fabletown Compact, granting him amnesty for his past crimes.
Geppetto is not thrilled to have lost his Empire, and likewise, several residents of Fabletown are not happy to have their greatest enemy counted as a fellow citizen. Although he was able to experience first hand (through a formal tour) what he had done to his fellow residents, he does not see anything wrong with what he had done, further proving how badly his days as the Adversary had changed him. He was granted residence with the 13th floor witches, but found he could only use his magic when Frau Totenkinder, the current leader of the 13th floor, permitteed him to.
When Mister Dark had undone the enchantments placed on the Woodland Building (thus causing the structure to collapse), Geppetto had revealed that he had formed a team long ago called the Boxing League that sealed Mister Dark into a magically enchanted box. He was forced to relocate to the Farm with everyone else, but had slipped away into the woods while a serious commotion had been occuring (Boy Blue's death). He was confronted by Reynard the Fox, King Noble, and several other animal Fables with the intent to kill him, but could not do so because of Geppetto's protection spells. Instead, they bury him underneath the dirt.
Geppetto is freed from his imprisonment after a heavy rain washes the dirt away, and he angrily walks deeper into the woods to seek out Grandfather Oak, who grants him protection. He receives two bodyguards, Prince Aspen and Princess Alder, and suddenly decides that with Rose Red still hiding away (due to a deep, suicidal depression following Boy Blue's death), the Farm needed new leadership. He then began a campaign to be selected as the new head of the Farm, though received a little competition from Ozma, the new leader of the 13th floor, and Brock Blueheart, formerly Stinky the Badger, who led a new religion that believed Boy Blue would return someday to defeat Mister Dark. However, after a long period of time, Rose Red recovered from her depression, and put an end to any and all campaigns, resuming her leadership. She did, however, appoint all three former candidates as her advisors.
While in Haven, Pinnochio gave Geppetto the collection of small wooden soldiers he had crafted himself. He is grateful for returning them, but known only to Geppetto, these small soldiers are just as alive as his former ones. He sends one of them, Sir Woldred, into the Sacred Grove created by Flycatcher, in an attempt to recollect his lost magic and rebuild a new Empire.
- The original plan was to have Peter Pan as the Adversary with the icon kidnapping children and becoming corrupt due to his inability to grow up - however this plan was stopped when Fables creator found out that Peter Pan was not public domain in the United Kingdom thus couldn't be used due to copyright complications: thus he decided to use Geppetto instead and after thinking on it he has stated that he prefers the current plot now.