Sword And Sorcery, Twists And Turns: Reviewing ‘Once & Future’ #29
by Olly MacNamee
The penultimate issue of this fantasy horror and there is still all to play for as the demonic Merlin plays his hand and throws everything he’s got at Bridgette, Duncan and all those who stand on the side of good. ‘Once & Future’ #29 will surprise you and shock you in equal measure as we get one last big twist from Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillian and Ed Dukeshire.
After the rather shocking climax to the last issue, we get a more sombre moment to open up this penultimate issue of Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillian and ’s Once & Future. A clever ploy by Gillen to postpone the suspenseful follow-up to Rose’s gruesome and shocking murder. Although, if you do know your source materials, you may have already realised what is to come. But, I very much doubt it. I didn’t, that’s for sure. And I’d like to consider myself somewhat versed in Arthurian lore. Let’s just put it this way; not all is as it would seem.
But, back to the opening scene for one moment, which acts as a powerful reminder of the tragic character Galahad became across the course of the series. A reminder that not everyone gets a happy ending and possibly a portend to further tragedy perhaps?
And so, as we really do enter the endgame we get a startling last minute revelation that turns the whole saga on its head. In a series that has cast the whole King Arthur in a wholly original way, we get one last injection of creative thinking from Gillen and yet another spin on the legend. And a moment Dan Mora more spectacularly prints in a stunning full page spread that is elevated by the bright colours of Bonvillain. And a scene that sees the demon king, the nationalistic, zombie Arthur, stand up and be counted. And a gruesome battle ensues that once again reminds readers that as much as this is a fantasy’s story, it is one steeped in gore too.
From where this series began to where it is now, we’ve come a long way. And what you may have thought was the story of Duncan becoming the next champion of the realm and monster hunter has long pst been revealed to be something of a red herring. A patriarchal legend has been reclaimed by a dominant female force and it is these characters that are saving the day. But with one last gambit from Merlin, can they save everyone?
Once & Future #29 is out now from BOOM! Studios