A little help from my…disaster of a date? (Once & Future #3 Comic Review)

Written by Kieron Gillen

Illustrated by Dan Mora

Colored by Tamra Bonvillain

Lettered by Ed Dukeshire

Cover by Dan Mora

Forbidden Planet & Jetpack Comics Exclusive Variant Cover by David Lafuente

Forbidden Planet & Jetpack Comics Exclusive Variant Cover Colors by Germán García

Edited by Matt Gagnon

Associate Editor Amanda LaFranco

Design by Scott Newman

“Don’t lose the string or Theseus is stuck with a big mean cow man.”

In This Issue: After an escape from the newly reanimated Arthur and his freshly-killed-and-quickly-zombified crop of new knights at Glastonbury Tor, Bridgette informs Duncan that they need The Doctor. Unfortunately, Sir Charles “Chunky” West, Doctor of History at Bristol University, is long dead—they’ll need a successor.

Duncan’s date from earlier that evening, Rose, fits the bill to a ‘T’. After collecting Rose (at gunpoint, because, as Bridgette says, “It seems to be working so far”), the trio makes a visit to the Bristol U. archives to collect something old Chunky left behind. It’s a lockbox full of keys, a file, and a very compelling note. Time to all cram back into Duncan’s car and travel to Bath Abbey, hopefully in time to get a shot at Elaine’s specially-bred Galahad as Arthur knights him. Rose, who had been skeptical, is as amazed as Duncan was at finding out the Bridgette wasn’t pulling her leg—everything is real. Asking Rose to recall the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, Bridgette, and Duncan leave her in the upper abbey with a candle, the way to get them back from their trip to the Otherworld as they descend into the lower levels of the abbey, the foundation of its original iteration.

They arrive in time to see Arthur pull a sword from a stone (which Duncan identifies as Excalibur and Bridgette tuts and reminds him that that sword belonged to the Lady of the Lake—this is a different sword altogether, so best just to stick with The Sword in the Stone,) and Elaine arrives with her offspring.

Bridgette has a clear shot lined up.

My Two Cents: Issue #3 of Once & Future offers the reader an uptick in complexity and action. While there is still a (very necessary) level of exposition, it has become increasingly woven into the dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, it had some clunky moments in issue #1, was immaculate in #2, and has reverted to being less well-flowing in #3. That aside, all the ideas come across perfectly fine and the relationships between the characters are deepening and becoming more defined. Art and color continue to be excellent, which must have been a painstaking task in this issue considering the fact that Bath Abbey, which is a Gothic construction, figured reasonably heavily in the plot, and Gothic architecture is notoriously finicky in detail. We leave the story at a moment which could play out any of three easily divined directions—though we may yet be surprised—and we’ll just have to wait and see where we’ll go from here.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
I still wish Bridgette was MY gran. She's just so nonchalant bout the whole otherworldly activity thing. I mean, I suppose that's to be expected from someone who supposedly spent her youth chasing down beings of a mythical and/or mystical persuasion. The beauty of her character is that she gets some fantastic dialogue. There are several laugh-out-loud moments in issue #3, including one where Bridgette takes a truly divine dig at Duncan's bachelorhood. The way she jumps between “gran mode” and “no-nonsense monster hunter” is a delight to behold. In that way, she puts me I mind of Merlin from the Disney adaptation of “The Sword in the Stone” (1977). “Once & Future” as a whole is a wonderful book, yes, but Bridgette is what, to me, gives it that little extra bit of oomph.
Good
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Layered storytelling
  • Creative license with historical accuracy
Bad
  • Instances of awkward dialogue
8
Great
Art - 9
Story - 9
Writing - 7
Predictability - 7
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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