Blood is thicker, and so is the plot (Once & Future #4 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

“You’re so good, Duncan. I prayed you’d never know your family isn’t.”

In This Issue: Rose is still holding the candle outside Bath Abbey, and the local bobbies have shown up to ascertain exactly what she’s up to.

Bridgette and Duncan, meanwhile, are still in the Otherworld, watching Arthur knight Elaine’s son, Galahad. Arthur inquires just how Elaine knows she can get to the Grail, and the news that she has secured a route and the Grail resides in the castle of the Maimed Fisher King sparks a memory for Bridgette. Before we find out just what, the shot to Galahad’s head clears. Duncan ruins it in a fit of decency, which causes Arthur and company to follow them back to the real world. Bridgette shouts for Rose to snuff out the candle to close the rift, but not in time to stop one of the hench-zombies coming through and eviscerating the two policemen who had been talking to Rose.

Duncan has a therapeutic scream on the way to the Grail castle.

Shortly before he learns that “ninety percent of driving in this business is smashing through gates at speed.”

Before Bridgette and Duncan can get through to the Grail castle, they’re held up by the Fisher King himself–at least until Bridgette takes a couple of shots at him. Without him, there’s no Grail castle and no way to the Grail. Unfortunately, she missed, and Arthur and company burst through from the Otherworld. Duncan, Rose, and Bridgette high-tail it upstairs as the Fisher King grants Galahad, and his accompanying knights, entrance to the Grail castle.

Duncan wants Bridgette to give him her gun so she can’t shoot anyone else, and she tells him that it would be pointless to shoot the Fisher King now–he’s the only way for Duncan to follow Galahad into the Grail castle and stop him.

It turns out that Duncan has a destiny.

My Two Cents: A lot was accomplished in this issue, and none of it was rushed or slapdash or vague–all things that can happen when a creative team has to cram so much story into a tight space. ‘Tight’ is probably an excellent descriptor for this whole issue, really–the art is spot on, the story flows smoothly–and the dialogue, which I noted in issue #3 was a bit clunky was significantly less so this month. There is also a whole heap of backstory in issue #4 that was, for the most part, unexpected, and that adds another layer of intrigue to the story as a whole. This is a six-issue run, rather than the normal five, so we get a whole extra issue to see how everything is going to resolve itself–or not.

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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--
Elizabeth Fazzio
***SPOILERS*** Bridgette. Shot her former husband. In the crotch. This woman’s bad-a**ery knows no bounds! Also, in explaining just how Elaine managed to ‘make’ a Galahad in the first place, since the Fisher King (Bridgette’s ex) was, erm...out of commission in that arena, SHE USED THE TERM ‘BONKED’. “She’d have bonked a Lancelot to get pregnant.” I know I’ve basically blathered incoherently about how much I love the character of Bridgette every time a new issue of Once & Future comes out, and the likelihood of me stopping isn’t getting any greater. It is incredibly difficult to create a character in a non-cinematic format with the kind of range and capacity to turn on a dime that Gillen has managed to build in Bridgette. Of all the books I’m keeping up with currently, there isn’t another one that captivates me and then turns around and makes me laugh so loudly that I scare my pet rats like Once & Future does...but let’s face it, it’s almost always because of Bridgette.
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Layered storytelling
  • Story elements are balanced
  • I'm honestly having a difficult time finding any, TBH
Art - 9
Story - 9
Writing - 9
Predictability - 8
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--

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