July 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Once & Future Volume 4

King Arthur is running loose around England, but he has problems with another King Arthur.

Once & Future may be one of my current favorite series right now, but it does sometimes play a bit coy with whether or not the murderous King Arthur was, well, a real person or not.  He’s a story according to Bridgette McGuire.  But now he’s loose and…well, so are other stories.

That’s bad for everybody, including Arthur.

See, the thing about stories is, well, they can have different interpretations.  To that end, Arthur has a problem he didn’t see coming:  another King Arthur.  He’s every bit as legitimate as the Arthur that have been messing with Rose, Duncan, and Bridgette, but he’s not the same Arthur.  It looks like he comes from a different storytelling era, one that includes Lancelot, a figure that has appeared in the series but that the original Arthur didn’t recognize, though that does lead to a great moment of humor when the first Arthur can stop the second in his tracks the same way he was in the first trade.

The driving issue at this point is that, thanks to Boris Johnson (implied), the world of story is now free to run around loose, and stories are never nice.  Bridgette knows a few things, even going to the secret location of the long dead greatest monster hunter in English history, a man known by all that managed to defeat an old story in a way that still resonates, and there may be something down there that can help.

The fact that stories are now running around in the real world means writer Kieron Gillen and artist Dan Mora can have some fun with what kind of story monsters are running around different parts of England, none of which are friendly.  Got a guy named Jack?  Better tell him to prep for giants.  Heading to a city founded by the Romans?  Their mythological creatures are down there.  Need someone to annoy a king?  Gran knows just the story, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good guy.

Oh, and Bridgette’s daughter Mary, Duncan’s mother, has her own agenda, one that might involve saving her now-monstrous son Galahad.

This series is still a ton of fun, and it’s one I will gladly keep going back to.  Then again, this seems to be the last trade currently available, so I may not notice right away when the next one comes along.  That tends to happen…

10 out of 10 treacherous fairies.