Hey, its another week of comic trade paperback reviews! Yes, I got another five done.
First up, the fifth and final volume of Once & Future, subtitled The Wasteland.
Everything is out of control in England. Sure, Bridgette, Duncan, and Rose have an ally of sorts to hold the various King Arthurs at bay in the form of a monstrous Robin Hood, but things aren’t going to stay that way forever. There’re a few wildcards in the form of Duncan’s mother Rose, Rose’s other son Galahad, and Merlin, who doesn’t seem to be a story like all the Arthurs.
There is one thing that could stop all this: one of the Arthurs would have to prevail. And there is one way for one of them to become the One True Arthur: he’d have to draw a certain sword from a certain stone. And wouldn’t you know it, that sword just materialized.
This one was exciting, wrapping all the different story elements up while still providing some good surprises and some nice character development. Merlin’s backstory is actually rather tragic in its own way, and even if Robin Hood is something of an ally, and a human one at that despite appearances, there are always rules to follow, and the key to winning against a story is to essentially know the plot since those are where the rules came from. There’s a good reason there are a lot of King Arthurs, and the series never says which, if any, is the real deal. That’s fine. There doesn’t have to be one. It’s simply that the folklore behind these characters, often sanitized for the modern audience, is rough, and that’s what makes them dangerous: these were stories from a much more violent time and place, and they don’t play by our sensibilities.
On the other hand, having an old lady with a lot of explosives is generally helpful it turns out.
I’d say I will miss this series, but it also knew when to quit. Good for writer Kieron Gillen and artist Dan Mora.
9.5 out of 10 surprise sword pullers for the trade.
10 out of 10 wise if violent old ladies.