With Britain now part of the supernatural Otherworld it looks grim for Bridgette, Duncan and Rose in ‘Once and Future’ #19. King Arthur are on the rise, and mean business as he cuts fast and lose through England.
Once and Future #19 returned this week and with the Otherworld now having subsumed our reality – well, mainland Britain at least – we move into very high concept, high fantasy and high stakes territory. It certainly feel as though there has been a seismic shift in scale and storytelling from Kieron Gillen with this new development.
As Duncan and Bridgette walk through their new reality there is a palpable tension raising from the page. This is, after all, a realm where anything can happen. And often does. Both have to be extra cautious, extra vigilant, ready for all eventualities. Soon they are joined with Rose as all of the collectively fend of fairies. But not the nice kind. You juts can’t shake the felling of danger wherever you turn.
Dan Mora brings the artistic action while Tamra Bonvillain creates the ethereal tone of the Otherworld that now dominated the landscape. It’s all reflected in the ever-changing colour scheme that haunts this issue. Overall, the whole issue has the unmistakeable tone of a post-apocalyptic movie, but with magic and monster rather than zombies. Especially when the gang return to Bridgette’s old folks’ home, now heavily barricaded against the supernatural menaces surrounding them. Even Bridgette has a crushing sense of defeat, something we’ve not seen before. Although Duncan isn’t ready to give up the ghost yet and his behaviour in this issue is a reminder of how far he has come since the first issue.
And in amongst is all is King Arthur! A man still obsessed with national purity and carving his way through anyone he senses is Saxon. In other words, foreign. But, while this new reality is itself a real shock to the system, nothing will prepare you for the shocking last page reveal. Once more Gillen surprises and teases the reader of bigger things to come and whet’s the appetite perfectly.
Its a welcome return of a series that’s only getting better and better.
Once and Future #19 is out now from BOOM! Studios