ONCE & FUTURE #6
Recently, King Arthur roars to life and thirst for power once more! A family has made it their calling to make sure Arthur does not succeed. Duncan just met his grandfather, only to see him kill himself to grant access to the Grail to Arthur and Galahad. The confused Duncan pushes on to understand his role in this family drama. There were only a small handful of people who knew the story of Arthur was true and Bridgette hoped if the story could be contained, then the danger would no longer be a threat. Still, there had to be a contingency plan. Duncan is learning that he was raised to be their Percival. Family drama and secrets is a lot for Duncan to process. Gran has manipulated him throughout his life for the sake of mythology. Even now, the people he was lead to fight turns out to be family that Duncan never knew about. Thus bombshell; Elaine is Gran’s daughter and Duncan’s mother!
As the drama unfolds, Gran pushes Duncan to the brink of madness by shooting herself. He must enter the Otherworld to obtain the Grail and save her. Alone, Duncan battles Galahad and manages to get the Grail. Unfortunately, the Grail cannot cross over to the real-world. Duncan is learning to embrace his purpose to this story and before it’s too late, he heads back to Bath abbey to try something different...
Beware, total spoilers ahead! Before reading Once & Future #6, I had to read the previous five issues once again. This first story arc has me so excited; it’s like a favorite movie that you can watch over and over to make sure you have not missed a step. Kieron Gillen just gives me chills as he reconnects some childhood memories to mythical stories, such as King Arthur. Gillen provides a nice new twist to this story and superbly articulates each segment with great zest! This final part of the first arc, begins with Duncan taking the Excalibur, a legendary sword of King Arthur, and returns to the Otherworld with Bridgette/Gran over his shoulders like a sack of potatoes. As we saw from the last issue, Gran is bleeding out as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Let’s just say, some family members often go to the extreme in tough-love life lessons. Making his way through the unknown dark path, Duncan finds the way back to the fight.
I really appreciate Gillen’s ability to develop Duncan’s character in each issue. We learned that Duncan was brought up to be good and naïve in preparation to fit a certain role in the family business. As an adult, he still has that quirky charm that some girls, like Rose, finds adorable. As Duncan learns about his heritage of lies and deceit, he quickly becomes the protector and faces truth head on. It was fun to see Duncan spontaneously outing his mother, but the surprised Elaine/Mary denies the notion. The rejection only emphasizes and gives strength to Duncan as he slaughters the Knights. King Arthur takes notice and is quite impressed. An offer is made, the belt to heal Gran for the Excalibur! Gran intervenes and offers a slight alternative solution. Elain doesn’t want more secrets to be exposed and claims to her King that it’s a trick. The power is King Arthur’s to give and reclaim. He accepts the offer. Gran in her smug personality provides the bigoted King a gift, information that tips the table.
Gran reveals a part of the legend that connects Galahad to Sr. Lancelot and King Arthur’s wife. Elaine tells her son, Galahad, it’s time to go. The perfect knight is not turning his back on his destiny or his King. Watch out, Elaine! Duncan intervene Arthur’s attempt to slice and dice his mother. Gran creates a diversion, but something really weird happens. Dan Mora’s art caught my attention most during this melting sequence. Tamra Bonvillain works her magic of coloring and crafts the most beautiful pages.
Duncan and Gran runs to the portal before it is too late. Gran reaches out to her daughter, but Elaine / Mary rather perish in Hell. Well, back in the real world, Duncan returns the Excalibur without hesitation. He releases some well-kept feelings of disappointment in Gran. However, before you know it, something forces the hand of destiny to make Duncan and Gran work as a team. Gillen smoothly wraps up Once & Future #6 with a sweet taste for the imagination. He leaves us hanging to desire what may be next for Duncan, Gran, Rose and Elaine! How will Merlin and his new nimue further this Arthurian tale?
Wondrously unreal, great eye candy for the fantasy/supernatural imagination. Great dynamics with a twist to the Arthurian mythology.
ONCE & FUTURE #6: Destiny
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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