[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Dan Mora
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“Who will play a game?”- The Green Knight
Once & Future #14 – Gran, Duncan and Rose are on a new quest to learn more about Merlin’s plan when they come face-to-face with another mysterious knight of legend – The Green Knight
But if they want to track down the powerful Nimue and stay one step ahead of their enemy, it seems the trio will need to play this knight’s game, whether they like it or not…
Kieron Gillen begins this issue with a game…not just any game but the beheading game played by the Green Knight.
This tale describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious “Green Knight” who dares any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts and beheads him with his blow, at which the Green Knight stands up, picks up his head and reminds Gawain of the appointed time. In his struggles to keep his bargain, Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving the lord and the lady of the castle where he is a guest.
Gillen inserts Gran as our reader’s guide as she is well versed in anything that deals with King Arthur. Her knowledge of history and lore is amazing, and her simplistic matter of fact in dealing with all of this violence is incredible.
However, we cannot take anything from Rose as she is prepared to be the Gawain in this particular tale. Everyone has a role to play in Gillen’s comic!
Gillen’s script writing is perfect. His character of Gran is even more perfect. Can she weld both a shotgun and a chainsaw to do damage? Sure.
Gran’s interrogation of a man whose intestines are hanging out and he is near death is a sight to behold. A cigarette in one hand while Gran is guilting him to reveal what he knows, while Dan Mora’s artistic rendering of the man’s entrails is stunning.
Dan Mora’s drawing of Gran on a motorcycle uttering “Not my fault that only one of us knows how to drive a bike!” while her grandson is holding on for dear life is priceless. Mora deserves a turn of the pen in Todd McFarlane’s Spawn series.
One thing is for sure is that the man likes his blood on the page.
The art! Dan Mora is in the same vein as Todd McFarlane or Greg Capullo. This is a Violator blood fest, but it works!
Tamra Bonvillain is at the pinnacle of a color fest and she captures night time horror perfectly. But the use of reds and purple and the night is a sight to behold.
Once & Future #14 relies heavily on myths, legends, and poetry of old. That is not a negative at all, but it does prompt the reader to dig deeper into the comic past reading it. This is not “bubble gum for the brain”, therefore, it is some high brow reading that accompanies a bit of research on your part as the reader to appreciate it!
Once & Future #14 – The Green Knight makes his play and will return in a year and a day! Gran discovers that her daughter is after a cauldron. Oh what fun research this will be as Once & Future should be accompanied with an English Literature degree and cliff notes. This is a really fun read and a book with precise pencils and vivid colors! You would do yourself a favor at starting with issue #1 and pull yourself up to King Arthur and his round table!