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Once & Future, Vol. 2: Old English

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When an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet...a beast and his mother. Although Bridgette and Duncan stopped Arthur from retrieving the Grail and separated him from the legendary scabbard of Excalibur, the undead King of the When an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet...a beast and his mother. Although Bridgette and Duncan stopped Arthur from retrieving the Grail and separated him from the legendary scabbard of Excalibur, the undead King of the Britons still has his sights on returning to our world and returning to power. By inadvertently changing the story of the famous King, Duncan and Gran have thrown the Otherworld into shambles, allowing for new legends and characters to make their appearance - and bring a world of trouble along with them. But when an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet...a beast and his mother. New York Times bestselling writer Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Star Wars) and Russ Manning Award-winning artist Dan Mora (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Klaus) deliver the next chapter of the critically-acclaimed series that took the world of comics by storm! Collects Once & Future #7-12.


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When an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet...a beast and his mother. Although Bridgette and Duncan stopped Arthur from retrieving the Grail and separated him from the legendary scabbard of Excalibur, the undead King of the When an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet...a beast and his mother. Although Bridgette and Duncan stopped Arthur from retrieving the Grail and separated him from the legendary scabbard of Excalibur, the undead King of the Britons still has his sights on returning to our world and returning to power. By inadvertently changing the story of the famous King, Duncan and Gran have thrown the Otherworld into shambles, allowing for new legends and characters to make their appearance - and bring a world of trouble along with them. But when an ancient helmet at the British Museum is taken, Bridgette and Duncan are confronted by another hero of yore, one who will lead them to facing off against their most formidable challenge yet...a beast and his mother. New York Times bestselling writer Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Star Wars) and Russ Manning Award-winning artist Dan Mora (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Klaus) deliver the next chapter of the critically-acclaimed series that took the world of comics by storm! Collects Once & Future #7-12.

30 review for Once & Future, Vol. 2: Old English

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Fuck yeah, Grandma! I like Duncan, don't get me wrong. But Bridgette is a BOSS. She saves the day again and again with no-nonsense & zero tolerance for any bullshit. I feel for her, I really do. Duncan is so idealistic and determined to do the right thing, but Bridgette has been there, done that, and knows that you have to break a few eggs to make the damn omelet. This time around they're fighting a new story. Well, they're actually fighting one of the oldest stories - Beowulf. Which means they Fuck yeah, Grandma! I like Duncan, don't get me wrong. But Bridgette is a BOSS. She saves the day again and again with no-nonsense & zero tolerance for any bullshit. I feel for her, I really do. Duncan is so idealistic and determined to do the right thing, but Bridgette has been there, done that, and knows that you have to break a few eggs to make the damn omelet. This time around they're fighting a new story. Well, they're actually fighting one of the oldest stories - Beowulf. Which means they'll also have to go up against Beowulf's monsters, Grindel and his dear mother. Ye olde helicopter parent... *dramatic pause* Ok, ok. But the best part of the story is the bloodbath at Bridgette's retirement home when she takes a chainsaw to some bitches and goes all vvvvvvvvrrrrrrr!!!! Anyway, as they find new ways to defeat these monsters, they change the stories and maybe, more importantly, their role in the stories. I'm not even 100% sure what that means, but I know it means something. This is just a neat concept with cool characters, and if you haven't checked it out yet you really don't know what you're missing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    This is just a fun romp of a series that plays with Arthurian convention and now, in The Unwritten fashion, seems to have opened up the door to other legends popping up. Gillen speaks my language, which is a mishmash of Pig Latin, drunken boasting, and self-depecating nose observations.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    I am absolutely loving this book! This may be my favourite indie book for... well, a long time. I said to myself as I sat down to read it ‘Just read the first two issues and save the rest for tomorrow’ but, before I knew it, I’d already finished issue three and was enjoying it so much I just thought ‘Oh, sod it’ and read the whole damned thing in one sitting, stopping only for crumpets. Great stuff. In addition to the Arthurian stuff from the first volume, Kieron Gillen and co. have thrown Beowulf I am absolutely loving this book! This may be my favourite indie book for... well, a long time. I said to myself as I sat down to read it ‘Just read the first two issues and save the rest for tomorrow’ but, before I knew it, I’d already finished issue three and was enjoying it so much I just thought ‘Oh, sod it’ and read the whole damned thing in one sitting, stopping only for crumpets. Great stuff. In addition to the Arthurian stuff from the first volume, Kieron Gillen and co. have thrown Beowulf and Grendel into the mix this time around, while still building on the Arthurian bits. Also, the artwork is just gorgeous. If you like the thought of an octogenarian attacking a huge mythical monster with a chainsaw, this book could be for you. If you don’t like the thought of that, you may want to check your pulse. I can’t wait for volume three!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    What could have been a six issue and done story has mutated, as stories are wont to do, as Once & Future enters its second arc. Bridget and Duncan, now joined by Rose, must face off with the continued machinations of the revived King Arthur, as well as Beowulf - and where Beowulf goes, the Grendel is never far behind. Gun-toting badass grandma? Dorky gentle giant character? Super evil, super unpredictable bad guys? Yeah, Gillen knows how to get me, and he's got me again. This isn't the first time What could have been a six issue and done story has mutated, as stories are wont to do, as Once & Future enters its second arc. Bridget and Duncan, now joined by Rose, must face off with the continued machinations of the revived King Arthur, as well as Beowulf - and where Beowulf goes, the Grendel is never far behind. Gun-toting badass grandma? Dorky gentle giant character? Super evil, super unpredictable bad guys? Yeah, Gillen knows how to get me, and he's got me again. This isn't the first time he's deconstructed the nature of stories, and that concept gets kicked into high gear once again, so he's really hitting all the buttons for me with this book. I've sung Dan Mora's praises in so many places now, but I won't stop doing it ever -the guy can draw literally anything, and he can do it so fast. This is 12 issues in a row, and he's shown no signs of stopping. And he's done hundreds of covers, and side-stories, and...I just don't get it. Man's a machine, but you'd never know it, because the quality never falters. Easily one of my favourite artists right now. Once & Future is a gem. Boom! don't have many books that make it past 12 issues, but I'm so glad O&F is doing that, because I could read this for a very, very long time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

    3.5 stars. Not quite as good as the last volume but still enjoyable. The art and colors continue to be great and the pacing is still chugging along quite nicely. What hurt the book, keeping me from giving it 4 stars was Merlin. Every time he spoke, I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. But the battles were bloody, oh so bloody.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    This is brilliant as a fun action comedy romp that’s incredible to look at. Mora and Bonvillain’s art continues to be outstanding and Gillen has fun remixing in English myths outside the Arthurian tales this time. The characters remain likable and entertaining, though I’m still not emotionally invested in them. That may change though, and even if it doesn’t I’m looking forward to seeing how Gillen expands the plot/world going forward and how the art team presents it all so memorably.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Still strongly reminding me of Philip Purser-Hallard's Devices trilogy, even though I'm fairly sure Gillen hasn't read those, by playing one of the same key reversals in its modern Arthurian riff. If stories have power, and you can hook into that by building correspondences with a myth, then your opponent can also gain advantage by snookering you with another legend – especially if it's from a different source altogether, one you hadn't even realised was in play. Still, there are some excellent Still strongly reminding me of Philip Purser-Hallard's Devices trilogy, even though I'm fairly sure Gillen hasn't read those, by playing one of the same key reversals in its modern Arthurian riff. If stories have power, and you can hook into that by building correspondences with a myth, then your opponent can also gain advantage by snookering you with another legend – especially if it's from a different source altogether, one you hadn't even realised was in play. Still, there are some excellent feints and gotcha moments here, and the central heroic young lunk/devious gran dynamic remains a delight, at least once they're back on speaking terms. Although once or twice I did wonder if she wasn't sounding a little too modern, and for me the Hot Fuzz gag would have worked better without being lampshaded. All of which I forgave when the final reveal smacked me around the face, as neat as it was unexpected as it was 'oh shit'.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ***Dave Hill

    The first volume of this series could have been the end of the tale. But the Arthurian saga in it has only been somewhat derailed, not destroyed, and there's a new player in town, advising Arthur, who realizes that if at first you don't succeed with one Old English myth, maybe another one will shake things up. This "the world is myth and, if we're lucky, we won't be called to be players" isn't new with Gillen (or even unique in Gillen's work (see "Die"), but here's it remains a ton of fun, even i The first volume of this series could have been the end of the tale. But the Arthurian saga in it has only been somewhat derailed, not destroyed, and there's a new player in town, advising Arthur, who realizes that if at first you don't succeed with one Old English myth, maybe another one will shake things up. This "the world is myth and, if we're lucky, we won't be called to be players" isn't new with Gillen (or even unique in Gillen's work (see "Die"), but here's it remains a ton of fun, even if some of the supporting characters get short shrift. It helps that I read Headley's new Beowulf: A New Translation recently, but it's not necessary, as we don't dive in too deeply. The centerpiece of the tale remains Brigid, the monster-slaying granny, and her Percivalesque son, Duncan, and their respective reactions to the hazards they face. Great stuff. Highly recommended.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Trike

    Well, that escalated quickly. We went from evil King Arthur to evil Beowulf to evil giant Grendel, and then it got worse for our heroes and heroines. Which means better for us. It’s like Gillen went, “Yeah, here’s the entirety of British myth, all at once, and all these characters from legend want to kill you and your grandma.” And I am here for it. I have to assume next time we’ll get Morgana le Fey and Robin Hood and probably zombie Ivanhoe. Fingers crossed. The art is gorgeous and the colors ar Well, that escalated quickly. We went from evil King Arthur to evil Beowulf to evil giant Grendel, and then it got worse for our heroes and heroines. Which means better for us. It’s like Gillen went, “Yeah, here’s the entirety of British myth, all at once, and all these characters from legend want to kill you and your grandma.” And I am here for it. I have to assume next time we’ll get Morgana le Fey and Robin Hood and probably zombie Ivanhoe. Fingers crossed. The art is gorgeous and the colors are straight out of a Michael Powell film, supersaturated and in Technicolor.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mateus

    As with the first volume, Once and Future merges a retelling of Arthurian mythos, but in the current day and age, with enough references to the current world to make you think *MAYBE* it could happen! Terrifying thought of ancient and mythical beasts aside though, the great writing that elicits out loud laughs combined with the perfect art and colours makes this a must read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Pyles

    Love this series. Don't know exactly what ticks all the boxes for me here, it all just works for me. Gillen totally has another slam dunk on his hands! Love this series. Don't know exactly what ticks all the boxes for me here, it all just works for me. Gillen totally has another slam dunk on his hands!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    3.5⭐️ I found volume one just interesting enough to read volume two. It’s fine. The art is good. The grandmother is great and I enjoy her plucky-ness, but overall the writing is a just meh for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris Robertson

    Remains good. Aptly titled, as you can’t get more Old English than Beowulf. I really liked the art....Mora is a real pro. Gillen is a master of advancing the story with crisp dialogue. Can’t wait to see which character from folklore is next to appear.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mohan Vemulapalli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In the "Once & Future" universe the myths and legends of ancient Britain seep from barrows, books and museum shelves back into modern life to haunt and threaten the contemporary world. Although, most inhabitants of the British Isles are unaware of this threat, a few individuals, with the knowledge and occasional support of the government, fight the threat of the myth. Introduced, in the first volume "The King is Undead", Duncan, a modern day Percival , is introduced to the finer points of fighti In the "Once & Future" universe the myths and legends of ancient Britain seep from barrows, books and museum shelves back into modern life to haunt and threaten the contemporary world. Although, most inhabitants of the British Isles are unaware of this threat, a few individuals, with the knowledge and occasional support of the government, fight the threat of the myth. Introduced, in the first volume "The King is Undead", Duncan, a modern day Percival , is introduced to the finer points of fighting the horrors of the past by his experienced and jaded grandmother Bridgette. Along the way they pick up Rose who was previously a victim of Duncan's inept romantic intentions and now as "The Historian" provides mystical tech support for the two monster hunters. The second volume "Olde English" follows on the heels of the first volume in which a Nazgul type King Arthur tries to drive the Saxons ( i.e. English speakers) from the British Isles. Foiled in his previous attempts Arthur is now aided by Merlin who plots to unleash Beowulf and the monsters of his saga on an unsuspecting England. This book is generally a lot of fun. Duncan is still a bit of a dunderhead, although he seems to accept his role as myth fighter more. Gran (Bridgette) steals the limelight as she did in the first volume. She is the same sarcastic action oriented septuagenarian as before and is just as quick to resolve conflict with a burst of high calibre firepower. This time she also adds a chain saw routine that is right out of "The Evil Dead". Rose still comes across as highly intelligent, but is underused as a character, which is really unfortunate since it seems a little late in the day to relegate such a promising character to the role of tech support and / or "The Once & Future Girlfriend". There is a hint towards the end of the book that she may be more important to the outcome of the story than currently obvious. Let's hope volume three comes out soon so we can find out.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Brennan

    "What are you going to tell them?" "Well, I'll tell you what I'm not going to tell them: that the world is full of feral stories with big nasty teeth. And if you know about them, it makes you the first targets." "You told me about the feral stories." "I know. I wish I had another choice. But what we are is sheepdogs. All sheepdogs are is wolves gone rogue. We try and use our teeth to keep the stupid sheep safe. And stupid." If nothing else, this book is worth it for the art and colours. Particularly "What are you going to tell them?" "Well, I'll tell you what I'm not going to tell them: that the world is full of feral stories with big nasty teeth. And if you know about them, it makes you the first targets." "You told me about the feral stories." "I know. I wish I had another choice. But what we are is sheepdogs. All sheepdogs are is wolves gone rogue. We try and use our teeth to keep the stupid sheep safe. And stupid." If nothing else, this book is worth it for the art and colours. Particularly those gorgeous colours. But, the story is also really interesting - I only have a cursory knowledge of the reference material, but enough to get me through. I'm sure there are many little nods and Easter eggs I'm missing, but even with what I am catching, I'm very much enjoying Bridgette and Duncan's continuing story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris Thompson

    No doubt, Duncan’s grandmother makes this series fun. I mean, Duncan has his moments too, but grandma is the real deal. This second volume started flat with me. The villains resurrect Beowulf and sic him in our heroes, but Beowulf is a rather dull villain. His dialogue is riddled with cliche and hyperbole, and I’m surprised Gillon didn’t use Duncan or Duncan’s grandmother to sarcastically skewer those words. The book eventually hits its stride, though, into what made the first book so fun. Let’s No doubt, Duncan’s grandmother makes this series fun. I mean, Duncan has his moments too, but grandma is the real deal. This second volume started flat with me. The villains resurrect Beowulf and sic him in our heroes, but Beowulf is a rather dull villain. His dialogue is riddled with cliche and hyperbole, and I’m surprised Gillon didn’t use Duncan or Duncan’s grandmother to sarcastically skewer those words. The book eventually hits its stride, though, into what made the first book so fun. Let’s hope Gillon doesn’t turn this into something self-serious later on.

  17. 5 out of 5

    P D

    I think I officially love anything Gillen writes that isn't part of an existing universe, and Mora's crisp linework + Bonvillain's vibrant colors really bring it all together. My one issue is that the transition from the previous to current immediate threat felt a little bit tacked on rather than cliffhangery (as if the series were supposed to end sooner), but having read past this volume, I think it'll all come together much better when I go back and read it as a whole. I think I officially love anything Gillen writes that isn't part of an existing universe, and Mora's crisp linework + Bonvillain's vibrant colors really bring it all together. My one issue is that the transition from the previous to current immediate threat felt a little bit tacked on rather than cliffhangery (as if the series were supposed to end sooner), but having read past this volume, I think it'll all come together much better when I go back and read it as a whole.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Wow. A second arc that lives up and possibly surpasses the first, thanks in no small part to Dan Mora’s art. Every time I see something new from him, I think, there’s no possible way that he can top this...and yet each time, he does. Bridgette and Duncan are the story-telling, monster-slaying, most badass and hilarious duo I’ve seen in years. Can’t wait to see where the next volume goes!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Will Brown

    The plot of battling the undead King Arthur takes a surprise twist with the inclusion of some new key characters. The plot is fun, the action is great, and The snarky dialogue is just as sharp and clever as the last volume. Couple all of that with some great art by Dan Mora and you have a great series on your hands.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    Our protagonists spend six issues fighting characters from the Beowulf mythos. The mashup is delightful, our three main characters are compelling, and the action sequences are shocking. But, there's just no depth to this comic, which is a real disappointment after stories like Die and Wicked + Divine. Worth reading, still, but expect it to be a quick read. Our protagonists spend six issues fighting characters from the Beowulf mythos. The mashup is delightful, our three main characters are compelling, and the action sequences are shocking. But, there's just no depth to this comic, which is a real disappointment after stories like Die and Wicked + Divine. Worth reading, still, but expect it to be a quick read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Luly Ceballos

    Simply amazing. Duncan and Granny keep the action up, bigger monsters and enemies becoming allies? I love how the full volume is like a TV series episode finishing with a little rest for our tired monster hunters (and for poor Duncan to get some sleep). Excellent. Simply best format to enjoy the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    Excellent storytelling. Adding another mythology to the story complicates things. Seems they can just summon excalibur as needed now. I remember reading the Beowulf story / epic / poem in a literature class once. It was kind of painful to read as mentioned in this story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Greg Trosclair

    Both volumes of the series have been excellent. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I like the mythology and knowledge of folklore that is involved here. Dan Mora's art is great and fits the tone exactly. Kieron Gillen has a solid story that most graphic novel fans should enjoy. Both volumes of the series have been excellent. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. I like the mythology and knowledge of folklore that is involved here. Dan Mora's art is great and fits the tone exactly. Kieron Gillen has a solid story that most graphic novel fans should enjoy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Geeky Viking

    Co-creator and writer Kieron Gillen delivers his usual high level of world-building and character creation, but it's artist Dan Mora who is the real hero here. His artwork is off-the-charts awesome. Easily the most underrated artist currently working in comics. Co-creator and writer Kieron Gillen delivers his usual high level of world-building and character creation, but it's artist Dan Mora who is the real hero here. His artwork is off-the-charts awesome. Easily the most underrated artist currently working in comics.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erica McGillivray

    This remains a fun romp for English Lit nerds. Bonvillain's colors are incredible in this book. This remains a fun romp for English Lit nerds. Bonvillain's colors are incredible in this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Campo

    Great use of another famous story.. won’t say which is it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tommy Demsky

    still fun, still like the art

  28. 5 out of 5

    Artur Nowrot

    this book continues to be incredibly fun, introducing myths and legends in a clever way and being deeply suspicious of the role that stories play in human lives

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jaipal

    I enjoyed the first volume and loved the second one even more. Not going to write much except for go and read it. You won't be disappointed. I enjoyed the first volume and loved the second one even more. Not going to write much except for go and read it. You won't be disappointed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    4.5 Stars Another excellent entry in this series. I love Arthurian works and this has a fantastic spin to it. Can't wait to read more. 4.5 Stars Another excellent entry in this series. I love Arthurian works and this has a fantastic spin to it. Can't wait to read more.

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