What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Once & Future #11! They’ve really gotten themselves into one this time. A monster which can only be beaten by the one man who they already killed? How on Earth are they going to get themselves out of this situation? Not to mention without adding to the already growing body count of old people and orderlies.
All things considering, I loved the action between Grendel and Bridgette. This would be that time where regular people fall apart, but that’s just not this old lady. She took something small and still managed to put together a plan, even if it was only to delay things a bit longer. Even her attempt to make due with the best thing which could meet the standards of Grendel’s story was quite brilliant in execution. You would not have believed she had it in her till she made magic happen. Now what actually shocked me was the dialogue for her between the last issue and this one. This wouldn’t even be the time for jokes, yet here she was still clever and cunning with every word which passed her lips. It takes quite a sassy person in general to create a character like her who somehow always has something to say. Let’s not forget something to say which tends to create the response needed in the moment.
For the sake of pacing, I was glad it didn’t take too long for Duncan to throw himself into the fight too. Anything more would have probably been dragging things out for the sake of shock and horror. Just his entrance alone proved that Gran has been rubbing off on him from their recent adventures. I mean, who would have thought he would have it in him to have attempted such a daring assault, whether successful or not. From there they didn’t have a problem testing his resolve as well, because the Duncan before all of this would have probably tucked tail and ran the minute he laid eyes on Grendel. Instead, this version of Duncan was ready and willing to jump right into the fight to save Bridgette. If there was ever a time to say actions speak louder than words, then this would be it. That said, I was also taken back by his ability to adapt to a situation which has clearly grown over a short amount of time. If Duncan learned any less from Bridgette, this could have been a deadly situation very fast.
What came after this situation was one heck of a shocker. One would think that things would simply calm down, but this was only dealing with one situation to jump right into the next. This is not to say it wasn’t one worth throwing Duncan and Bridgette into, because there is never a bad time to address the importance of handling what happened here a specific way. As always, the subtle moments matter just as much as everything else. Specifically in this case where the true worst case scenario is always one wrong sentence around the corner.
Beyond this, I didn’t mind the small bits of progress to whatever Arthur and Merlin have been cooking up on their end. I can’t say that I fully understand their intentions from what happened in this issue, but it was just good to know that there is a plan in mind from them as well.
With an issue like this? You could tell that this art team was having a field day, because it’s one thing to emphasize that this is a dark fantasy story. However, it is an entirely different thing to create that one scene which will cement it as such. Grendel rampaging through this retirement home? That was as dark as it gets, right now at least. The carnage which this monster was leaving behind, let’s not forget the massive amount of blood everywhere you looked. A blood-soaked Gran wasn’t hard to believe that we would see after this. I’m just glad that we also have an art team capable of creating such a bloody and visceral scene without getting too out of hand. You can do all of that without taking away from the detail and clarity in the image you are trying to put in reader’s heads.
In the end, this was as intense of an issue as you would have expected. Once & Future #11 knocks you at the edge of your seat because it was anyone’s guess as to how this was going to end, or how this was going to be something you could put a lid on. To say that these two are in over their heads is quite the understatement at this point.