‘Once & Future #27:’ Comic Book Review

With the arrival of the Sword in the Stone, all bets are off as all three Arthurs are predictably in hot pursuit of the literal kingmaker, a boon to their claim of legitimacy. With Bridgette’s plans hinging on them surviving past Christmas, things are looking rather grim. Meanwhile, Mary has her own plans to save her Galahad. A Hail Mary if you will. This issue does feel like we’re ratcheting up the stakes and that things are about to get pretty nutty soon.

After an issue that blew through several months, Kieron Gillen pumps the brakes in this one, essentially concentrating on a very tense 24 hours or so. This issue focuses almost equally on two fronts: a battle for the sword in the stone and Mary’s quest to restore and save her other son. Gillen keeps the focus on the theme of family, and while family can truly mess you up, in the best cases, they’re also the last to give up on you, no matter how far gone you may seem.

Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain’s joint work looks fabulous as usual, with my favorite page being the one of the three Arthurs hearing about the Sword in the Stone. The contrast between the three designs is pretty nifty. There are also some truly emotional moments featuring Mary, too, and the relief and grief expressed on a single page are quite something to behold. Ed Dukeshire’s ability to keep his text bubble designs straight is already pretty impressive, but they’re also great because they give such a sense of character, tone, and volume. His sound design gives such a sense of atmosphere, with a total sense of chaos in the battle scenes that feels palpable.

Overall, grief has a way of bringing fractious parties together, and with things going the way they are, a unified front against their shared foes may be their best chance of survival.      


Creative Team: Kieron Gillen (writer), Dan Mora (artist), Tamra Bonvillain (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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