Quick recap: Duncan’s family is a mess, y’all! Unbeknownst to him, his grandma raised him to be a perfect knight, in the off chance that she needed someone to retrieve the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, his grandfather is apparently the Fisher King, but only because Bridgette shot him in the nads after a disagreement about the trajectory of the family? The McGuires sure know how to woo partners…
After a heavy bit of exposition regarding filling in the missing bits of information about Duncan’s past, we hop straight into some serious action, bringing us to the climax of the first arc. Kieron Gillen’s script deftly handles some of the heavier expository bits, allowing Bridgette to probably be the most vulnerable that we’ve seen her so far. It’s not all heavy stuff. There are a couple of moments of levity when Duncan is confronting his destiny, including the reveal of a rather intimate detail about his, shall we say, worldly experiences. The introduction of a major Arthurian McGuffin at the end hints at a pretty badass showdown to come. After a couple of issues away from the main antagonist, it’s time for our protagonists to hero up.
I’ve said this time and time again, but, visually, Once & Future is a stunning series. The Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain partnership just keeps hitting the right notes. The tone is consistent – realistic, but with a dark mythological twist to the proceedings. It’s been a while since we’ve seen some new, creepy designs, but the final page is both demented and beautiful. Bonvillain’s ability to convey mood and atmosphere with subtle visual cues is to be commended. Meanwhile, Ed Dukeshire’s text keeps the story moving smoothly, and emotional cues are telegraphed effectively.
Overall, I can’t wait to see how Gillen et al. will close the first arc of this story. The inevitable clash between Duncan and King Arthur will be pretty epic.
Creative Team: Kieron Gillen (writer), Dan Mora (artist), Tamra Bonvillain (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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