ONCE & FUTURE #1 Review: Granny’s got a Gun!!

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Writer: Kieron Gillen, Interior and Cover Artist: Dan Mora, Colorist: Tamara Bonvillain Letterer: Ed Dukeshire

Thanks to BOOM! Studios for providing a review copy.

Synopsis

When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead to gain power, retired monster hunter Bridgette McGuire pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to combat the deadly secrets of England’s past that threaten its very future.

When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead, retired monster hunter Bridgette McGuire pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to defeat a legendary threat. Now the two must navigate the complicated history of the McGuire family, all while combating the deadly secrets of England’s past that threaten its very future.

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) explore the mysteries of the past, the complicated truths of our history and the power of family to save the day…especially if that family has secret bunkers of ancient weapons and decades of experience hunting the greatest monsters in Britain’s history!

Review

Once & Future has been getting a fair amount of attention lately, and rightly so! I was lucky enough to chat with Kieron Gillen about this new series during SDCC 2019, so naturally I had to do a full review of issue #1.

Personally, I am not overly familiar with the ins and outs of Arthurian Legend. Most of what I know I learned from Disney and Monty Python, and not the actual source material. Though I’m sure I would appreciate some of the finer nuance of Once & Future if I were well versed on Arthur and his band of friends & foes, I still found a lot to love in this graphic novel. That accessibility and reference to many different takes on Arthur’s story make this a great read for anyone.

Because this book is set to release at the end of August 2019, I can’t say too much about it yet, but I want to talk about the Grandma/Grandson team a bit. Their dynamic is one of the best aspects of the story, and I love how it calls up images of an aged Merlin assisting a youthful King Arthur. Make no mistake, this is a Granny who means business. She carries years of experience and hidden knowledge that make her one scary lady. I can’t wait to see how her relationship with her grandson may change throughout the course of the story arc.

The artwork is, unsurprisingly, amazing in this book. The character’s are distinct and expressive. The elements that should have a touch of old world wear and tear certainly do. It’s very interesting to see an ancient world, and a more modern one collide on the page. It will be great to see how those two worlds continue to work together visually.

I think any fan of Gillen’s work will find a lot to love in Once & Future. The story is fast paced, with a great mix of big shocks and big laughs. The book is already up to a 4th printing, so if you want to add it to your sub list, be sure to do it sooner than later!

Once & Future #1 is set for release on August 14th, 2019.

If you’re looking forward to Once & Future be sure to check out my interview with Kieron Gillen, and let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

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