ONCE & FUTURE #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
The age old tale and glory of King Arthur and the sword Excalibur has been told for generations. With many iterations from The Sword in the Stone, the 90’s Cartoon King Arthur & The Knights of Justice, that Sean Connery movie with Richard Gere, and more recently the King Arthur movie with Charlie Hunnam, pop culture will never not tell that story. But how can one give a fresh take on Arthurian lore without butchering the actual story? Don’t write the story. Instead, take everything that made those stories great and apply them to the happenings of 2019. Kieron Gillen is coming in hot off the tsunami-sized wave that is DIE, to do just that.
The issue starts us out at the site of an archaeological dig, where an item of interest is discovered: the Scabbard to the Legendary Excalibur. The item is stolen by what appears to be White British Nationalist and the news reports spread far and wide across Great Britain. Our 2 main antagonists are Duncan McGuire and his Grandmother, Bridgette. Bridgette, whom i will refer to as Gran from here on, resides in a retirement home where she hears of the theft via televised newscast. Duncan is presented to us as an socially awkward, but likable archaeologist, who’s bad date with a beautiful young lady. It’s then interrupted when he gets a phone call from the home which his Gran resides. Gran’s missing and he cuts the date short, but almost immediately before the date could get any worse, Duncan receives a call from Gran and she needs a little help. When they meet, more about Gran’s aggressively independent personality is explained as well as revelations about her past revealed. Without giving away too much, just know Gran’s a bad ass. Duncan? Not so much and the action panels give that away easily.
The story kicks in to gear pretty quickly and we’re given tidbits of information in the early pages. Enough to make me extremely curious as to how deep Gran’s history actually goes and i hope that in future issues the story gets to touch on that. Since it is in fact the first issue, there is plenty of room for Duncan’s character growth, but in his current state, he’s still pretty likable, despite him kind of bring a softie.
Dan Mora’s art doesn’t falter at all, and his time working on The Power Rangers: Shattered Grid series has refined his work. His action panels give great sequence and speed to Gillen’s writing and the absolutely ridiculousness of the monster he presents shows his understanding of the lore he’s trying to portray.
All in all, this is a great first issue. I look forward to seeing this series unfold. 2 great antagonists and literal mythology as source material, I see no limit as to how much more exciting and awesome this story is going to turn out.