How A Legend Dies in ONCE & FUTURE #11

ONCE & FUTURE #11, available Wednesday from Boom! Studios continues to merge the present and the past through lore and legends coming back to life. Yet this retelling has a few horrifying twists – literally.


spoilers ahead

The legends of old are waking up, and they are proving to be far from benevolent. First, it was King Arthur – who had a different sort of plan for his country. Now he’s working alongside other beings of old, and that is less than ideal for humanity.

Once & Future #11 brings fans right back to the fight, with Duncan and his grandmother facing a classic foe, and all of the challenges that come with it. It’s hard to believe that only recently, Duncan had no idea that monsters were real. Now he’s charging into danger and without even a second’s thought or hesitation.

A new monster rises in Once & Future #11.

The Writing

Once & Future #11 is one of those issues that doesn’t hesitate to dive right back into the action. Then again, the cliffhanger from the last issue required it. It’s hard to know how things are going to go, but easy to picture the worst.

Kieron Gillen has done an excellent job of setting the scene, that much is for certain. We’re talking about a giant monster attacking an elderly home. Even with somebody like Gran around, it’s still going to be a problem. Especially when there’s no available weapon stash (kind of a critical point when battling monsters).

The issue is mostly action, reactions to said violence, and that sort of thing. Yet it’s all very well done, showing a surprising amount of wit and an appreciation of dramatic irony. There are even a few more humorous moments woven into the mix, to help lighten the mood.

All of which sets up for the next series of events. It’s starting to look like Duncan and his Gran are not going to be getting a break anytime soon. Which is a bit of a shame since before this battle took place, it was starting to look like they both needed one. No rest for the wicked, huh?

Once again, all of the references to lore and legend have enhanced the series. In this case, it created new foes to battle, while also setting the tone, as well as setting up a perfectly timed conclusion.

The plan unfolds, with a few new complications in Once & Future #11.

The Art

Once & Future #11 is another vibrant and intense issue. As mentioned above, it’s dominated by battles, which means there’s a lot of excitement and flash to go around. Dan Mora (art), Tamra Bonvillain (colors), and Ed Dukeshire (letters) all teamed up to make this issue what it is – and it was worth the effort.

The battle is surprisingly long, with lots of clever moments and details – none of which would have carried across without the help of the artists. Little things, such as the taxi’s expression, to that little surprise Duncan found, and more. It all created a fight that actually felt surprisingly believable and real.

As with the rest of this series, the colors are so bold and beautiful. It’s a signature of Bonvillain’s work, and yet it’s perfect here. Her colors have added that required ethereal and fantasy element, transporting readers to a world where dead kings and monsters really can rise back up.

Finally, the lettering is everything this issue needed to bring it all together. There’s a lot going on in these pages, and Dukeshire’s work makes sure that not a single detail is missed, leading our eyes with intention. All while making sure that the screams and stakes felt larger than life – as it should be.

And so the fight continues in Once & Future #11.


Once & Future #11 was another tense addition to this series, one that is full to the brim of fighting – and blood. It’s an issue that doesn’t leave much room for relaxing, and it looks like it’s setting up for the next issue to follow suit as well.

Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt
Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book fan. She loves comics - possibly too much, and will happily talk your ear off about everything she's reading. Though picking a favorite is a bit harder. She reads a little bit of everything and is always open to trying a new series. A Legend Dies in ONCE & FUTURE #11