Image’s ONCE & FUTURE #17, available now, takes fans back to a world where the legends of old rise again – in warped versions of themselves. Written by Kieron Gillen, with artwork by Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ed Dukeshire, this issue is set to merge those legends into something new and horrifying.
Once upon a time, Duncan was unaware of the secret life his grandmother lived. He was unaware of the war she fought on a daily basis. Oh, to go back to those days of innocence. Now, Duncan is as entrenched in the war as she, and it is getting darker by the day.
The beings mentioned in legends of old have been rising once again – and they are not the friendly heroes we would like to imagine. No, they’re warped versions that bring nothing but pain and death with them, especially to those that are far too aware of their tales.
Once & Future #17 is an issue we’ve all been waiting for, as the previous one left us with a promise. Here, we’re about to see several legends collide – and your guess is as good as any as to how that is going to play out.
Once & Future #17 brings with it a lot to take in – which is probably the understatement of the century. Written by Kieron Gillen, this issue really does pack a punch. With three separate narratives carrying the story forward, it’s easy to get lost in the story.
It also moves the plot forward at a steady clip, throwing heroes, antagonists, and other story figures all into the same mix. It had a lot of potential to get overly complicated and convoluted, yet it managed to steer clear of that trapping.
More than anything, Once & Future embodies poetic justice turned to horror. These are people who have been trying to warp (or stop) the stories to their own liking. It came at a cost, and once again, hubris has taken over.
That is just one of the many familiar themes that run through this twisted series. Gillen has done a brilliant job of taking all of these themes and tropes and twisting them into something so much more sinister.
As per usual, the artwork inside Once & Future #17 is absolutely stellar. Magic and mayhem collide in brilliant and striking fashion. Frequently, the scenes battle between looking beautiful – and looking like a creation of pure horror.
Dan Mora’s art works well for this plot. His characters are larger than life in the best of ways, especially those legends that I keep referencing. He’s also officially created one of my favorite comic book dragons, which is a feat.
Tamra Bonvillain’s colors have always been a highlight of the series, but that feels truer now than ever. Stepping out of the real world and into this fantasy…it’s like the setting ran away. The backgrounds are stunning, even when they lean towards the simple side, thanks to the color palette.
The lettering, provided by Ed Dukeshire, is another example of fine art. Here our collected characters go through a wide range of emotions (predominantly panic, in some instances), and it’s the lettering that really picks up and portrays that.
Once & Future #17 is another memorable addition to the series. It’s a fast-paced read, with plenty going on to keep the readers occupied. All while upping the ante – and giving the characters room to forge ahead with the decisions they’ve made.