ONCE & FUTURE #4, out this Wednesday from Boom! Studios, continues the tale of Duncan and his grandmother. And they’re doing a good run for the most messed up family of the year award. Assuming that is an award.
When you stop and think about it, Duncan has been through a hectic few days. First, he learned that his grandmother was actually quite capable. Oh, and she owned several guns (one of which she was willing to point at his head). Then he learned that monsters and the legend of King Arthur is real – but not the legend he was expecting. And now he’s on an epic quest to save Britain. With his grandmother at his side. Talk about crazy. And perhaps a little bit awkward.
Once & Future has brought us an interesting twist on the whole legend of King Arthur. Considering how many retellings are out there, it’s a breath of fresh air. Seeing the series take on a darker and twisted tone is exactly what this story needed.
Kieron Gillen has brought us a dark and foreboding tale in Once & Future #4. The series is proving to be more complex than expected, full of historical parallels, deception, and peril. And poor Duncan is caught in the middle of it all.
The fourth issue in the series proves that there are plenty of depths to still be discovered in this story. If you thought the previous three issues were dark, you’d better prepare yourself for what is to come.
The parallels drawn in this issue were extremely satisfying, combining the present with the legend in unexpected ways. If that wasn’t enough, there’s some delightful commentary on pop culture – which was totally unexpected. But made for a nice little touch.
Honestly, it’s actually kind of hard to believe that there are only two issues left in the series. That isn’t a whole lot of time to wrap things up. But this is Gillen we’re talking about, so there’s little doubt that this series is going to end explosively, yet decisively.
The artwork behind Once & Future #4 was superb. The characters are full of life, their movements believable. The enemies are grotesque in all of the right ways. And the colors are simply stunning. The combination of all of these elements have made for a memorable series, to say the least.
Dan Mora’s lines allowed for a creative take on this world, fleshing out the tale. His sense of movement and violence is perfect here, as are the expressions he provides the characters. Meanwhile, Tamra Bonvillain’s colors are simply striking – vibrant and eye-catching. They’re fantastical, but that just increases the overall effect of the story.
And finally, the lettering. Ed Dukeshire’s lettering is the icing on the cake here. His understated addition is exactly what was needed here. It tells us the story without ever feeling obtrusive.
Once & Future #4 was an intense read, no matter how you look at it. Duncan’s story is nearing an end, and yet there’s so much to wrap up. And it seems like every turn he and his grandmother make brings them towards more danger and confrontations.
It’s going to be an adventure to see what the next two issues bring us. And how bad things are going to get before they’re resolved (assuming they even are).