Once & Future #5 is another brilliant example of artwork and storytelling, combing legend and character development to create something truly chilling.

Betrayal and Loyalties Abound in ONCE & FUTURE #5

ONCE & FUTURE #5, out this Wednesday from Boom! Studios continues Duncan’s epic (but involuntary) quest to stop a legend from becoming truth. He may not have realized this was the life he was groomed for, but that won’t stop him from stepping up.

And so the quest continues, with our antagonist taking the forefront in this issue.


Once & Future has been a delightfully warped tale of the legend of King Arthur. The series has added a much needed horror element to the lore of this once mighty king, making the idea of his resurrection a terrifying thought.

That is a problem for Duncan, however. And we do not envy the position he’s been placed in. This is a man who was groomed to play a part in legend – a backup plan, so to speak. Up until this week, he never knew that fact. You’d think that’d make him bitter. And perhaps if they survive all of this he’ll have time to feel all of that.

Perhaps not the most cheerful beginning to this issue…

The Plot

Once & Future #5 is an issue full of dramatic reveals, clever twists, and character development. For five issues now the fans have been hoping to get answers to all of our questions about Duncan and his history. That’s plenty of time for us to form a theory or two, and now it’s time to see what theories were spot on.

Kieron Gillen has woven us a most twisted tale, one of history and lore, but with some deliciously dark twists. This is the bite that the tale of King Arthur has always needed. It makes for a thrilling and chilling read.

This issue is no exception, with several dramatic moments to shock readers – and what we feel pales in comparison to what the characters themselves must be experiencing. These twists are shocking, naturally. But they also fit in with the characters we’ve come to know.

In many ways these moments are ones the series has been building towards since the very beginning. They feel right, even as they shake us to our core. And that’s the sign of skilled writing. Though it does leave readers wondering what will happen next.

As they say, the truth will out.

The Art

Once & Future #5 features some striking artwork, in which case it fits in nicely with the rest of the series. The whole series has been so vibrant and alive, with the magical elements taking on a sinister look to match their darker traits.

Dan Mora’s linework is something to behold. His characters are fierce and unafraid to show their emotions. And let’s not forget all of their dramatic poses – though some do it better than others (no offense, Duncan).

Meanwhile, Tamra Bonvillain’s colors truly make this series what it is. They’re the reason the series is so bright, which may seem strange for a horror/fantasy series. But it honestly works brilliantly here, leaving the reader desperate to see more.

Finally, Ed Dukeshire is the letterer for this series, and he’s done an excellent job. His choice of placement and font allow for all of the dialogue to fit in organically with the images, while not being obtrusive. It’s an impressive balance.

Finally, we learn of Duncan’s mother!

In Conclusion

Once & Future #5 was another brilliant and vivacious addition to this chilling series. Thus far the balance between shocking twists and thematic storytelling has found a fine balance. The end result is something dramatic that feels right while leaving us readers eager to see more.

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.
Once & Future #5 is another brilliant example of artwork and storytelling, combing legend and character development to create something truly chilling. Betrayal and Loyalties Abound in ONCE & FUTURE #5