BOOM! Studios’ Once & Future #24, available now, brings the arcs of many stories to battle — both literally and figuratively. Be sure to check out this latest issue, brought to us by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain, and Ed Dukeshire.
Remember twenty-plus issues ago, when Duncan had no idea what was up with his family’s history? More than that, remember when Britain wasn’t overrun by monsters and beings of legend and lore? Yeah, things have changed.
Once & Future #24 brings readers to a war-torn Britain, though arguably not in any way that we could have ever anticipated. In this war, multiple Arthurs battle for supremacy, with dozens of other legendary beings (literally) running around and making messes of their own. All while the surviving humans continue to try and do just that – survive.
To say that this is a complicated world at the moment would be an understatement. And yet that is where this series shines – in its complexity. These are not the stories people dream of finding themselves stranded in, nor are they clear-cut. This warped version of classical tales has found a way to add new life to the lot.
Once & Future #24 continues its complex dance, with Kieron Gillen at the helm. There are many players on the field, and if we’re being honest, any one of these characters would have been enough to hold our attention — not to mention enough to create a severe threat for all the humans involved (Duncan, Gran, and Rose included).
Throwing so many to the world simultaneously makes it all so delightfully unpredictable. Just when the motivations become clear, something happens to change it all up. Usually, that something comes in the form of violence.
As such, Once & Future #24 keeps up the dramatic trend – full of action and storytelling elements. One of the highlights of this issue (of which there are many) would have to be the battle of two Arthurs.
There’s something oddly poetic about the concept and about the way it is portrayed. Perhaps this is because we’ve had quite some time to get to know them. More likely, this is another instance of Gillen carefully leading the readers through a curated journey.
One of the reasons Once & Future has become so popular is the blindingly brilliant artwork. It almost feels like each panel or page of this series would make for an outstanding print, especially with a fantasy bend. Once & Future #24 is no exception, providing fantastic artwork for readers to relish once again.
Dan Mora’s art style has proven perfect for this world, bouncing back and forth between the human realm, the gore of battle, and the fantastic elements of stories. It makes for a visually compelling masterpiece.
Once & Future #24 has a lot going on within these pages, both in the storytelling and visually. It’s easy to understand how rapidly the battles are changing, thanks to how the panels are laid out. This design increases the drama and anxiety of it all, though in somewhat unexpected ways at times.
Unsurprisingly, the colors remain one of the best parts of this series. Tamra Bonvillain’s colors are out of this world – and that makes them ideal for this entire series. But that fact has never been more accurate, as legends and worlds forcefully collide here.
Ed Dukeshire’s lettering plays a critical role in this issue, grounding the series and the tale as a whole. It does all this while casually reminding readers of each legend’s role, all through font and color choices.
Once & Future #24 is yet another incredible addition to this series. Truth be told, it is hard to believe how consistently the ante has been upped. Every issue (this one included) adds new complications and reasons to eagerly countdown the next installment. Until then!