ONCE & FUTURE #7, out this week from Boom! Studios, brings Duncan back into the field once again. He may have saved the day, alongside his grandmother, but that does not mean the job is done. Far from it, in fact.
Growing up, Duncan had no idea that the family business involved hunting and killing monsters while keeping the world safe from the horrors they bring with them. Now, Duncan has picked up that sword and task for himself.
It’s something he’s still learning about, and thus he’s bound to stumble here and there. But hey, he survived the last round of adventures, and he knew even less back then. But what he’s about to face now? That’s an entirely new and different set of threats.
Once & Future #7 is the start of a new plot arc. Yes, that does mean that there will likely be more dead things and kings coming back to try and rule the land. But that’s the draw of this series, this sense of warped history and legends of old.
Once & Future #7 is everything fans had hoped for, and then some. It’s a dramatic continuation of the horrifying tale. We knew that the story was far from over, when Duncan believed that he had thwarted the evil King Arthur’s plans. But it was never going to be that easy, was it?
Kieron Gillen has written an issue full of surprising elements and careful character development. The threads left out from the last plot have once again been picked up, but he’s also laid the groundwork for more.
That likely means that things are about to get a whole lot busier for Duncan and his grandmother. So they should probably work through their issues sooner rather than later. Just a suggestion, of course.
The truth of the matter is, the balance between family drama and horror is perfection in this series. It reminds us that the heroes taking down the monsters are human, for good or for ill. In this instance, it’s a little bit of both.
Once & Future #7 features some truly spectacular artwork. If you’ve checked out any of the previous issues, then you already have a strong idea of what is in strong for you here. Here, horror meets fantasy in a blinding and stylistic manner, one that is highly entertaining and memorable.
Dan Mora is the lead artist, providing the lines that set the tone. His ghouls and monsters are superb, being that right balance of magical and disguising (being undead and all). It makes them feel more real, but not too real. It also adds so much impact when an injury occurs, because he does not shy away from those scenes.
Tamra Bonvillain is the colorist, a fact that was probably pretty clear from just a glimpse. The colors are vibrant and almost feel alive. The magical elements of the series look exactly that – magical. Even when said magic is surrounding an army of the walking dead.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Ed Dukeshire, the letterer for this project. There’s a lot to appreciate about the work done here, not least of which being the decisions behind making the undead voices distinct.
Once & Future #7 was an alarming and compelling read. One that has once again kicked off the series, carrying along old threads and creating new ones at the same time. It’s clear that this series, and thus Duncan’s battles, are far from over. Here’s looking forward to another epic battle in the making.boom