ONCE & FUTURE #12, available Wednesday from BOOM! Studios, dives back into the world of lore and legends come back to twisted life. What started off as an ordinary retelling has quickly turned into anything but.
There’s nothing quite like an Arthurian retelling. Only, that isn’t exactly what is happening within these pages, is it? It’s a retelling, sure, but it’s gotten twisted. Tales and creatures from other legends are rising up alongside, meshing all of the stories together.
That is where Once & Future #12 picks up, with classic legends becoming warped beyond recognition – leaving Duncan and his gran to clean up the mess. Not exactly an ideal situation, but somebody has to do it.
Apparently that somebody is the family born and raised to hunt monsters…which makes a fair bit of sense. In a world that has gone awry, any bit of sense is worth holding onto with both hands.
Once & Future #12 dives right into the action, almost literally as the case may be. People are never safe when monsters of legend go hunting – that is a lesson taught time and time again in the past eleven issues.
Written by Kieron Gillen, this is a twisted issue through and through – meant in the best ways possible, of course. There’s something so visceral yet ephemeral about the battle that is hovering on the horizon.
A battle that Duncan is destined to be a part of, thanks to the actions of everyone else in his life. It’s chilling, thinking about all the ramifications that may come from it all. Yet there’s something so compelling, it’s simply impossible to turn away.
There’s a lot of creative writing in this issue in particular, weaving narratives together to create something wholly new. It’s a clever way to obfuscate the truth, while also finally providing an answer or two to questions being asked. Now we just have to sit and wait to see how bad it’s all going to get.
As with literally every other issue of this series, Once & Future #12 is full of vibrant and stunning artwork. The illustrations are horrifying yet compelling, while the colors are eye-popping and memorable.
Dan Mora is the lead artist, bringing those horrifying monsters to life, as well as the very human reactions to them. This is an issue full of events and details, from the grotesque to the intriguing, and it’s all perfectly balanced upon these pages.
The shock and horror of everything that happened are undoubtedly enhanced by the colors that Tamra Bonvillain brought to the table. The hues of purple and blue work in a delightful addition to the green that implies magic and rot. All of it comes together to create a world that truly does seem full of magic – and horrors.
Finally, there’s the lettering, provided by Ed Dukeshire. The monsters in this series are larger than life, and the noises they bring about are scaled appropriately. All of this (and more) is showcased thanks to the lettering.
It’s been a long month waiting to see how the cliffhanger from Once & Future #11 would pan out, yet Once & Future #12 did not disappoint. In fact, in some ways, this is the darkest and most twisted issue of the series. So far, at any rate. By the look of things, it’s going to get so much darker before the story comes to an end.