Review – Once & Future #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Once and Future #1( BOOM studios) Cover art(detail) by Dan Mora
Once & Future #1
  • Writing - 7.5/10
  • Art - 8.8/10
  • Overall - 8.2/10
User Review
0/10 (0 votes)


Writer: Kieron Gillen 
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain 
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: August 14, 2019

Duncan is your everyday boring museum curator. His grandma has a secret: she is not the feeble old lady in the retirement home; she is actually an expert monster hunter. Which is going to come in handy in Once & Future #1.


“Stop! Or My Grandma Will Shoot” Once & Future #1

Duncan loves history; as a museum curator in Britain, he is quite fascinated and well versed in the long history of the country. He lives a seemingly normal life. He tries to go on dates and live happily. When news of an archeological site being robbed comes on the news he doesn’t think much of it. His grandma in a retirement home, though, hears it as a call back to action. She is no normal grandma and her secret monster-hunting past will come out in the open as she and her grandson Duncan quest to save Britain in Once & Future #1 (of 6).


Once and Future #1( BOOM studios) Cover art by Dan Mora
Once and Future #1( BOOM studios) Cover art by Dan Mora

Once & Future #1 was another series I went blindly into. I just saw Dan Mora was on art and jumped right in. So, going in I had no idea of the premise of this series, and what a treat that was! I got to go into this series completely blind, and as Kieron Gillen unraveled the plot it delighted me more and more. I love the idea of this little old lady being a monster hunter with a cache of hidden weapons. The way Gillen writes her grandson Duncan is delightful. He is just so “sheltered” and in awe of what is happening while his grandmother is just ho-hum and matter-of-fact while fighting an ancient monster.

As much as I liked the plot and unfolding of the story, the pace did feel a little off in Once & Future #1. First issues are always a little tricky in comics and it did feel a little fast-paced. I would have liked things to have slowed down just a little in this first issue. I know this is a mini-series with only six issues so Gillen has a lot to fit in 30 or so pages to get the series started.

I feel that Once & Future could have benefited from a little larger page count on the first issue. To let the story breathe a little more. That being said, it still has me super excited to read the rest of the issues and figure out what Grandma’s back story is and how they stop the destruction of Britain!


As noted previously, I picked up Once & Future #1 just from seeing Dan Mora‘s name on the cover. I am a huge Mora “mark” from Klaus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Go Go Power Rangers and many more. I just love his artwork. His has a wonderful cartooning style, with some beautiful character and creature designs and a knack for great kinetic energy-filled sequential storytelling.

Mora packs Once & Future #1 with some amazing visuals. He has a great eye for detail in characters. From their body posture, facial features, to the clothing, he makes unique characters. His facial expressions are exquisite as well. Some really great, just slightly exaggerated expressions fantastically sell some of the scenes. He also has great creature designs. He doesn’t get to show off too much in this issue but when he does it is spectacular.

Tamra Bonvillain‘s coloring is on point as well. Some great brighter colorations really seal the tone of the story. It gives Once & Future #1 a great lighter tone and feel to the story.


Once & Future #1 is a pretty solid start to this six-issue mini-series. The story has a solid premise and delivers some great action, intrigue, and chuckles along the way. I do wish this first issue did slow down just a tad bit, though. The art is, once again, spectacular; you really can’t go wrong with Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain. If you are looking for a fun new series to jump into this is a fantastic choice! It seems pretty popular already going into its third printing before release.

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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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