Reviews

Review – Once & Future #2 (BOOM! Studios)

Once & Future #2 (BOOM Studios) cover (detail) by Dan Mora
Once & Future #2
Overall
8.2/10
8.2/10
  • Writing - 7/10
    7/10
  • Art - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Overall - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
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Summary

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Dan Mora
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: September 18, 2019

Resurrecting King Arthur sounds like a weird plan, and it is something that could destroy the world. Luckily, renowned monster hunter Bridgette has come out of retirement to save the day; her grandson, Duncan, is not so excited to learn the family secrets, though.

 

“Secrets and Lies” Once & Future #2

It has been a whirlwind of a day for mild-mannered museum curator Duncan in Once & Future #2. Duncan was on a date; now he is hunting monsters with his grandmother Bridgette! He is learning all about his secret family history and coming to a shocking realization that the world is not what he thought it was. Even more dreadful is that a group is looking to resurrect King Arthur to bring Britain back to its glory. This could be disastrous! Does the aging Bridgette still have what it takes, or are her glory days behind her? Will Duncan be any help at all, or is it up to Grandma to save the day?

Writing

Once & Future #2 (BOOM! Studios) cover by Dan Mora
Once & Future #2 (BOOM! Studios) cover by Dan Mora

Once & Future has hit the big time before even getting going. Once slated as a six-issue mini-series, the first issue (check out my review here) has gone on to a sixth printing and it has been upgraded to an ongoing series. That is awesome, but let’s get to Once & Future #2 for now. Kieron Gillen jumps as right back in as Duncan and his grandmother Bridgette look to figure out what this nefarious group is up to and why mythological creatures are coming out.

Gillen does a great job of dropping us right back into the story and getting everything going right off the bat. It is not hard to see why the book is very popular. The story is a lot of fun and the characters of Bridgette and Duncan are great. Gillen has a lot of fun with the dialogue between the two and it is the strongest point of the story.

As much as I do like the story and the characters of Bridgette and Duncan, there just feels like a little disconnect in Once & Future #2. I am not exactly sure what it is for me but I don’t feel that “excitement” or eagerness with the story. It feels like it is moving just a tad bit too fast. Even while reading it I feel like something is missing. Some tiny piece of information character-wise or some little part of the story is missing to build that connection. Maybe it is just me? But I feel like there is just something missing that would really “make” the series.

Art

Once & Future #2 again boasts the great art talents of Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain. I mean, you really can’t complain when having these two on a series. I don’t know if that will last now that the series is an ongoing project, but we will enjoy it for now. Dan Mora gets to show off some fun designs with the resurrection of King Arthur. He has a great imagination for crazy things like this, if you have read any Klaus or Go Go Power Rangers you know he can come up with some great creature designs.

The issue is mostly “talking heads”, which Mora excels at, making it interesting with some wonderful cartooning. He catches characters’ facial expressions and emotions dramatically well throughout the issue. He also does a superb job of showing movement across the pages and presenting a sense of “energy” in still images.

Tamra Bonvillain does a great job with the darker setting of Once & Future #2. Bonvillain gets to play around with some different lighting sequences and uses it for some great visual storytelling through the issue. It is bright and dark in all the right places and looks tremendous.

Conclusion

Once & Future #2 is a solid second issue, but I don’t feel as enthralled as it seems everyone else is. Which is a little weird—I really like the story concept and the characters. Like I stated earlier, it just feels like something is missing story-wise to have that real connection and have me excited and invested in it. I mean, it could just be me as well. Everything isn’t for everybody and it is not like the story is badly written or anything. I am happy that it is doing well, and who knows, that connection may be coming.

It is no secret that I love Dan Mora’s art, and it continues to shine. And even if I am not fully engaged in the story it is still worth picking up Once & Future just to see Mora do his thing. Pairing with Tamra Bonvillain on colors is the icing on the cake.


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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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