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Once And Future 18 Main

"Once & Future #18" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by BOOM! Studios

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Written by Kieron Gillen
Illustrated by Dan Mora
Colored by Tamra Bonvillain
Lettered by Ed Dukeshire
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 28th, 2021

Review:

Duncan, Bridgette, and Rose are all that stand in the way of Britan being swallowed up by Otherworld and all the monsters within. Fortunately, they've got a dragon on their side, but will that be enough to stop the forces of Merlin and the zombie-like King Arthur? Meanwhile, the forces of the British government are in the mix, causing some further problems. Will the country Brexit to the other realm?

Every time I think I know where Once & Future is going, the creative team makes a harsh turn, opening up a slew of other possibilities. What started as a horrifying take on the legend of King Arthur brought forth into the modern day has evolved into so much more, delving into other myths and folklore and now, adding in a bit of espionage and thriller to this already action-heavy comic.

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Once & Future #18 is packed with twists and turns as Bridgette figures a way out of Otherworld with reality crumbling around them, not to mention what follows in our world. Writer Kieron Gillen definitely keeps us on our toes with this chapter. With so many moving pieces, it's impressive to see how each character gets some time to shine while also moving a number of plot threads forward.

This issue wraps up with a game-changing cliffhanger that completely alters the entire path of the series. I won't spoil it here, but suffice it to say, this is some big, reality-warping stuff that I am very excited about. These characters have been through so much and have worked so hard to protect our world only for this to happen and throw everything into chaos. If that doesn't have you coming back for more, nothing will.

The art in Once & Future is top notch as always. Artist Dan Mora is an absolute powerhouse, showing compelling characters one moment and frightening monsters the next. I particularly like his depictions of Merlin and King Arthur. The former is more than the old wizard. He's practically pulsing with magic and clearly knows more than he lets on as he manipulates everyone around him. The King goes through quite a transformation in this issue, adding more depth to the decaying flesh we've seen so far.

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Arthur speaks in a truly monstrous tone, brought to life by letterer Ed Dukeshire. It's interesting to see how large some of the word balloons are as compared to the amount of text contained within. It's like the King speaks with such authority that he commands this additional presence. His words are shown in a scratchy green font, leading me to the colors of Once & Future.

Colorist Tamra Bonvillain creates a great distinction between Otherworld and our realm. When there's magic about, the colors get more unnatural, with neon greens acting as a driving force. This contrasts well with the more normal tones of Earth. This works as a subconscious warning, showing you that you're about to get into something crazy.

Once & Future reaches new heights with this issue, greatly expanding the world and this fascinating mythos. The stakes are raised considerably and I can't wait to see where this series goes next. Action and horror mix with folklore in this intriguing and terrifying comic.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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