Semantics (Once and Future #1 Comic Review)

Written by Kieron Gillen

Illustrated by Dan Mora

Colored by Tamra Bonvillain

Lettered by Ed Dukeshire

Edited by Matt Gagnon

Associate Editor Amanda LaFranco

Design by Scott Newman

“Some fool always wants to take a shot at a prophecy. It’s the ‘Kick Me’ sign of the occult world.”

In This Issue: BOOM! Studios’ new release, Once & Future, follows a klutzy rugby-playing history professor and his former monster-hunter grandmother on an adventure to save England—and likely the world—from its supposed hero of yore.

A drought has yielded a previously inaccessible lake bed up for excavation, and among the artifacts uncovered is a scabbard—5th or 6th century, beautifully preserved. A group of people whose identities are yet to be divulged visit the excavation site and abscond with the scabbard, murdering the chief archaeologist in the process. The murder makes the evening news which is how Bridgette, retired monster hunter, learns that there’s a plot afoot—one that could bring life as everyone knows it to an abrupt and bloody halt.

Bridgette makes a cunning escape from her retirement home and calls her grandson, Duncan, to come help her. Duncan is in the middle of a date (which isn’t going particularly well) and is both happy for the easy out and incredibly concerned about his Gran. Once he finds her—in the middle of the woods trying to access her old monster hunter gear from an underground hide—his concern quickly turns to confusion and awe. After collecting the appropriate kit and a brief encounter with the Questing Beast, Duncan and Bridgette set off to Glastonbury in search of the scabbard thieves.

My Two Cents: Once & Future is off to a strong start with this issue. Gillen’s story is tight with compelling characters and a fun and interesting new spin on Arthurian legend. Mora’s art and Bonvillain’s colors are an excellent compliment to Gillen’s story and style, helping to set the overall tone of the book. Mora’s ability to capture emotion in his art offers the reader an incredible array of facial expressions in moments where there is no dialogue, or the dialogue s with another character, giving the illustrations the illusion of movement. There were a couple of sections of dialogue which were oddly phrased, making the flow a bit ragged in a few places, but overall, Once & Future looks to be a fun read with fabulous visuals.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
I am feeling distinctly cheated in the grandmother department—neither of mine could hold a candle to Bridgette. She is an EPIC character already, and we're only one issue into the story. She's fierce and spry and takes no nonsense from anyone—or anyTHING, if her and Duncan's run-in with the Questing Beast is anything to go by. Her world view is delightfully and decidedly skewed and I anticipate that her patented brand of reality will serve as the lynch pin of this whole adventure. There is a fantastic brains/brawn dichotomy visually in Bridgette's reliance on Duncan for the heavy lifting, though we know that he is a historian, so it's likely that his knowledge and access to resources will become a major plot-advancer as well as we continue this series.
Good
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Creative license with historical accuracy
Bad
  • Instances of awkward dialogue
8
Great
Art - 9
Story - 8
Writing - 7
Predictability - 8
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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