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Exclusive: Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora unite for Boom!'s Arthurian myth series, Once & Future

By Jeff Spry
once & future hero

The immortal legend of King Arthur, Lancelot, Camelot, and the magical sword Excalibur is one of the most cherished, deeply ingrained myths in Western culture, one that has survived countless interpretations and literary reimaginings over the centuries in every medium imaginable.

A new King Arthur-themed horror adventure miniseries from Boom! Studios seeks to deliver a fresh iteration of this classic tale in Once & Future — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive look inside this oversized premiere issue charging into comic shops Aug. 14.

Once & Future Cover

Conjured up by the intense imagination of the Eisner Award-winning writer Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Star Wars: Darth Vader, DIE) and paired with rousing artwork from Dan Mora (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Klaus), Once & Future #1 arrives with all the momentum you'd expect from this superstar creative team.

Once & Future 1

The compelling plotline introduces retired monster hunter Bridgette McGuire and her unsuspecting grandson Duncan as they mount up for battle against a blossoming evil that intends on taking over the country to return it to its former state of glory.

This villainous emergence of an entity from Arthurian legend is being summoned back from the netherworld by a motivated group of Nationalists to serve their endgame. Duncan and his badass grandma are soon swept up into a realm of magic and myth as they encounter grand legends from England’s past and their own complicated family tree as they try to forge their country’s future.

Once & Future 2

Gillen admits that the core of Once & Future is something he's been chewing over for some time.

"As in, how you can make a horror adventure series which plays in the 21st century," Gillen tells SYFY WIRE. "It was sitting on my 'One Day' project file until BOOM! introduced me to Dan Mora, and I realized, here's a state-of-the-art creator who can absolutely nail the horror, capital-R romance, and action of the genre, in a big-budget big-ideas ride. The thing is, 'One Day' is eventually 'Today.' He's been perfect for it, managing to visualize even the weirdest bits of Arthurian myth we're using to power this piece. Like, do you know the Questing Beast? If you do, you've never imagined it the way that Dan has made it look."

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author describes this limited series as the story of an ex-monster slayer recruiting her clueless grandson into the family business.

"The monsters were gone," Gillen adds. "Now they're coming back, and it's up to them to do something about it. It's building a whole new universe to play with. It's like finding our holy grail, and we can't wait to share it with everyone."

Once & Future 3

BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon defines this as a story about the legacies of our past and the weight they carry into our present, woven into a mythology that’s full of heart, humor, mystery, adventure, and horror.  This epic quest combines diverse elements of the Arthurian myth with a treasure of riveting artwork by the masterful Dan Mora.

Once & Future 4

"This project, like all BOOM! Studios books, represents a challenge because it does not look like anything I've ever done before," Mora tells SYFY WIRE. "The characters are very different from the typical heroes. Bridgette is so unique that you will love her from the very moment she appears."

Boom! Studios' Once & Future #1 arrives Aug. 14.