Once & Future #1 Beats Die #1 to a Sixth Printing

The day has come – but will Boom Studios’ Ross Richie and Image Comics’ Eric Stephenson lay down their (hopefully) proverbial swords?

For years it’s been Marvel vs DC in the world of superheroes – but it looks like we’re going to get Boom vs Image in creator-owned comics – at the very least for the affections of Kieron Gillen in what has been dubbed (by me) as “The Kieron Wars.”

Ever since it became obvious that Boom Studios’ Once & Future #1 from Dr. Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora was looking like a hit book, it also became clear that these two companies were engaged in a cold war (of words) to see who launch the most successful Gillen series (with Die #1 as one of the big hit series of 2018). While Boom has touted multiple new printings before their series hit stores, Image has been touting the success of Die with even the sixth issue selling out before debuting.

Suffice it to say, both publishers should very happy with their sales on these books – as should fans, who’ve found that Once & Future #1 sells for quite a pretty penny on eBay. The second print is even going for $45 to $50. We even got the announcement this week that Once & Future is now an ongoing series, so clearly all parties are finding this book to be quite the success.

And as we warned you last week, Boom seemed to have its sights set on defining success by fast-tracking more printings of Once & Future #1 than Image with Die #1 (who famously released a “Final Printing” which was then followed by a “Fifth Printing”).

I’m told that even with increased print runs on each new printing, Boom is once again sold out of Once & Future #1, which will now go to a sixth printing to meet demand. I’d expect this one to FOC in the next couple of weeks and fulfill all retailer orders as the company has been allocating quantities on the other printings – making them all quite rare but also hard to satisfy every retailer.

This of course follows the early sellout on Boom’s next series Something is Killing The Children #1, which has already gone to third printing ahead of its September 4th launch and is already driving quite a bit its first printing on eBay. The first issue hasn’t even shipped yet.

What’s next in The Kieron Wars? Do we think the companies might try to crossover Die and Once & Future for an event book that I, at least, would love to read? Will Boom give us the Young Bridgette prequel series that even The New York Times seems to want? Will Image send out a congratulatory message to Boom, a la James Cameron?

Or will Kieron use Once & Future as a backdoor reboot and revival of ITV’s Supergran?

One thing’s for sure – two hit Kieron Gillen ongoing series are always better than one. Especially when the two biggest creator-owned comic publishers are trying to fight for his affections in a very public way by launching more series over 30,000 units.

So whose side are you on in The Kieron Wars? Will you choose the seemingly-masturbatory Discover Yours slogan of Boom Studios. or will you revert to holiday-tour-sounding Experience Creativity? Either way, let’s work on those slogans a bit, okay?

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.