The basic thrust of “The Tomorrows” #1 — a world where the oppressed rise up to stop the corporations — certainly has a lot of promise, especially when those who rise up aren’t your normal figures from that kind of story. However, the actual execution, courtesy Curt Pires and Jason Copland, feels very rushed and cliched.
There are a few things in “The Tomorrows” #1 that do work. I like that the people who are our heroes are artists first and foremost; it would be easy for them to have been people more associated with fighting and blowing things up, after all, but Pires goes for an entirely different path. I also appreciate that this book is set slightly in the future, just enough to give some new technology, but not so far forward that it’s hard to empathize with the ideas being presented here.
Otherwise, though, “The Tomorrows” #1 comes across as a well-intentioned mess. The dialogue feels like it’s trying to come across as sharp and witty, but it’s corny instead. When Zoey asks Claudius who he is, the response she gets is, “I am Toshiro Mifune having sex with David Bowie. I am death in a demin jacket. I am your best friend.” Ignoring the fact that it feels like it’s trying too hard with references to Mifune and Bowie, no one really speaks this way. Even the most hardcore “artsy” people I’ve met would probably raise an eyebrow. Unfortunately, people speak in strange cliches all throughout the book. It was bad enough with the various members of the Tomorrows (since they’re self-proclaimed art terrorists), but when the head of the evil corporation has killed one of the higher ups and then states, “We’re going to need a new board member,” I groaned. This isn’t dialogue; it’s end-of-scene tag lines.
The book’s plot is also at an accelerated pitch, to the point that it’s hard to swallow. I appreciate that Pires tries to get us to the big revolution in the first issue, rather than stretching it out for the entire miniseries, but so much happens so quickly that it’s difficult to take. Zoey is the ultimate example; in this issue, she goes from random artist who’s never even heard of the Tomorrows to someone who roars in and single-handedly saves the entire team. Keep in mind that this is a character who, when asked if she’s ever ridden a hypercycle says no, but by the end of the issue is not only driving it around the city but has ridden it off a ledge, through the air, crashed through a plate-glass window and managed to not fall off… all while shooting one of the bad guys. This isn’t just unbelievable; it’s ridiculous.
Every issue of “The Tomorrows” is drawn by a different artist, and Copland is the first one up to bat. It’s nothing showy but it gets the job done. Characters are a little blocky but show emotion at the right moments. There are a little too many panels without backgrounds, though, and — in general — the world comes across a little visually undeveloped. Part of that problem could be with the colors, though. Colorist Adam Metcalfe’s choices seem a big garish, with bright greens and pinks burning into your eyes, while people in the evil corporation’s building all suddenly and inexplicably have blue skin. This is a book that feels like it could use some softer, quieter colors. Metcalfe’s colors ultimately overshadow Copland’s art.
“The Tomorrows” #1 has a lot of heart, but it just doesn’t quite come together on the page. This is a book that I wanted to enjoy much more than I actually did. It tries but, ultimately, a little too hard to actually succeed.