Monday, June 15, 2015

Review - The Tomorrows #1


"I am Toshiro Mifune having sex with David Bowie. I am death in a denim jacket."

Creativity has long been the fire that burns brightly and pushes the world in new directions. What makes someone "creative" is a little subjective though. In The Tomorrows #1 from Dark Horse Comics, the concept of creativity is pitted against analytics. The issue is written by Curt Pires, illustrated by Jason Copland, colored by Adam Metcalfe and lettered by Colin Bell.

Who owns your future? They told you the counterculture was dead. They were wrong. Welcome to the new reality. The future: Art is illegal. Everything everyone ever posted online has been weaponized against them. The reign of the Corporation is quickly becoming as absolute as it is brutal—unless the Tomorrows can stop it.

From the outset, The Tomorrows #1 is clearly aspiring to be an interesting sci-fi tale with some social commentary mixed in for good measure. Pires' take on the future is exceedingly bleak, with art and creativity outlawed and online data is weaponized. This concept works pretty well for setting the tone of the story, where the Corporation is actually the all-encompassing ruler that many fear it will ultimately become. Aside from the tone, the story itself feels a little hurried, with the Tomorrows arriving to recruit the latest member in Zoey and then being forced to confront the Corporation pretty shortly thereafter. The end of the issue clearly sets the direction for the remainder of the series, however, with the Tomorrows fighting for their version of society.

There's a pop culture sensibility to the work, courtesy of Copland's illustrative style. Characters are mixed in with the backgrounds fairly well and Copland's depiction of them is fairly generalized in many regards. There's enough detail to ensure the reader doesn't get lost in what's going on and Copland blends some eerie renderings of corporation cronies with the more creative Tomorrows. The relatively simple panel layout keeps things moving well, as the reader isn't forced to contend with intricate layouts of insets that could be distracting in a book like The Tomorrows. Metcalfe's color palette is very poppy as well, with an abundance of neons peppered throughout darker blacks and blues to effectively demonstrate the contrast between dystopia and utopia.

The Tomorrows #1 is an interesting (albeit bleak) vision of the future of society that may not be that far off if things continue as they are. The Tomorrows are fighting for the right to be individuals and not part of a larger machine, even though there are clearly some who don't mind their data being mined and analyzed. Pires' tale is more or less evenly paced and presents a dire look at the direction of society. Copland's illustrations are pretty edgy and fit the dynamic between the Tomorrows and the Corporation well. The Tomorrows #1 is an interesting (and somewhat depressing) take on where we're headed as a society obsessed with the cloud.

The Tomorrows #1 is in stores July 8.

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