I should probably start this review by saying that I’m not a huge fan of music festivals and most electronic music, to me, is just noise, bad noise at that. So I am not automatically the best choice to review the new comic book series Tomorrowland #1 by Paul Jenkins and the art team at Stella Labs (Alti Firmansyah and Beny Maulana). However, what I am is a fan of Eisner Award winning Jenkins.
Jenkins is the genius (along with super artist Jae Lee) who launched the fantastic Marvel Knights series Inhumans and who had a four year stint on the incomparable Hellblazer by DC Vertigo. Along with an incredible run on various Spider-Man titles and a hand in the backstory to everyone’s favourite X-Man, Wolverine in Origins. Jenkins has clearly cemented himself in comic lore and anything written by his hands is usually worthy of a read, however, Tomorrowland is just… Well…
Writer(s): Paul Jenkins
Artist Name(s): Stellar Labs
Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Page Count: 32pp
Publisher: Titan Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 24, 2013
From the Eisner award-winning writer of Spider-Man, Wolverine: Origin, The Inhumans and The Darkness comes a music-led adventure like no other!
Meet Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, two young DJs – and the public faces of the world-renowned Tomorrowland festival – as they are drawn into an impossible adventure to save the vital spark of creativity!
Over the course of this retina-blasting fantasy adventure, the pair find themselves sucked into an eternal war between two worlds – a battle waged between the forces of creation and destruction for the energy we all carry inside us. It’s a war we’re rapidly losing – but can two DJs turn the tide over the course of just one festival?
There’s only one way to find out!
Tomorrowland a music festival of the electronic kind that takes place in the town of Boom (awesome) which is near Antwerp in Belgium. It began back in 2005 and has since gone on to become one of the biggest festivals in the world.
The first issue of the comic book follows the adventures of two DJs, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, both of whom are real DJs at the events, who have similar weird dreams about a volcano and monsters, as they prepare for a big set. That’s right, I said set, I know DJ lingo.
As it turns out, their dreams were a forewarning, as monsters attack their audience and venue, forcing the DJs to fight back by continuing to play their music in a battle between the forces of Creation and the forces of Destruction. Yup, I said that. It really pains me to say this, being a fan of Jenkins, but Tomorrowland #1 is bad. The two lead characters don’t stand out one bit and, at best, they come off as bland, being all “bro” and backwards/sideways baseball cap wearing. Having said that, they are pretty inoffensive but they are also very, very generic.
The art work is actually pretty good, being clean and vibrant and I’m guessing that they suit the whole mood of the Tomorrowland festivals from the pictures I have seen on the Tomorrowland website which appears just as colourful as the comic book counterpart. However, the mythical creatures for both sides of Creation and Destruction are, like the main characters, unimaginative. Things such as centaurs and unicorns represent Creation along with Shakespeare and Einstein (look, just roll with it), while extremely uninspired demon type critters symbolise Destruction.
For me, this is a misstep by Jenkins as the story failed to capture my imagination in any way, then again, as mentioned, I’m perhaps not the target audience for this particular book. To me it comes off as an elaborate advert for the Tomorrowland events, which, admittedly, I wouldn’t ever attend. However, I imagine fans of the two DJs leads, and of Tomorrowland itself will glean something more from the comic book, but, for me, it just didn’t work.
For Jenkin’s magic, please, please, please, pick up Inhumans for which he rightly picked up an Eisner Award and consign Tomorrowland to the bargains bins of tomorrow.
We give Tomorrowland 1 out of 5 Nerds