The second issue of Curtis Pires’ The Tomorrows changes things up from the first one in a number of ways. It’s weird that we’re only an issue in and it already feels like a departure, but it does. The first big change with this issue is the switch in artists, which is a bit jarring. It’s one thing when a comic changes that after six or more issues, but after one? It’s just a bit odd. Fortunately, Adam Metacalfe is still there doing the colors, and given how they were the most striking thing about the visuals from the beginning there is at least some sense of consistency in the aesthetic.
Alexis Ziritt takes over the actual drawing from Jason Copland, and aside from the change being rather sudden I do like what’s going on here. Ziritt’s art takes the loose and expressive qualities and pushes them much farther, with characters often appearing more simplified and almost cartoony. The inking utilizes much thicker black lines, with the actual brush strokes being incredibly apparent. There are even messy moments of dry brush in some of the shadows. This is in direct contrast to how the first issue took on more of a sketchy quality. For the most part, I’m more of a fan of the new style, though I feel like most people will be the opposite. Copland was loose, but still fairly controlled. Ziritt just goes for it, and in turn I feel like her work has more of a personality to it. Still, there are times where it does get overly messy and some of the backgrounds can be difficult to understand.Aside from that, the plot of this issue has almost nothing to do with what happened last time, and now it’s making much more sense why things feel a bit rushed. This time around we follow the same characters in a brand new city with a brand new problem. In the aftermath of what went down in New York, they’ve up and gone to New Rio, a place which ditches the corporate-run vibe for something more anarchistic. The story is also a bit smaller, with our heroes attempting to track down the murderer of their friend. I’m beginning to think that each issue of this book will be entirely self-contained and we’ll be following this cast solely as a means to see this weird future. This could be why everything moves so fast, but for now it’s hard to get a handle on exactly what’s happening.
A big shortcoming that’s carried over from the first issue is the characters still feel underdeveloped. There’s too many of them to really get a sense for their individual personalities, especially with the plot happening at break neck speed each time. Claudius, the sword-wielding leader of our team of rebels does get a little more time to shine as we get to see a bit of his background, but ultimately this is still leaving a lot to be desired.
The Tomorrows is still a hard book to recommend. Things have changed pretty radically just one issue in, and overall there’s definitely a struggle to get some footing. I like things about it. Most of the art is nice when it doesn’t get too messy, and the colors are still absolutely beautiful, but the plot just isn’t clicking yet. It’s got a pretty standard cyberpunk thing going on, but the characters just need more room to breathe. If they’re going to continue with the self-contained narratives each time then they need something much more interesting than the tired “revenge for murder” trope. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger which suggests something larger going on, but who knows how long it’ll be before that comes up again.
Wicked Rating: 5/10