Friday, May 31, 2013

Tomorrow Stories Specials Review

Tomorrow Stories Special
DC Comics - America's Best Comics
64/ea. = 128 pages (2006)
$6.99/ea. = $13.98 total

Published: Tomorrow Stories Special #1-2 (of 2)

Contributors: Alan Moore, Kevin Nowlan, Michelle Madsen, Hilary Barta, Todd Klein, Steve Moore, Melinda Gebbie, Tony Avina, Cameron Stewart, Randy Mayor, Rick Veitch, Wildstorm FX, Gene Ha, Andrew Pepoy, Eric Shanower, Jeremy Cox, Joyce Chin, and Art Adams

  • "I, Robert." - Jack B. Quick is the boy genius of Queerwater, Kansas.  He invents a chilling artificial intelligence out of a wheelbarrow, scarecrow, and some old electronic parts.  He names it Robert and it slowly usurps mankind as the dominant lifeform on the planet.  Jack created it and only he has any chance to stop the robot's nefarious plan!  
  • "The Big Seep" - Splash Brannigan is an animated puddle of four-dimensional ink.  He was sealed up in an ink bottle for thirty years until girl comic book artist Daisy Screensaver freed him.  He's been bothering her ever since.  Now Splash wants to be a crime noir detective and sets up shot in a bad part of town.  His first client is a looker and somethings fishy with her story.  Can Splash and Daisy solve the crime before they end up as the next victims?
  • "Doom Date of the Dusk Duo!" - Cobweb is the premier female hero of Indigo City and aided by her trusty assistant Clarice.  Cobweb receives a mysterious note telling her to remember the significance of June 14th or she is doomed!  She and Clarice reminisce about the origins of the various Cobwebs and their assistants through the ages trying to solve the mystery.  
  • "Jack O'Nines' 19 Incarnations!" - Johnny Future crosses a time bridge to four billion years in the future and become a hero of the Grand Array.  He will eventually be succeeded by his niece Jonni Future and once met her in a chance encounter on the time bridge.  Johnny heads out to capture the thief Jack O'Nines and is amazed at the time paradox within the villain's lair.  Here time stands still and all possibilities exist simultaneously.  What strange phenomena will he find and can he stop the Jack?
  • "A Greyshirt Primer" - Greyshirt is the science hero champion of Indigo City. He wears a mask and chain-mail armor as a secret weapon against criminals.  An A-Z Greyshirt adventure through Indigo City with a beloved artist in tow.  Tribute to the late Will Eisner.
  • "The Lethal Luck of Magister Ludi" - A far-out Silver Age adventure of the America's Best team!  Tom Strong, Cobweb, Splash Brannigan, Promethea, and Johnny Future welcome new reserve member Fancy O'Keefe in true ABC style by involving her in a lethal adventure against an interstellar gambler!  The team tests their luck against a house that always wins.  Will Fancy survive her first caper?  Told in four parts.  
  • "Little Margie in Misty Magic Land" - Little Margie travels through Misty Magic Land with goddess Promethea and her Chinese companion, Chinky.  It appears Misty Magic Land is starting to fall apart and the inhabitants are fleeing.  Is it too late for Margie and Promethea to save Misty Magic Land?
  • "Worlds Within Worlds" - Jonni Future inherits her Uncle's house and discovers he was the superhero Johnny Future.  She takes on the mantle of greatest hero of the Grand Array and continues his legacy.  One day Jonni discovers a secret message in a comic book her Uncle wrote.  She finds an apparently abandoned crystal fortress and is amazed at what she uncovers inside - a time-displaced paradox!  Guess who's waiting to greet her!
  • "How Come Nobody Likes the First American These Days?" - The First American and his partner U.S. Angel are genetically-modified superheroes and ridiculously dysfunctional.  F.A. muses about Mistress Fruit Pies and ends up taking over the entire country just to satisfy his evil cravings.  Can U.S. Angel talk him out of his plan for world domination of fruit pies?   

Pros: Alan Moore scripts several of the stories, the stories are longer than regular issues of Tomorrow Stories, decent art, fun science fiction/crime noir/superhero satire, America's Best team story was great, a Promethea story

Cons: A lot of different art styles and characters, anthology format, people may not like all of the characters, the last time we see most of these characters

Mike Tells It Straight: The original Tomorrow Stories series (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) ran from 1999 to 2002 and was an anthology book featuring several stories per issue.  Every story was scripted by Alan Moore with an artist/co-creator for each character.  The series was well-received and earned an Eisner award for Best Anthology Series.  It only lasted for twelve issues and I have to guess Moore got burned out after producing a ton of work (he was writing all of the books for the ABC line).  Could be the artists had other projects to work on too.

Whatever the reason Tomorrow Stories ended in 2002, it resurfaced with two specials in 2006 featuring the regular characters from the original series and a few additional ABC faces (like Promethea).  It was nice seeing the characters again after their hiatus and especially in longer stories.  Most of the stories are really good if you liked the original series and the specials are a great addition.  Definitely worth checking out and they were never reprinted.

TO BUY and Recommendations: