Friday, 27 March 2015

Wolverine and the X-Men, Volume 1: Tomorrow Never Learns Review (Jason Latour, Mahmud Asrar)

Jason Aaron hands over his popular Wolverine and the X-Men series to his Southern Bastards co-creator, Jason Latour – who proceeds to demolish the title’s legacy in a single volume! 

Saying Tomorrow Never Learns is convoluted is like saying Wolverine sometimes has a bit of a temper. This is one of the most overcomplicated, boring storylines EVER – and the X-Men are known for ridiculously complex stories! A bruiser from the future – who manages to be even more one-dimensional than Cable – has come to the present to kill Kid Apocalypse and Quentin Quire because they fight in the future and end the world (or something). That’s his “character” by the way: guy who kills. 

How exactly do things in the future go so wrong? Because Quire becomes the new Phoenix Force (again with this freakin’ Phoenix crap!) in the future and Kid Apocalypse is, well, Apocalypse so when he grows up I guess he just becomes an evil mutant who wants to destroy the world? 

There’s also a corporate teeny-bopper who’s rocking the Phoenix logo, but so far it’s more or less possible to follow. Then the story takes a left and I couldn’t even begin to describe the nonsense this volume ends up becoming. 

If you were expecting the fun and humour of Aaron’s series, think again – Latour’s Wolverine and the X-Men is a humourless wasteland. Also most of the characters are done away with and it essentially becomes the Wolverine and Quentin Quire show. It’s a mistake to put Kid Apocalypse in the forefront of this silly plot because he’s such a non-character, and even here where he’s supposedly prominent, he’s mostly just background.

Idie’s character does a complete 180 and she becomes a loud, angry moron who tries to pick fights with everyone while Latour throws out random images of Doop to make it seem like it’s the same series as Aaron’s. Why is Doop on a motorcycle with a tiger? Because readers like Doop for doing whacky things – do you love this comic now that we’ve shoved this unconnected image into the book SAY YOU LOVE IT!!?!! 

The plot is much too hard to follow and made all the more difficult because it’s so dreary. Haven’t innumerable X-Men stories shown us that multiple futures exist? I just don’t get what the fuss is – they’re all fighting about things that are years away from happening AND it can all be changed. It’s so stupid and irrelevant. 

While it’s a Volume 1 this book relies heavily upon the reader being familiar with Jason Aaron’s run, as well as other X-titles, so if you’re completely new, you’re going to be utterly lost. Actually, I’m fairly up on the X-stuff and I was baffled with what was happening – new readers have no chance! Wolverine becomes a gladiator on some alien world and recruits Fantomex and then they’re back on Earth all within the space of an issue – huh!? 

Sometimes overcomplicated stories can be attributed to writers doing something ambitious and different. If Latour were a more experienced writer with a track record of being able to write well, like a Warren Ellis or Grant Morrison, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. But he’s only written a handful of single issues/short stories with Wolverine and the X-Men being his first significant work. He’s not being clever; he’s just a bad writer. 

Aaron’s bouncy tone and imaginative stories have been jettisoned and replaced with a complete mess of garbage plotlines and scenes that add up to nothing. Fans of the previous series should ignore this entry and pretend it never happened. He’s a fine artist but if I ever read another Jason Latour-scripted comic again, it’ll be by accident.

Wolverine and the X-Men, Volume 1: Tomorrow Never Learns

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