Review: Doctor Tomorrow #4

Doctor Tomorrow #4

The true origin of Doctor Tomorrow is finally revealed in Doctor Tomorrow #4! Can Bart Simms ready himself in time to rescue the Universe from complete annihilation?

Despite comics coming back to shops with more regularity, Valiant hasn’t resumed their full pre-lockdown schedule just yet. I’m not honestly sure how many comics the company is publishing every month now. I’ve read far fewer Valiant books since publishing has resumed than I was expecting.

Doctor Tomorrow is Valiant’s first all-ages book set within the publisher’s continuity. After last issue’s apparent death of the young Bart Simms at the hands of the older Bart Simms (who had recently killed the slightly older Bart Simms… it sounds confusing when I write it like that, but it’s actually not), we discover pretty quickly what happened to the young hero in what amounts to a comic’s worth of a training montage.

Young Bart Simms travelled to slightly older Bart Simms time and ends up spending what appears to be several years training and learning how to defeat… himself.

Believe it or not, it’s a comic that works. And it works very well. We get some more exposition on the villain Hadrian. A touching relationship develops between two characters. It has echoes of Marty and the Doc from Back To The Future. It also adds enough to the mix so that the relationship doesn’t feel stale and too familiar. Doctor Tomorrow #3 was crammed with as many characters as writer Alejandro Arbona and artist Jim Towe could squeeze in. Doctor Tomorrow #4 is a much more personal affair. The issue gives readers a breather but also acts to set up the final act . It does so in such a way that new readers can jump into the miniseries on part four of five. I’d highly recommend the entire thing so far.

The more personal nature of this book, the relationships built upon, and the montage sequence itself does elevate it significantly over the previous issue. Arbona’s script allows Towe and colorist Diego Rodriguez to explore the world within the art; there may not be the sprawling space vistas from X-O Manowar, but the down to earth nature of the story lends itself very well to an art style that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Saturday morning cartoon (and no, that is far from a bad thing).

Jim Towe’s art seems to fall more toward what you’d consider an “all-ages style”, and he’s been pretty consistent throughout the series quality-wise. I’ve said before that the art reminds me of a Saturday morning cartoon in all the right ways, and I stand by that. This is a comic that has the ability to evoke a strong nostalgic feeling in people of a certain age despite this being a new character. After the dip of the third issue, Doctor Tomorrow comes roaring back for the finale that will likely add a new twist to a battle we’ve already seen several times in the series so far, and I fully expect to be launched into that fight almost immediately as Doctor Tomorrow #5 opens up.

Join me, won’t you?

Story: Alejandro Arbona Art: Jim Towe
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 8.4 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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