Teen hothead and star athlete, Bart Simms, is about to meet the Valiant Universe’s greatest hero…Himself! It all begins in Doctor Tomorrow #1!
Doctor Tomorrow #1 is Valiant‘s first all-ages book set within the publisher’s continuity. Yes, there was Valiant High – a fun four-issue miniseries. It reimagined the Valiant characters in a high school setting that had distinct Archie vibes. That was never actually set within the publisher’s continuity. The Eternal Sophomore was never going to grow into the Eternal Warrior. I don’t think the Eternal Warrior has ever actually been to school, come to think of it.
When Valiant gave Graphic Policy the chance to read and review Doctor Tomorrow #1 early, we jumped at the chance. Personally, I think all-ages stories are often overlooked. A stigma exists that something that’s all ages isn’t going to be able to be enjoyed by all ages, right? I’ll counter that with Toy Story and Into The Spiderverse and move right along.
Written by Alejandro Arbona with art by Jim Towe, colors by Diego Rodriguez and letters by Clayton Cowles, the comic opens with a fight scene to set the stage and establish the threat level of Valiant’s newest supervillain Hadrian. It quickly disabuses the notion that all-ages comics aren’t going to have any real stakes.
It’s at this point that the comic switches gears and we’re introduced to the teenaged Bart Simms, who will apparently grow up to become Doctor Tomorrow. Doctor Tomorrow #1 is on the surface little more than an introduction to Simms and Doctor Tomorrow. It does a really good job of setting the stage. It introduces and establishes the foundations of the characters for Arbona to build upon. By having the teenaged Bart Simms meet his older self, Arbona is also able to avoid the trope of a teenage superhero. At the very least it throws an interesting twist on it. It’s tough to say how it’ll play out based solely on the first issue. Based on the last page there’s going to be a lot more to that aspect of the comic.
I’m not going to say any more about the page other than it’ll make some people very happy about what it could be hinting toward.
Jim Towe’s art seems to fall more toward what you’d consider an “all-ages style”. The art feels like it came from a Saturday morning cartoon aimed toward older kids. Personally, I love it. It fits the style of the comic by being accessible without sacrificing visual storytelling. People are lost in the opening pages, but Towe and Diego Rodriguez cleverly draw your attention away from the scene by placing something far more eye-grabbing on the scene. For me, it was akin to the scene in the Mandalorian where Mando cuts a guy in half using an automatic door. You don’t see it, but it happens. That’s kind of what happens here, only you do see it… it just isn’t the gory focus of the art.
There’s often a stigma that all-ages comics will end up being specifically for kids.
Just because it’s an all-ages comic, doesn’t mean it’s for kids. It means kids can enjoy it along with their parents. This is an exciting, fresh new story from one of the best publishers around. Don’t miss what is sure to be one of the must-read books this quarter.
Story: Alejandro Arbona Art: Jim Towe
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review