TOMORROW JONES

tomorrowjones1
Written and lettered by Brian Daniel
Drawn and colored by Johan Manandin

I saw this comic while browsing Comixology and it caught my eye. The promo copy reads: Tomorrow Jones, 14 years-old and the second child in a family of superheroes. While she may be strong enough to fold an armored truck into origami, Tomorrow has to pretend to be a normal girl at school. Her father won’t take her seriously, and her traditional heroine mother expects Tomorrow to follow in her footsteps. But Tomorrow doesn’t want to dress in skimpy spandex though, and starts fighting crime unmasked and simply wearing jeans and a T-shirt with her real initials on it. All the while her parents keep trying to get her to do things “the traditional way” and Tomorrow finds she might be getting in over her head in the superhero community.

Well, color me intrigued. Three issues were available, each just #1.99, so I bought them. The promo copy pretty much sets up the premise, and the first issue opens with us getting to know Tomorrow, the bored youngest child of a superhero family. Her father, Steven, is The Crystal Guardian, a Green Lantern-like archtype hero. He has a magic crystal which grants him super-powers and primarily fights outer-space threats. Tomorrow’s older brother Zane also has a crystal and patrols the galaxy as his father’s costumed sidekick, The Crystal Scout. Tomorrow’s mother Ambria is secretly the superheroine Astraea. She’s sort of a cross between Wonder Woman and Supergirl, an alien princess from another planet who uses her powers to fight crime on Earth. Tomorrow has inherited her mother’s super-powers (which only pass down from female to female, which is why Zane has to use a magic crystal) and her mother desperately wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps, but it is clear that Tomorrow just doesn’t have any interest in being a superhero. We see Tomorrow go to school and are introduced to her best friend Brianna, who is a bit of a stereotypical nerd. At school there’s a big girl who frequently bullies Tomorrow and Brianna, stealing their lunch money and shoving their faces in the toilet. Tomorrow forces herself to just go along with it because she has to pretend that she’s a normal human being. Until one day she finally gets fed up and uses her super-strength to fight back. Then, after school, she happens to pass a bank that’s being robbed and immediately leaps into action, stopping the robbery and exposing the fact that she has superpowers to the world.

The next two issues deal with the fallout from Tomorrow’s actions. Her parents are furious because this now puts all of their secret identities at risk, and they try to keep her out of the spotlight. But Tomorrow defies them and sneaks off to school where she continues to openly use her powers to fight other bullies and to single-handily defeat a team of boys at dodge ball in gym class. Then, despite her mother’s admonitions, Tomorrow teams up with her to fight one of Astraea’s arch-enemies, a female supervillain named Dementa, and defeats her thanks to some dirty fighting. And then in the third issue Tomorrow has to deal with her rising popularity at school, which causes Brianna to feel like Tomorrow doesn’t need her as a friend anymore, and then Tomorrow has to face a man made out of snakes who is terrorizing the city.

It’s a fun series, with a great mix of drama and action. Brian Daniel writes Tomorrow like a real teenager, not an idealized superhero icon. The dialog flows naturally and rings true, from her fights with her parents to trying to deal with her new publicity to her various battles with supervillains. There’s a scene in one issue where Tomorrow finally gets the nerve to talk to a boy that she likes, and it’s as charming and awkward as you’d expect a teenage crush to be. There’s also some clever knocks at mainstream superhero conventions, like Tomorrow criticizing the skimpy costumes that female superheroes are expected to wear. I’m also impressed with the artwork of Johan Manandin who gives this book a sort of animated feel. And I’m happy that he draws Tomorrow like an average teenage girl and, again, not the stereotypical bombshell that inhabits most superhero comic-books.

When I first saw and bought this comics I was under the impression that it was a 3-issue miniseries, since the 3rd issue came out in February of this year and there have not been any further issues. But there is a note at the end of the 3rd issue saying “Come back and see us again for issue #4!” So more was planned, and I would definitely like to read some further adventures of Tomorrow. Nevertheless, even if this series doesn’t continue, I can still recommend these three issues, as we do get a pretty complete and satisfying tale here.

TOMORROW JONES #1-3

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