The Tomorrow People

March 16th, 2005
This entry is part of 2 in the series Ultimate X-Men

It appears to be common wisdom, these days, that our youth have somehow changed in caliber so completely that nothing of a previous generation will be considered valid or interesting anymore without enhancing its dramatic potential somehow. Common wisdom, at least, amongst the asinine marketing droids of the world who are responsible for making everything, and I mean everything, EXXXXTREEEEME!!!1! Unfortunately, sometimes they’re right. Ultimate X-Men, like all the Marvel “Ultimate” books, is a reimagining of one of their classic franchises so that it makes sense in a more modern setting…for X-men, that means this is set sometime next week for us, rather than sometime next week 40 years ago. This sort of treatment, for the X-Men in particular in many ways, is long overdue. The X-Men was so very groundbreaking in its day, but to a modern reader its controversies seem lukewarm, its political preconceptions archaic, and its squeaky-clean representation of youth unrealistic beyond the suspension of belief required to accept that a human being could shoot frickin’ laser beams from their frickin’ head. Ultimate X-Men has Bush as the President, reigning over a country held in the grip of terror since Mutants bombed New York. Tony Blair is his counterpart in the U.K. Mutants are killed by Sentinels as soon as they are detected; there’s no build-up there, in fact it’s how the book opens. The young mutants who are soon to become the X-men are outlaws de facto, and before they are drafted into Xavier’s little force they live the lives of outlaws. Storm is a car thief. Colossus…precious, naive Peter in the original, is a hardened (heh) arms dealer. There are similar, but logical ideas in store across the board. The language is more harsh, and more fresh. The sarcasm is heavy and feels like authentic snark. The sexual tension doesn’t stay stretched taut for absurd lengths…many of these “youths” are no strangers to sex, and that becomes pretty obvious pretty early. Loyalties are not certain, and good and evil is stretched even more than they were in the original, with Magneto’s warmth on display and Charles’ cavalier use of some pretty heavy mental alteration in effect. In short, this is good stuff. Very good stuff. I have to thank Koz for the recommendation on this one, I probably never would have picked this up if he hadn’t praised Volumes 2 & 3. Much obliged.

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5 Responses to “The Tomorrow People”

  1. Gideon says:

    Hmm. I may have to pick this up if you give it such praise.

  2. Peeps says:

    I might have to look into this. You think I could appreciate this with only seeing the X-men movies as my only background on the story?

    BTW…IMHO, you should include links to your favorite e-store for each of these books so people can easliy find other info about the books. 😉
    Ultimate X-Men, Vol. 1: The Tomorrow People (Marvel Comics) on Amazon.com.

  3. Skwid says:

    Gideon, usually I would just suggest you pick it up at Wednesday tonight, but…

    peeps, this is a start-from-scratch reimagining of the characters and their storylines. I’d think it would be perfectly accessible to someone who has seen only the films.

    As to the linking, I would do that, except that I wouldn’t presume that my favorite e-store is the same as theirs. I also think planting a referrer ID in such a link is slightly tacky…hope my editing it out (and pointing to an edition that’s in print) of your comment doesn’t offend.

  4. Peeps says:

    No offense taken…I did not even realize it was there…

    You can blame Firefox’s built-in Google/Yahoo/Amazon/etc. search tool 🙂

  5. Skwid says:

    It’s not a reliable solution, at this point in time, but I’ve started providing hotlinks to Google Print entries for the books that I review, where available. Unfortunately, that’s only about half of them…and will probably never include graphic novels.

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