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Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies
DVD Released: 5/13/2014
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Review by Mike Long, Posted on 4/23/2014
As with many males who are into popular culture, I went through my comic book phase(s). I've always been a Marvel Comics fan and there have been several times in my life where I was knee-deep in collecting. But, after working in the industry for a few years, I became very burned-out on comics and hadn't been near a book in over 15 years, but I was sucked back in in late 2012 with the death of Peter Parker. However, during that period, I still kept track of some of my favorite characters, and one of the easiest way was through animated adaptations. The introduction of "Motion Comics", which are essentially animated comic book panels, has brought several good Marvel stories to the small screen, and the latest entry, Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today is one of the best.
As Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today opens, a futuristic cyborg known as Deathlok (voiced by Scott McNeil) is wandering the streets of New York, killing those who are or who may one day be super heroes. Meanwhile, Wolverine (voiced by Brian Drummon) and Captain America (voiced by Clay St. Thomas) are bar-hopping their way across the hemisphere. When they return to New York, Miranda Bayer (voiced by Lisa Ann Beley) approaches Wolverine and warns him that Captain America is in danger. The story then leaps ahead to the future where we see that the Roxxon Corporation is running the world and Miranda is the leader of a group of rebels who are trying to stop it. Back in the present, Wolverine and Captain America, along with some help from Spider-Man (voiced by Andy Toth), find themselves facing an army of Deathloks. But, one Deathlok in particular is having a hard time differentiating between his mission and his memories.
Marvel has never been one to shy away from putting multiple characters into one story and Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today offers an excellent team up. (This is what is missing from the live-action super-hero movies. The Avengers wasn't a great movie, but it's a winner in my book because it depicted a world with more than one super-hero. If Spider-man can face three villains in a movie, why can't he get a little help?) I've long since been a fan of Wolverine (although I've found that I'm not crazy about the way he's being depicted these days) and that's what attracted me to this title. When I saw Deathlok on the cover, I knew that I was in for a treat. (I loved the Deathlok series from the early 90s.) Throw in Spider-Man and Captain America and you've got the makings for a classic story.
But, Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today isn't just a cheap cash-in which flaunts popular characters. The story by Jason Aaron is impressive as well. While there's no doubt that it borrows heavily from The Terminator (robots are sent to the past to eliminate a threat in the future), the script still offers enough interesting ideas to keep it moving forward. The Deathloks here are the futuristic ones which were first introduced in the 70s in Astonishing Tales. However, one of the Deathloks exhibits traits seen in the 1990's Michael Collins incarnation of the character. The scenes set in the dystopian future are interesting, most notably in the way in which the Wolverine of the future is depicted. The story definitely gets a boost when Spider-Man joins the mix and Aaron does a nice job with the Wall-Crawler's witty dialogue. The art, overseen by Ron Garney, is also impressive, as he offers his own take on the characters, while allowing them to be very recognizable.
I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: If someone has already written a good story, then why would anyone want to spend the time and energy creating an inferior one for a movie or TV adaptation. That is why I'm an admirer of these Marvel "Motion Comics". Even when it's something that really isn't my thing, likeThor & Loki: Blood Brothers, the fact that it's taken directly from the comic automatically makes it more palatable. While I'd like to see some older stories get this treatment -- Where's "God Loves, Man Kills" or "Kraven's Last Hunt"? -- this medium is a good way to discover stories which Marvel published while I was "away" and Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today has a lot of things going for it. Along with an interesting sci-fi angle, we get some of Marvel's most popular characters. And given that Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine are all on the big-screen this year, this DVD is a great tie-in.
Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today needs to keep track of its hands on DVD courtesy of Shout! Factory. The feature has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source materials. Keep in mind that the animation here is quite limited, but we do get good depth and no blurring of the image. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which delivers clear dialogue and sound effects. This is a notably loud track which brings home good stereo effects which show excellent separation. The subwoofer effects are effective without being overwhelming. The action scenes, most notably those with crowds, offer minor, but impressive surround sound effects.
The Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today DVD contains only one extra feature. "The Journey: Looking Back at Tomorrow Dies Today" (14 minutes) is basically an interview with Artist Ron Garney. Here's he discusses the origin of the story and how it was accepted. This includes a discussion of the Wolverine character. From there, Garney discussed his artistic approach and the particular challenges presented by this story.
Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long