The alliance of international electronic music and comic books chugs along to its penultimate issue in “Tomorrowland #3” published by U.K. based Titan Comics. Writer Paul Jenkins (“Spider-Man”, “The Inhumans”, “Wolverine: Origin”) and artists Alti Firmansyah and Beny Maulana from Star Labs up the ante for their fictionalized account of the Belgian based music festival held every July, and the two DJ’s who are among the most notable performers there – brothers Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike.
In this tale, “Tomorrowland” is more than just a Belgian based music festival, which as of this year has become an internationally touring festival as “TomorrowWorld”. It is an explosion of creative energy which is used to hold back the forces of darkness and entropy which has existed for eons, ever since the dawn of humanity since cave people first invented art or music. Every such festival has one artist in particular meant to lead the chorus and focus the energy where it has to go; only this time, the “chosen one” are now “chosen ones”, the aforementioned DJ brothers. While Dimitri and Mike have time flung allies in previous creative souls such as elves, Shakespeare, Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci, their enemy is also the “Nameless One” who commands armies of demons. In this issue, the “Nameless One” decides to become more proactive in his villainy by abducting Mike and feeding him manipulative words and visions. Meanwhile, Dimitri (who has always taken the mysticism of this affair in a more serious manner than Mike) prepares for the final performance of “Tomorrowland” with his back up crew, “Wolfpack” (who are also real life musicians). Frantic to find his brother, they’re united for the cliffhanger page – only now, Mike has become an ally of the “Nameless One”.
This is more of a set up issue than the previous one, offering less action and more movement of the various chess pieces. Jenkins offers a bit more heavy handed narration, although the dialogue among the various characters (real, historical, or original creations) is stronger than his narration. The artwork by the Star Labs duo is up to usual standards, which continues to appear similar to that of mainstream comics artist Roger Cruz. The separation of the brothers and ultimate pitting of them against each other was a predictable plot point from the end of the previous issue, and sadly this issue seems to take its time to get to that natural conclusion. It still is flattering (at best) to compare these two electric music DJ’s with the level of genius to figures such as Da Vinci or Shakespeare, although it still has a kitsch appeal akin to a “Bill & Ted” film with the two brothers. The culmination of a “battle of the bands” likely meaning life or death to the universe is the sort of thing which would have felt at home in a fun teen flick from the 80’s or 90’s, although its appeal in 2013 may depend on taste.
“Tomorrowland” aims to wrap up next month, and while it may not remind anyone of better “musician comics” like Gerard Way’s “Umbrella Academy”, it has still been an entertaining ride with some slick artwork and easily likable stars who also happen to be DJ’s in real life.