Graphic Novel Review: Wolverine and the X-Men: Tomorrow Never Leaves

Wolverine and the X-Men: Tomorrow Never Learns

Wolverine and the X-Men: Tomorrow Never Learns - Credit: Archant

More time-travelling shenanigans with Marvel’s merry mutants...

(Panini Books)

Coming as it does in the wake of Jason Aaron’s acclaimed run on the first volume of this series, Jason Latour wisely doesn’t attempt to imitate his predecessor, but strives to carve out his own slice of X-Men history with his take on the franchise.

As noted in previous reviews, the timelines of the Marvel Universe are taking a severe battering at the moment, with visitors from the past and future turning up in the present day with dramatic effects on causality. It seems as though these anachronistic interventions are part of a wider plan however, with signs that the MU is going to undergo a reality-warping, pan-dimensional, history-spanning event next summer which could even result in a line-wide reboot of Marvel continuity.

So to see another story about dramatic revelations from the future having contemporary consequences for the X-Men isn’t a result of a lack of editorial intervention, especially coming so soon after X-Men: Bloodline, which had basically the same sort of plot. Au contraire, it is in fact all part of a wider plan…

At a basic level, maverick and anarchic X-Men Quentin Quire discovers that in the future he will become the new host for the Phoenix Force, while his young classmate Evan will be reborn as the latest incarnation of Apocalypse, with devastating results for both protagonists, forcing the older Quire to travel back in time in an attempt to persuade his earlier self to take a different path to prevent this course of events.

With such a simple idea at its core, Latour then unnecessarily overcomplicates his story by throwing in far too many irrelevant details and characters, various red herrings, and unapologetically missing some key narrative beats along the way, all of which combine to leave the reader confused about the resolution and not quite sure of certain crucial details.

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That’s unfortunate, as at its core this should have been a decent start to this latest volume, which certainly tones things down after Aaron’s madcap run, and brings the book more in line with other X-Men titles. If you can cut through a lot of the chaff which surrounds this storyline, then it does succeed in creating a new status quo for Quentin and Evan, with a destiny which they must now strive to avoid.

On the basis of this first storyline Latour still has a lot to learn if he’s going to make his mark on the book, but with sales on the monthly issues taking a nose-dive following Aaron’s depature, he might not have the time to do so.