Directed by Carl Upsdell
Starring Brian Drummond, Scott McNeil, Trevor Devall, and Lisa Ann Beley
Created by Jason Aaron (writer) and Ron Garney (artist)
A murderous machine is sent from the future to kill the resistance before they ever take up arms or even are born, and it’s up to Sarah Conner to stop them and save the future. Oh, wait, I meant Wolverine. I think.
Fresh off a celebratory global bar crawl, Wolverine is enlisted by a girl receiving prophetic dreams from the future of murderous cyborgs coming to murder key individuals who will either be or birth major opposition to their future plans of world domination. It doesn’t take long for some of the biggest names in Marvel – Spider-Man, The Thing, Two Captain Americas – to join in the fray as Wolverine and the super hero community fight a Deathlok army in the present and future to try to save both.
The story itself is competent, but it’s nothing special. As with many of these kinds of stories, they focus more on the present than on the future, seeing where these characters end up. The future Spider-Man, for instance, got way too little time, and I want know what happened in his life to put him in that direction. The other heroes don’t even get that much, but then again, I guess it’s not their name in the title.
The timing of this particular feature works well. On one front, it’s a time-traveling story not unlike to the classic X-Men arc Days of Future Past, released just in time for the Fox motion picture of the same name. On another front, the Deathlok cyborg concept is a major story piece in the first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series. On the time travel side, it’s much easier to draw comparisons to the Terminator franchise instead, to the point of distraction. On the Deathlok side, the film doesn’t really explain what the comic version of Deathloks is, as these are not the same incarnations that followed before.
I don’t understand who this motion comic is for. Is it for people who are already fans of the source material? If so, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table other than some voice work, some of which is very flat and bland in the first place. Is it for a new audience, unfamiliar with the lore behind it? If so, this film does a bad job burying itself in the canon behind it, like Steve Rogers’ death and resurrection, Bucky as Captain America, and what the Deathloks are prior to this film.
Ultimately, that last point is the biggest problem with motion comics in general: no true adjustments or changes from the original material to account for a new audience. Just like with comics, if you aren’t already familiar with what came before, it makes it hard to jump in. These motion comics should be adapted into ideal jumping on points for potential new fans, but this one isn’t. It’s a generic time-travel, save-the-future kind of thing, with nothing compelling brought to the table outside of a giant super hero throw down.
The Video and Audio
There’s nothing special about the video or audio in this feature. One of my biggest grips about motion comics is the blown up art looks grainy over the smoother and cleaner look it has on paper as originally intended, and that’s likewise the case here. The audio is serviceable in that you hear everything just fine, but there’s nothing impressive.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The one-disc set comes in the flimsy cardboard folder that’s sadly standard for Shout Factory’s Marvel Knights motion comics line. The only special feature is a short behind-the-scenes with the original comic’s artist Ron Garney, no one else. It wasn’t particularly enlightening or entertaining, and not to discredit Garney, but I would have been much more interested in writer Jason Aaron. Mostly because I like Aaron’s other works. Less so this one.
Overall (Not an Average)
Wolverine Weapon X: Tomorrow Dies Today is one of those motion comic releases that makes me question the thought process behind choosing what comic arcs to give the treatment to, and the money spent to do so. It’s not awful on its own. It’s just not good, and it doesn’t seem worthwhile to put the effort into it to make it accessible for the non-comic-reading audience. I know Marvel loves doing these motion comics out of the X-Men and Wolverine in particular, but maybe they need to re-evaluate the selection process.