What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Doctor Tomorrow #4! I’m not going to lie, I didn’t quite see myself getting that far with this book. I had big expectations about this one actually being some straightforward superheroics and what not, but that didn’t seem to be the case here. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing, or a bad thing. All I knew was that this book was missing something to create some genuine investment. With Doctor Tomorrow #3, they took the first step to get there. Rewarding our patience with a solid twist to the tale which changed everything you thought you knew about the direction this book was taking.
When Bart supposedly died and came back older, it made you question what happened. What choice was made in the moment that you thought he was vaporized, to create this second opportunity to save the world from the guy he thought to be a hero? The answer to that question was quite clever if you ask me. When it came to this Bart, it wasn’t easy to see how he could become anything close to the other two versions of himself. So it was surprising to see what came to mind when he was thinking of surviving that blast which probably should have been the end of him. This took him to the one place where he conveniently was in the best position to become Doctor Tomorrow. Though not before shaking off some things which have been holding him back up to this point.
This brings us to the growth he went through during that stretch of time. Personally I appreciated the time lapse they gave Bart, because as a kid? He didn’t really have a lot going for him. Somehow he needed to grow out of being that kid, being a kid, and being the kind of Bart which which tends to lead those like himself to ruin. It took four issues to really get around to this level of character development, but it was worth the wait. It also made a big difference surrounding Bart with both familiar faces, and good people in general. I hate to be that guy, but Bart is also the kind of character who is only as good as the supporting cast around him. Other well written characters in turn make him more appealing, and they chose the right person for him to turn to from another universe. Overall, the emotion was really poured into this scene as Bart pretty much got the kind of life he had been lacking most of his life already.
As the true origin of Doctor Tomorrow, I was satisfied with how he came to be. When you got past the kind of growth he needed to experience as a person, then came the training he needed to go through to actually become a hero. Now I don’t know about reverse readying himself, but he certainly got a solid training montage to get there.
Compared to some of the previous issues, I would say that this one left me a bit less bothered with the way that these characters were drawn. Maybe it is because dealing with older characters involves more precision to the shapes drawn, but there was an improvement to the attention given to the finer details. This mattered because this issue in particular had a stronger focus on character moments, and visually we needed to be captivated by what Bart was now going through. The panic in barely surviving his alternate self, the frustration in not getting the kind of help he wanted, the endearment in getting to live a proper life. The emotion from all of that was written on these characters faces and how they interacted with each other. We got to see that, and feel it through Bart and who he decided was the best person he could turn to for help.
By the end of Doctor Tomorrow #4, I felt more confident in saying that we have gotten somewhere good in the story. Normally I would say it comes down to being patient with the story, but with a book like this, it would have definitely helped if they did more from the start to have made sure we weren’t dragging our feet from issues to issue before things improved.