Audiobook Review: “MARVEL: The Ultimates: Tomorrow Men”
by Michael Jan Friedman
Published by GraphicAudio
Approximate Running Time: 5 Hours
Once again the folks responsible for “A Movie in Your Mind,” GraphicAudio bring their audio production and vocal acting excellence to another Marvel Comics adventure. This time it is in the form of the Ultimates. For those not sure who the Ultimates are, let me clarify; back in 2002 Marvel comics did a little tweaking and re-imagining of the Marvel heroes in the form of the Ultimate Marvel universe. In this re-imagining the Avengers are re-titled as the Ultimates. The title ran through a couple of runs and this book is written to take place between volumes one and two.
First of all I have to get out of the way my glowing review of GraphicAudio’s extraordinary audio production. Their slogan is “A Movie in Your Mind,” and they deliver exactly that. With only their over-the-top super-realistic sound effects and original music, the products put out by Graphic Audio would be superb. However, they don’t stop there. GraphicAudio employs some of the most talented voice actors in the business. The actors’ abilities to capture the complete characters they are portraying in all of GraphicAudio’s books are uncanny. Those actors shine even more so in the superhero genre, bringing the characters to full three-dimensional life. Combining all three of these factors (music, SFX and vocal talent) GraphicAudio brings to life the comic book / superhero world.
Now let’s talk about the author, Michael Jan Friedman. Most of Friedman’s books are stories from the “Star Trek” universe. This book proves he is able to write some good superhero action. Much like the “Star Trek” based stories, there is a lot of build-up before the real action happens. Normally I would not think this works in the comic book realm of stories, but Friedman makes it work thus giving the reader/listener an intelligent comic book that has many threads running through it. All of these threads are loosely woven together but come to a common point to bring the story to an exciting end.
So what is this exciting end? Nope, I won’t tell you, no spoilers here but here’s what builds up to the intriguing ending; “Tomorrow Men” is the story of a group of men from the future coming back to the time of the Ultimates to help stop a terrorist group, Tiber, from taking hold of the world and ruining the planet. They are able to prove their claim of being from the future by revealing knowledge that only they could know, such as the device in Steve Rogers’ (Captain America) brain that was planted in case the super soldier serum drove him insane. They also seem to know the location of some of Tiber’s secret bases. Tiber has just come on to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar as a terrorist group making the “Tomorrow Men” more believable.
The “Tomorrow Men” help the Ultimates battle some of Tiber’s agents, but during the aftermath of the battle, Iron Man is accidentally sent to the future to find the truth about the “Tomorrow Men” and the truth about Earth’s future.