PETER MILLIGAN Questions the Wisdom of Youth in TOMORROW Introduction

Credit: Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books
Credit: Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

Peter Milligan's newest creator-owned series, Tomorrow, debuts this Wednesday from Dark Horse Comics - and in it, he and artist Jesus Hervas imagine a world where the adult population is wiped out and children inherit what's left. But the world's not just made up of the likes of Malala Yousafzai, Emma Gonzalez, and Greta Thunberg as Milligan says, but also darker elements.

Milligan dove into that idea in an essay that Dark Horse has shared with Newsarama ahead of release. Take a read:

Credit: Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

As I write this, I have finished the final episode of the first storyline of Tomorrow and I’m leaving, at least for now, some of the characters you’ll meet in this story. Characters like Oscar Fuentes, the gifted and neuro-atypical hero and his twin sister Cira, whose Grand Guignol journey of shock and self-discovery runs parallel to Oscar’s own strange travels across the shattered lands of a country that was once America. And then there’s Loba, who can’t decide if she’s a wolf or a girl and maybe is a little bit of both. There’s Trevon and his family. There’s the Russian computer virus coder who could have been the big villain of this story but instead tries to be a kind of hero. All these characters you’ll meet soon enough when you read Tomorrow.

So, what is Tomorrow? The great thing about having a title like Tomorrow is it lends itself so easily to puns. As in the words of the old song, “What Will Tomorrow Bring?”

Credit: Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

To write about Tomorrow I must go back to yesterday (see how easily the puns come?). I have to go back to when I first started writing and formulating this story. Yes, reader, this is the dreaded part of the introduction where I talk influences.

In recent years a number of remarkable young people have appeared, from America to Sweden to Pakistan and beyond. Outstanding, brave individuals like Malala Yousafzai, Emma Gonzalez, and Greta Thunberg who spoke and continue to speak out against murder and bigotry and our capacity for self-destruction. We might be forgiven for thinking: if these are the people of tomorrow, surely tomorrow will be a brighter, more tolerant, and less self-destructive one?

Credit: Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

Yes, that’s all well and good, but...but you see, I remember.

I remember the tyrannies and atrocities of the schoolyard. I remember just how red in tooth and claw so many of those kids were: how for every Malala there were a bunch of tiny Taliban, for every Emma Gonzalez countless cold-eyed would-be killers waving imaginary firearms at the weak and the innocent.

So maybe, just maybe, the fate of tomorrow isn’t quite so secure...if left to the children. In other words, is the wickedness and madness of mankind acquired, learned through lives of hard- knocks, the sole preserve only of adults, or are these flowers of evil inherent in the yet-to-fully-bloom bulbs?

If we – or some other force – removed these deeply-deeply flawed adults, would the young people reveal themselves to be just as flawed, with the same ghastly predilection for violence and destruction?

These are the questions that plagued me (and there’s a pun in there too, as you’ll see when you read this book). These are some of the themes I explore. This is the reality that Oscar and Cira, united by love and biology, separated by circumstance and geography, must contend with.

This is tomorrow calling. So glad you’re here. Today and tomorrow.

Peter Milligan. Borneo, 2020.

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