The new Tom Cruise / Emily Blunt movie Edge of Tomorrow opens today. It’s a science fiction take on future soldiers in which Cruise’s character keeps dying and coming back to refight battles with what he’s learned previously.
Although the title sounds like an old soap opera, the concept is intriguing. It’s Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day. The movie is based on a novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka translated and published by Haikasoru, Viz Media’s prose imprint, in 2009 originally under the title All You Need Is Kill.
That’s the name under which Viz has released a graphic novel adaptation of the novel (an excerpt of which was given away on Free Comic Book Day this year). All You Need Is Kill is not a manga — it’s comic book-sized, although slightly thicker, at 96 pages with a square spine. The comic was adapted by Nick Mamatas and drawn by Lee Ferguson.
It’s slight, as you might guess from the page count, and predictable. The best thing I can say about it is that it made me want to see the movie, because I felt as though the characters which are so flat here would gain needed dimensionality from the actors. Perhaps the short length accounts for the rushed storytelling and abbreviated events. However, that doesn’t explain why the art is stiff and slightly off when it comes to anatomy; it also lacks backgrounds and context in many places. There’s no sense of storytelling flow, just panels thrown one after the other. All the character voices sound the same.
My favorite part of the book is a Bechdel test joke that doesn’t fit in the story at all. The movie plot has reportedly been changed somewhat from the novel, which doesn’t bother me, since I can see several ways in which things could be tweaked or improved. I recommend that those interested in a comic version of the movie skip this cash-in and wait for the upcoming manga. It will be available digitally June 19 (at $6.99), the same day it debuts in Japan. The two-volume series is drawn by Takeshi Obata, who also illustrated Death Note, Hikaru no Go, and Bakuman.
The omnibus print version (collecting both books at $14.99) is due out in November (by which point we’ll probably have the DVD). Until then, here’s the film trailer.
If you see the movie this weekend, I’d love to know what you think of it.