One of the most interesting aspects of the NYCC preview was the small preview copy of Before Tomorrowland that we received. As you may recall, we found an excerpt of the book, and some early art shared by Johnathan Case, the book's artist.

The NYCC preview copy picks up at Chapter 10, with three characters; Lee - a young boy who's about 17, his science-fiction loving mother Clara, and a cyborg called Henry. Henry wants to destroy Plus Ultra - the same secret society explored in The Optimist, the 1952 Box footage, and mysterious references on Wikipedia.

There's spoilers ahead for the chapters that we've gotten the preview for.

The preview starts with Lee and his mother visiting New York in 1939. He somehow discovers a comic book that explains the origins of Plus Ultra. Inside this comic book, is a pair of glasses. The comic book explains to put them on while reading the comic. While this does nothing for Lee, once Clara puts them on - she sees fantastic visions of things around her - and a voice. The voice of Orson Wells telling her about "the world according to Plus Ultra!" Her and her son go on an amazing journey of the city, with the glasses telling them all about the wonders of the future, and what Plus Ultra can do for our society.

Clara sees the future as envisioned by Plus Ultra by wearing special glasses found with a comic book. Picture from the preview copy, and © Disney.
At the same time, we have a story of various Plus Ultra dignities working on their next plan. Chapter 11 starts with Amelia Earhart's plane and the USS Faraday (a Plus Ultra ship) being attacked. Earhart discusses the attack with Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard (who invented the Atomic Bomb for Plus Ultra as an energy source) - who determine that Henry is to blame for the attacks. We then find out that Dr. Werner Rotwang ended up leaving Plus Ultra to join the Third Reich, the Nazis, with some of this advanced tech.

However, this ends up thwarting Plus Ultra's plan to do a big public reveal of their technology on July 4th, Einstein didn't want the atom bomb to be used as a weapon, and wanted to get "the father of Plus Ultra" involved - Tesla. Einstein  hands a EMP (electromagnetic pulse) gun to Earhart, who discovers that Henry is in Manhattan.

This is where our two stories intertwine. The glasses offer Lee and Clara a chance to see more if they want to, they need to go to the New Yorker hotel, and ask to speak to a bellhop. The bellhop greets them, and then takes them up to room 3227 (this is the room where Tesla lived out the last years of his life), and they are joined by Henry who leads them on the rest of the tour. Henry questions why Plus Ultra would revel their secrets on the eve of war with Germany. On the inside of the room, there's a magnificent display of Plus Ultra's leaders, and fantastic technology they are going to bring to society. Henry is disapointed that this isn't the base of operations like he expected, but is basically a copy of the 'World of Tomorrow' exhibit (from the 1939 World's Fair?).

The New Yorker hotel - home of the secret Plus Ultra display of future technology, in Nikola Tesla's room - 3227.

Rotwang follows his creation, HS1 (Henry) into the hotel. Suddenly, Nazis bust into the secret Plus Ultra exhibit and attempt to capture Henry, and Rotwang realizes that Henry was going to use Clara and Lee to execute his plan to attempt to infiltrate Plus Ultra. After a struggle over the now-disabled weapons, Rotwang pleas with Henry (and talks about creating, losing, and then finding him) - but it doesn't work. Rotwang realizes that his creations' body is perfect for his own use - Rotwang could live forever.

Earhart breaks into the door, and Lee and Clara nearly escape through the fire exit, nearly being killed by the battle. We don't know if Earhart successfully disabled Henry, or if Rotwang escaped with his body.

What a story! While just a preview of what we can expect from the world of Tomorrowland, there are aspects of this story that we already know line-up with aspects of our experiences and the film:

Rotwang's obsession with using Henry's body to host his mind - Based on information that we got from The Optimist, Plus Ultra developed technology that prevents people from aging. Could be it just be that there brains were loaded into cyborgs - like Rotwang's intended goal here.

The future only being shown to optimistic people - The glasses seem like an early concept of the pin seen in the trailer. Clara, who was a science fiction lover, can see the objects through the glasses no problem. However, Lee doesn't see anything. Clearly only optimistic types can see the promise of Plus Ultra.

A game-like discovery of Plus Ultra - In the same way that we were awestruck by The Optimist, and finding clues - Lee and Clara have the same reaction upon their New Yorker adventure. Clara even goes so far as calling it "a game", thinking that Henry is an actor (not unlike our Wallace character).

Puzzles in the comic - Maybe that final comic in Before Tomorrowland will contain the puzzle that gives us "greater engagement with Plus Ultra" as was promised to readers?

The final copy of Before Tomorrowland hits store shelves on April 7, 2015, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Don't forget!
We're just a little over a week until A sneak peek at Tomorrowland at Destination D! We'll be livetweeting the panel (Sunday 11/23 - In the afternoon EST) from @TheTomorrowTime!


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