Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beyond! Review

Beyond!
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
$14.99 (2008)
$19.99 (2007) Hardcover
ISBN 9780785120131

Contributors: Dwayne McDuffie, Scott Kolins, and Paul Mounts

Reprints: Beyond! #1-6 (of 6)

Synopsis: A group of heroes/villains are abducted from New York on a space transport to Battleworld - the planet used by the Beyonder to test and observe superheroes.  The group includes Spider-Man, Venom, Kraven II, The Hood, The Wasp, Hank Pym, Medusa of the Inhumans, Gravity, and Firebird.  They are told "Kill your enemies and you can have your heart's desire!"

After a rough crash-landing on the planet they meet Michael Collins, the original Deathlok.  He has been witness to countless groups brought to the planet with no survivors after each battle.  Something isn't right on Battleworld and the group of heroes/villains must uncover the mystery despite their vast differences in character.  Not everyone will get home alive!

Pros: Story has lots of twists and deceptions to uncover, Kolins art is unique and somewhat interesting, ending is pretty wild

Cons: Story gets a bit convoluted, Kolins art style may not be for everyone, mostly D-list characters - watered down version of Secret Wars

Mike Tells It Straight: This book is only superficially related to the epic Secret Wars storylines from the 1980s.  Whereas the original tale had A-list characters battling it out - this story is filled with a mediocre cast and Spider-Man.  Readers need to know some history on the characters in order to get the story completely, for instance: the Venom symbiote is now attached to the Scorpion, Firebird and Hank Pym have some romantic feelings which is awkward since The Wasp is his ex-wife, et cetera.

Gravity had a major role and his story progresses from the events of this series when McDuffie writes The New Fantastic Four.  If you know and like the characters the story isn't half bad, but overall it doesn't get a high recommendation.

TO BUY and Recommendations: