Written by Ron Marz and Drawn by Edison George
Published by
Virgin Comics

Michael is your typical self-obsessed, money-obsessed yuppie prick. Against his wishes, he’s traveled across the world to India on vacation with his wife and son, offering him only the barest bones of being able to do wok while he’s there: setting up outsourcing for his company. But his life is about to take a drastic turn: during a shopping venture, his wife disappears in the briefest of seconds while his son’s attention is diverted elsewhere. Ignored by the local police, it only gets worse; he imagines her voice behind a wall , he drinks too much… and his son receives a special comic book that just might be magically telling them just enough to lead them into danger.

BEYOND takes a very familiar premise and does its best to run with it and jazz it up, with mixed results. Certainly, it’s executed well- Ron Marz is a veteran scribe and knows how to make good comics, And Edison George tackles the India locales with grace and style, giving the book a flavor that only Virgin’s output manages to pull off. The plot is structurally strong, and you never have any question about how much of a jackass Michael is before it all goes south. The character setups are perfectly in place.

But on the flip side, you don’t get a whole lot here. As the book tries to overcome its very well-worn premise, not much here leads you away from that familiar feeling, excepting the trappings. And we don’t get a large enough chunk of the story to grant any reassurance that Marz is eventually going to take us very far off the beaten path. The prologue suggests it, but the flashback construction of the rest of the comic leaves it open for question.

So ultimately, I’d say there’s enough here to give it one more issue and see if it makes enough progress to pay off for the reader. Developing…

Marc Mason