Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Beyond" #1 Review

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"Beyond" #1 from Graphic India

    Michael is a high-powered American visiting India. He's the stereotypical American capitalist, trying to cut any corners and slide under any laws he can, and he is a workaholic who spends much more time with his cell phone than he does with his beautiful wife and his angsty teen son. But his entire world - his entire universe - is about to be turned upside down. When his wife is seemingly abducted from a shop, he and his son will have to unite to embark on a perilous journey to find out what happened to the woman they both love most in all the world. After someone leaves a mysterious, mystical comic book for his son to find, a comic that seems to tell a story that mirrors their own, Michael has a dream about an enigmatic woman who leads him to a hidden door, behind which, somewhere, his wife awaits his help. Michael knows he must find the otherworldly door, enter, and face all the dangers that lie beyond if he ever hopes to see his wife again. But...Can he survive the power of what lies beyond the door?

    Prolific New Age author, Deepak Chopra, and his partner-in-scribe (get it?), Ron Marz, pen this mystery/supernatural/action mash-up, "Beyond." I do enjoy some of Chopra's works, including his comics - he has written quite a few with the aid of other writers that have been quite fresh and fascinating, all under two companies: Virgin Comics, Chopra's own company that he co-founded with his son, Gotham Chopra, and Sharad Devarajan, and now he publishes under Devarajan's and his son's latest company, Graphic India. I enjoy Graphic India's comics because, usually, they present stories and mythologies very different than what I am used to, which I find to be pretty cool. In "Beyond," it seems that Chopra has gone for a transcendental take on the hit film series, "Taken," only it is his wife that goes missing, and the abductors are more than likely of the supernatural variety. Well, does Michael have a "particular set of skills?" Sadly, I don't think so, other than being a bit of a snob, a bit of a jerk, and just a tiny bit crooked; however, since this is a Deepak Chopra story, I'm betting he is about to embark on a journey that will be quite a spiritual awakening, one that will expand Michael's consciousness in ways he never imagined. One clue is the comic book that Michael's son finds called "The Rishi." The Rishis were divine humans (in early Hindu mythology) considered to be seers. Maybe that is what Michael is on his way to becoming. It's really all quite interesting - the story itself is the star of the show. The protagonist and other characters aren't really quite that compelling on their own, but the story is written with such style and mystery that I'd love to see where it is going. Edison George's art is quite lovely and detailed, and it pops because of Parasuraman A.'s saturated and weirdly reflective colors.

  Now on to a HUGE negative: This book is a reprint (published originally in 2008), and it should have been advertised as such. It looks like Graphic India is republishing some of its old Virgin Comics stuff, and that is fine, as long as it is clearly stated in the solicitations that it is in effect a reprinting. I feel a bit cheated...Duped, really - $3.99 is steep for a reprint of a comic that is 9 years old.

  Reprint or not, this is an interesting book; however, I think I'll find the original copies much cheaper on ebay.

RATING: 7.5 out of 10.

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