Beyonders #1 - AfterShock Comics
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by Wesley St. Claire
Letters by Marshall Dillon
Usually when you hear "it's all connected", when it comes to nerd culture, your mind probably goes immediately to the Marvel MCU. That is a calculated connection, but what if there was a series of seemingly unrelated events that all pointed to something? Call it a conspiracy theory, call it a wild guess, but there is a story that is trying to connect the dots inside of it's own story. Let's find out what's going on in Beyonders #1 from AfterShock Comics.
The story follows a young man named Jacob Tate, who really is obsessed with a series of different event that he thinks points to one very big discovery. Outside of that, his life is pretty ordinary and, quite frankly, pretty boring. Unfortunately for Jacob, his obsession has pretty much taken over his entire life, at the expense of some pretty important things. As he goes about a normal day with his family, another seemingly random event turns out to completely change his life. With his trusty dog by his side, his world gets completely upside down in a very abrupt manner and he gets a pretty good reality check. Without really spoiling what happens, another random encounter turns out to not be so random and that's where the first issue ends.
While I understand what this book was trying to do, I'm not sure it quite grabbed me. There was a lot of back story about what Jacob believes, and why he believes it, but you either get hooked by it or you don't. Hearing and seeing what is going on inside of Jacob's head was entertaining, the way it was written, but the foundation itself is what I wasn't really sold on. One neat thing that the book does is there are clues throughout the book to a real mystery, created by Jenkins and St. Claire, that readers can solve and get actual prizes. The clues aren't really hard to find, but it does add a bit of fun. I could make the argument that wanting to solve that mystery actually trumped my interest in the story itself. I found myself wondering how these random letters and symbols went together more than what was going on inside the story itself. Sadly, while the story isn't a carbon copy of any others, there are some very familiar beats to me from various stories and I just didn't feel like anything or anyone stood out. The art certainly had it's moments here and there, but again didn't really blow me away. I feel like this story really could have capitalized on a Dirk Gently type vibe, but didn't really come close to what I love about those books. For me, this is one that just doesn't measure up to similar stories around it.