Beyond Belief #1 Review

Posted April 21, 2015 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Ben Blacker & Ben Acker

Art by: Phil Hester

Publisher: Image

It’s been a while since I’ve written a review, so I’m going to apologize in advance for my atrocious writing. Speaking of atrocious writing…. actually no, that’s a horrific (and also inaccurate) segue. Speaking of apologies, you won’t need one from Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, the creative minds behind the stellar Beyond Belief. THAT’S how a segue is done. Anyways, if you’re wondering why my writing is somewhat quirky, it’s because Beyond Belief #1 made me want to be at least slightly comedic, and maybe even a bit off the wall.

If I were to sum up Beyond Belief in one word, that word would be quirky. And I know that that’s been the narrative about a lot of Image books – it’s quirky, it’s new, it’s off the wall. All of those descriptors can just as easily be applied to this book – although there’s something different about this. It’s not random for the sake of being random, and it’s not trippy for the sake of grabbing reader’s attention and just not going anywhere from that point. No, the dialogue in this book is smart, off the wall humor, and it’s great.

For those of you who don’t know what the book is about (don’t feel bad, I didn’t either), it’s kind of a more mature Ghostbusters. Now, that’s the closest connection I could think of, but that doesn’t mean that this is a rehash of that film, hence, the emphasis on “kind of.” The book follows Sadie and Frank Doyle, a married duo of supernatural… detectives (?) I guess. I’m not actually sure how one would label their profession. Regardless, they deal with haunted houses – de-haunting them, so to speak. As such, you could kind of classify this book as horror – there are many horror tropes present, ie creepy dolls, ghosts, and shades.

That being said, the book is not meant to be scary, and this issue is essentially Frank and Sadie’s whacky adventures through a Haunted House. The plot is fairly superficial – one of their friends moves to a haunted house, calls them up, and they come deal with it. It’s a testament, then, to how well the characters are written that this book manages to remain engaging throughout. That’s not to say that there’s a character arc, per se – but the characters are still interesting, and I actually do care about them.

All in all, I can’t not recommend this début issue of Beyond Belief. The book is a great package, and will definitely offer a good bit of entertainment. The art is a joy to look at, and the comedic writing is stellar. The $3.50 price tag is a bit higher than the average Image book – but this is a longer issue as well, so that price is at least justified by the additional content.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.