Journalists

November 22, 2011

Image Reviews: Tales From Beyond Science HC

Tales From Beyond Science HC
Publisher: Image
Writers: Mark Millar, Alan McKenzie, John Smith
Artist: Rian Hughes

So, did anyone out there know that Marilyn Monroe had six toes on her right foot? Or that there is a trick used by escape artists called the Big-Bang Double-Donkey Express? Me neither, but I have now been educated by Tales From Beyond Science! This eccentric book of eight sci-fi based tales is coming to shelves this December from Image Comics. The most notable writer is Mark Millar, but also included are Alan McKenzie and John Smith. All the artwork (including the cover) is done by Rian Hughes. All the stories are narrated by a character named Professor Hilary Tremayne.

The first story that’s entitled “Men in Red” is a story about an ex-military man that learned some secrets while working at the Pentagon. These secrets are not known for good reason. A reason that Colonel Winks will find out about, the hard way!

The next story, “The Music Man,” follows a struggling street musician that can’t seem to catch a break in the beginning. Later, he discovers that not only is he a good singer/musician, but that he also is an icon that people will follow great distances to watch!

Thirdly, we have “Long Distance Calls.” This tale revolves around the creation of the radio and its inventor, Marconi. He actually wants to create something more macabre, though – a phone that one can use to speak to the dead, of course!

The fourth installment brings us “Agents of Mu-Mu.” In this fascinating story, we see the explorer Magellan as he circles the globe with his trusted mates. Magellan is about to find out, though, that you don’t mess around in areas of the world that you don’t know your way around in!

Four more macabre/sci-fi tales follow of the same nature, but they are all really cool and edgy. My personal favorite is probably “The Secret Month Under the Stairs.” In this creepy tale, an old guy tells his grandson about the contents of a dark jar. In it, the grandfather says, is an unholy curse that brings a month between December and January that wreaks all sorts of havoc with people. Deadly havoc! Really neat story, and I loved the artwork in that one.

 

All in all, this book isn’t going to be for everybody, but sci-fi, horror, and just plain weirdos like me will love it. I almost would compare it to House of Mystery (as far as the strange concepts that actually work). It’s definitely a quick 90 page read, but don’t sleep on this book, it’s an interesting read from cover to cover. Also, in between the stories are vintage ads that you would have seen in golden age books. Really funny stuff that had me laughing quite a bit.

The artwork was consistent throughout (obviously) by Rian Hughes. He did a great job with some of these insane ideas, and I can’t think of how he or anyone else could have done better. It was a tough assignment to try and get all these characters, creatures, settings, instruments, animals, etc., right on, but he did it. So kudos to him! This book will come out in the middle of December, so if there is anybody on your good list, pick this one up for the great price of $16.99 (HC)! Rating 3.5/5

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

 

 

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