“A fast, fun, family-friendly, and frenetic series featuring the challenges of being a Black, super-genius teenager who partners with a bright-red, intelligent T-Rex, fighting crime in the animated Marvel Universe’s Lower East-side Manhattan.”
Made it to the sixth episode and my most hated enemy made his appearance — the Beyonder.
Not going to bore you with my loathing of the most egregious and useless character in the Marvel Universe who is little more than a poorly-dressed, fashioned-challenged, Q-like, god-trope, using superheroes as pawns and making them fight. Worse, he is accused with having caused secret wars in the Marvel Universe which ultimately marked the moment where superheroes stopped fighting villains and instead fight each other…
Yes, I hate the Beyonder.
At least until Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, Episode Six. Then the Beyonder becomes exactly what he should have always been, a cosmic gadfly, part of a cosmic mockumentary keeping track of the feral species across the Marvel Universe.
Garish, rude, ridiculous, fashion-challenged, and completely terrifying, Moon Girl’s Beyonder is exactly as preposterous as the character has always been, but he KNOWS it. In the all-knowing way he has never been depicted as in the comics.
He put me in mind of other cosmic meddlers including Mr. Mxyzptlk, Bat-Mite, the Great Kazoo and recently, Dr. Manhattan all of which have powers beyond the scale of the genre, acting more as a plot device than a character.
Of course, the Beyonder has a song, (as almost every episode of Moon Girl has) a song about whether humanity will… The Beyonder is voiced by Laurence Fishburne who doesn’t have enough to do as one of the executive producers.
Yes, the Beyonder is as insufferable as he has always been, but the comedic timing of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, make him a hysterical aside to what has already been a fun and frenetic adventure series.
The show packs as many Beyonder sight-gags as the runtime will allow. When he gives Devil Dinosaur well developed, bulging normal-sized (not for a T-Rex) arms, and giving Casey her dream multimedia heart-gasm, had me screaming. Devil Dinosaur is my favorite character as the vocalizations and the art showcase a character who has no spoken dialogue yet EXPRESSES himself in every scene.
Stay around for the final scenes of the Beyonder’s song during the credits, featuring the vocal stylings of his backup singers whose chorus includes, the expected narcissistic shout out —“BEYONDER!”
This is a great series, featuring a meaningful relationship between Lunella and Casey, other great characters like Eduardo, brilliant representations of family, and a series of bizarre, yet believable, collection of memorable villains. I am looking forward to another season of this unexpectedly wonderful series.
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.