Review: THE BEAUTY #1

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THE BEAUTY #1
Written by Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley
Art by Jeremy Haun, John Rauch
Published by Image
Release Date: August 12, 2015

Oh, beauty. How you have forsaken thee. If you’ve ever thought “Well, what would happen in a densely populated city if beauty was somehow an STD and spread like wildfire?” then The Beauty  #1 by Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley holds the answers to all your questions. Oh, you never thought that to yourself? No worries…after you read this first issue (which you should, and I’m going to tell you why), you’re probably never going to stop wondering about that.

The Beauty #1 follows a special sector of law enforcement dealing with The Beauty-related crimes. A couple of years ago, beauty was discovered as a new STD, and soon half of the city was victimized by it. However, as the task force and the CDC discover, The Beauty is starting to make good on the “drop dead” part of drop dead gorgeous. With such a large percentage of the population affected, including members of the task force itself, this first issue tracks how quickly this disease can move, and just how sinister its implications may be.

If The Beauty #1 does anything for you, it certainly makes you think. Old adages start zipping around your head about beauty being on the inside or only skin deep. But, as Haun and Hurley make perfectly clear with their opening issue, everything you thought about beauty is about to be turned on its pretty little head. The writing in this book is smooth enough, and the flowing dialogue is its strong point. It tells the story well and keeps the plot moving forward. Where it stumbles, however, is in the opening narration. I think this introduction suffered a little bit from too much telling and a little bit less of letting the story unfold naturally. However, as a winning contest submission, this book was intended to be written as a done-in-one with the possibility of continuing, so some of the pacing might be off due to that.

While the plot was interesting and original, if not somewhat predictable, the story was fascinating overall. What really stood out, however, was the art. Haun captured some incredibly frightening moments, and the mood throughout this book was solidly and solemnly depicted. I particularly loved the way Haun used shadows to create mystery and juxtapose characters during important moments. The coloring in this book is realistic and beautiful, and I’m always a fan when artists can make objects actually glow with strong coloring technique, like Rauch manages with a cellphone screen in one panel and gunfire in another. This is truly a wonderful art team.

The Beauty #1 is worth a read if you’re looking for something original and haunting. Image continues to churn out quality content with ambitious creativity, and I’m always happy to go along for the ride. Though there are a whole host of #1’s out this week, don’t let this one slip you by. Between its intriguing concept and brilliant artwork, The Beauty doesn’t disappoint. Read The Beauty #1, but don’t forget your protection.

The Verdict: 9.0/10

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