REVIEW: The Beauty #1

Story By: Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley
Art By: Jeremy Haun
Publisher: Image Comics
Published: August 12, 2015

“The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long”, Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching

This quote could be quite readily used for this new series from Image Comics.  The world is suffering another epidemic.  This one seems to be popular , at least at first.  This time around, people are contracting Beauty, a sexually transmitted disease that removes the infected persons imperfections.  Symptoms include, racial weight loss, muscle gain, blemish removal, hair regrowth and possibly spontaneous internal combustion.  The evidence of the latter is somewhat circumstantial, admittedly, but that’s the case that detectives’ Foster and DaSilva need to solve and solve quick.

Written by Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley, the book deals with the same sort of fallacy as films such as In Time and to a lesser extent, Surrogates,beauties wrapped in a police procedural drama.  The set-up is handled remarkably quickly, with introductions to character cut short by the events in the panels.  The script, whilst not the most original, certainly rings true enough to meet the expectations of the dialogue required to make this sort of book work. Along with that, there is the moral implication of those trying to catch the disease for its obvious benefits and the impact that this has on the non-infected.  If you weren’t infected would you want to be intimate with someone who is?  If you were infected, why would you want to sleep with someone who wasn’t, potentially lowering your standards on the belief that once contracted, your partner would become the man or woman or your dreams?

Jeremy Haun is also the artist on the book and a good job he does. The world that is shown is clearly our world as it is now, giving the book a lived in feel.  The panels help pace the story, with smaller panels helping to indicate the tenseness of the situations. If you are looking for big splash panels, be warned, there are only three, but the impact they have is emphasised by theirs sparse use. Colors are provided by John Rauch whose work only adds to the overall feel of the book.

I really enjoyed the book, with social connotations abound, a mystery and good script that is entertaining, this is a beauty of a book!

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