The Beauty #1
- Writer: Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley
- Artist: Jeremy Haun
- Published by: Image Comics
- Publish Date: August 12, 2015
- Notes: The first in a monthly series.
“Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could become more and more beautiful every day? What if it was a sexually transmitted disease? In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is attainable. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Foster and Vaughn will soon discover it comes at a terrible price. Writer/artist Jeremy Haun (Constantine, Batwoman) and co-writer Jason A. Hurley offer up a startling reflection on the cost of looking good in this procedural science fiction tale.”
Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):
A great hook I believe, is to give the reader a what-if scenario. What if beauty could be sexually transmitted but with consequences? It’s a thinker for me before I even looked at the book from an earlier advert Image advert. Therefore, I must read.
I wonder what let the creative duo of Haun and Hurley to open this strange future. By that I mean, we have enough to worry about though our multiples of our science fiction dark futures. But through this, I never thought of STDs being a new frontier for horror and mystery. It makes sense, I think.
Right off the first page, we have a compelling delivery on this idea with causes and effects as the world changes. They cover much, and leave a more open for the reader to ponder on the bigger picture. What happens with the less attractive people? Is attractiveness no longer the template for healthiness? How does one explain this to the kids? What could have caused this? How does religion play into this? What are the consequences and how far do they go? So many inquiries..
We get some answers but not all, to a somewhat satiable response. An update and worsening of the situation leads to the involvement of some investigators, of which we must familiarize ourselves with for the story. These of which I wanted a better introduction, to at least learn their names and traits. Otherwise, a very Fringe or X-Files vibe to them. We learn a few details on them but not enough just yet, as the new case they take on demands attention.
Because, there are worse things than becoming beautiful in this world. We learn that throughout this opening issue. There is an odd cruelty at play here, as the victims seem most undeserving. Yet, the story avoids the social commentary affiliated with modern standards of beauty. I enjoy the turn instead, to this mix of horror, science fiction, and drama. It all blends well, with a little grittiness and patches of dark humor in the cracks.
The art aids well for this story, with a lot of dark colors and shadows. The soft gradiants and interrupted surfaces play well with all the sex and death drama. This world is not nice, with a lot of vice and shame throughout. We got a lot of different shades of grey, tan, browns to the environment and accessories. The grit in the visuals is a nice complement, bringing on an almost classic noir tone.
We also have good action sequences, with good pacing through later in the book. This, I feel is a bonus. The story doesn’t get too much into itself, and goes for a nice linear easy plot to follow. The panels are straight and cut with a more traditional appeal to them, something appreciative as the story itself has enough invention. The end of the first issue has a perfect cut-off point, giving us a fresh look at how one may deal with symptoms of the “Beauty.” I look forward to this in the coming issues.
Anyway, I enjoy this first issue and will follow it. If you have not, I suggest you also look into The Beauty.
– Orion T