Welcome to the first edition of Better Late Than Never! This is where we review comics old and new-ish (like from within the last month) and share our unique thoughts with you. Sometimes shit happens, and the comics start to pile up on that backburner.
Without further ado, let’s start our review of The Beauty #1 via Image Comics.
Story By: Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley Art By: Jeremy Haun
Published: August 12, 2015
Imagine that the latest sexually transmitted disease (STD) is one that most of the population would actually want to contract. Well, that’s what “beauty” is in Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley‘s fascinating, and refreshing new comic. There aren’t any uncomfortable itches, or unpleasant odors as symptoms of this STD. What it does is melts fat, makes your hair grow (if you were balding), it makes you gorgeous and alluring. Some people get it by accident via unprotected sex, and others go out looking to contract “beauty” for the purpose of becoming beautiful themselves. The side effects, faint cold-like symptoms, are minimal enough that the risk is more than worth it… Or it was until one unfortunate woman with the disease dies in one of the worst ways possible.
Detectives Foster and Vaughn are on the case believing this is another attack by factions in the anti-beauty camp, but what they discover sends them down a rabbit hole of danger and intrigue. Foster and Vaughn not only have to figure out what the hell is going on while dealing with the Centers for Disease Control encroaching on their turf, they have their own issues with “beauty” to attend to. Let’s just say, it’s going to get personal.
Haun does an excellent job of rendering those with the “beauty” STD as super attractive. I could almost visualize what the characters would look like in real life because they looked that realistic. Haun gives the Beauties a sun-kissed, ethereal glow that distinguishes them from the rest of the population, really making them stand out to the reader. They were easily identifiable and distinguishable to me. Haun also drew them in such a way that you could almost feel the self-confidence pouring forth from the Beauties on the page. They were flipping their hair, and carrying themselves in a way that made me resent them as I sat there reading in my pajamas, and missing yet another day at the gym (I’ll get back on track tomorrow, damn it!). They were usually the only bright spots in a gritty, gray city. I also loved how some characters and their faces were shadowed. Keep this in mind for when you read it, folks.
I’ve got to give it to Haun and Hurley, because The Beauty #1 was enthralling. I love a comic that will make me think, and question what I would do in the circumstances presented in the book. It’s also a pretty scathing judgment of our society’s obsession with the perfect body, the perfect hair, the perfect skin… And I don’t want to believe this, but I can’t help it. If an STD like “beauty” came along, I think most of the world’s population would go out and contract it, by any means necessary. And that’s frightening to think about. The ending was not much of a shocker, but I was still pumped for the second issue.
PoC Watch: Unfortunately, there weren’t enough people of color, especially among the designated “Beauties”. This was the only thing that really left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak, but it’s early days yet. Maybe next issue, we’ll see more “beautiful” PoCs.