Sunday, March 27, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: The Beauty (Volume 1)

Title: The Beauty: Volume 1
Author(s): Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley
Illustrator: Jeremy Haun
Publisher: Image
Pages: Trade Paperback; 164
Recommended Age Group: 18+ (Nudity, Violence)
Release Date: March 16, 2016
Source: Netgalley / Publisher

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 only one sexual encounter away. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Vaughn and Foster will soon discover it comes at a terrible cost. Now, they'll have to find their way past corrupt poiticians, vengeful federal agents, and a terrifying mercenary out to collect the price on their heads. Collects the first six issues of the critically acclaimed, Pilot Season winning series by writer/artist JEREMY HAUN (Constantine, Batwoman) and co-writer JASON A. HURLEY.

Bravo, sirs. Really though, kudos. I never thought that I'd be able to say that I was intrigued by an STD, but Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley have accomplished that for me. When we think of STDs, we think of them as things we don't want to contract. They are uncomfortable, embarrassing, and often terrifying in the way that they manifest themselves. In the world of The Beauty, that's all changed. What if you could contract and STD that would make you flawless? Perfect skin, perfect hair, no known side effects. If Haun and Hurley are right, that would spread like wildfire.

Oh, this was so good. The first volume of The Beauty does an amazing job of pulling you right into the middle of the story, but leaving a few loose ends dangling out there to keep you reading. I found myself caught up in a mystery. Remember when I said that this disease had "no known side-effects"? Well, they make themselves known fairly soon after you start reading this story, and they aren't pretty. While I could have used a little more background on our main characters, I liked them so much that it didn't make a difference after a few pages. I have a feeling more we'll get to know them better very, very soon.

This entire storyline is honestly brilliant though. It spotlights our obsession with fads, with beauty, and with being part of the masses. On the flip side, it also spotlights the terrible things that go on behind the scenes. Like big business having the opportunity to help people, and withholding it for profit. We all suspect that goes on, but Haun actually shows it close up. He takes these normal people, who never even wanted the "gift" they were given, and their struggle to just lead semi-normal lives. Add in an art style that is gorgeous, and an absolutely perfect addition to this story, and you have a series that I'm firmly in love with.

I'm glad I waited for the first trade paperback to come out. I don't know if my heart would have survived single issues. I can tell you right now though, I'm in for the duration of The Beauty. It has hooked me, and I'm completely okay with that.

Want to read it?

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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