Beauty

Comic Heroes - - Comics We Rate -

Re­viewed: Is­sues 1-2 Writer: Jeremy Haun and Ja­son A Hur­ley Artist: Jeremy Haun Pub­lisher: Im­age For­mat: On­go­ing

Beauty comes with an ir­re­sistible hook. There’s a new STD. But rather than lead­ing to warts, sores, itch­ing and em­bar­rass­ment, it has a de­sir­able side ef­fect: it makes you gor­geous.

We learn all this from a rather clunky and ex­po­si­tion-heavy open­ing few pages, which lay out the sta­tus quo. Half the world have “the Beauty” and the other half hate their per­fectly formed ar­ses. The story fol­lows a squad of in­ves­ti­ga­tors af­ter a sup­pos­edly Beauty-re­lated bomb­ing has wiped out a sub­way car full of peo­ple. But why is this crime of so much in­ter­est to the haz­mat­suited CDC agents who ap­pear out of nowhere and take over?

Beauty has been in­cu­bat­ing for a few years now, af­ter mak­ing its de­but in Top Cow’s pi­lot sea­son con­test in 2012. It’s an ar­rest­ing idea, even if the ex­e­cu­tion isn’t quite there yet. The cen­tral mys­tery is in­trigu­ing enough with­out need­ing to throw in a slightly com­i­cal rooftop chase straight out of 1940s pulp se­rial.

Jeremy Haun’s art is suit­ably dark and grimy, while John Rauch colours it all in grungey shades of Ma­trix green. It looks good enough, but adds to the slightly dated look and feel.

But it would be wrong to be harsh about Beauty yet. There are good ideas here and the book is still find­ing its feet. Cer­tainly its ap­peal is more than just skin deep. Will Salmon

Metaphor, or just good clean fun? You de­cide.

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