What if physical perfection was just one sexual encounter away? In Jeremy Haun’s The Beauty, a sexually transmitted disease, known as “The Beauty,” transforms individuals into gorgeous versions of themselves. While viewpoints on this condition polarize society, generally “The Beauty” is looked upon favorably, and “victims” are more likely to be envied than pitied. However, when a woman internally combusts on the subway, the implications of “The Beauty” become sinister. As Beauty Task Force Detectives, Vaughn and Foster, rush to solve the case and save those infected, they come up against forces greater than themselves.
Given our image-conscious society, the concept behind The Beauty is a intriguing one that the story delivers on. The story unfolds at a measured pace, with careful attention spent on developing the setting and situation. Different groups’ perceptions and ethical questions are skillfully woven into the action, and the balance of action scenes and introspection results in an engaging adventure that leaves the reader ready for the next storyline. Artist Jeremy Haun employs a realistic style that portrays a world not that much different from our own, but it’s John Rauch’s coloring jobs that really brings the world to life. Infected characters have a brighter palette and a more airbrushed look while background and non-infected characters have a dimmer color palette and a less polished appearance. This contrast is a good way to demonstrate the effect of “The Beauty” without bogging down the story.
Fans of speculative fiction and horror will want to give this one a try. Because of some nudity and grisly scenes, The Beauty is most appropriate for adult graphic novel collections.
The Beauty, vol. 1
by Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley
Art by Jeremy Haun
Image Comics, 2016