The Beauty by Jeremy Haun and Jason A Hurley
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|The Beauty by Jeremy Haun and Jason A Hurley|
|Category: Graphic Novels|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A book that's going to be noted for its visuals, and intelligent mix of outrageous drama and human character, for quite some time to come.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 164||Date: March 2016|
|Publisher: Image Comics|
|External links: Author's website|
Don't we all just want that one little fillup to our looks – that tuck there, those pounds or wrinkles vanished, that little tweak to make us more sexually attractive and virile? Well, if you catch The Beauty, you will indubitably end up, in what colloquial language has it, fit. But The Beauty is not to be caught as in a passing fad or itinerant beautician, but as a sexual disease. And it's hit half the population – most of those willingly. You feel feverish with it, but it's taken off big time, and Big Pharma is happy with the situation. Some violent anti-Beauty activists aren't, so special police units exist regarding it, but they, the Powers That Be, and the underground scientists working against the disease are only going to be swamped when The Beauty shows its true face…
There is a heck of a lot to like about this graphic novel. To begin with, the scenario. Yes it fails to see how in the real world beauty is subjective, and that fit definition would never work for all, however blemish-free and juvenile we all started to look. But it takes that simple 'what if' and just goes so much further. We actually get a clever story, cleverly told, in a rich world – there are strong homosexual characters done successfully, which is still disarmingly rare in comics; there are incredibly dark anti-Beauty characters who turn these pages into horror scenes with ease; there is a nous about the narrative that can drop in characters' names then work round to including them, rather than spoon-feed us.
There's also ambiguity here and there, not least how and why the male cop we concentrate on catches The Beauty himself. The presence of police workers, their superiors, and This Side against That Side – added to some blood-and-thunder action scenes – would imply this is a genre comic, but I would attest the telling is readable by any fan of high drama. It's all conveyed in a befitting and becoming air-brushed way, suitably cleansing out a palette of strong colours so that everything looks appropriately nice. I do think a couple of scenes, that border on the info-dump, can look a little static on the stage – the images of the cops learning this or that can't quite achieve the acquired drama. But that's the nearest I can come to a caveat. It's incredibly free with introducing mysterious characters, and killing established ones, so I have no idea if there is an intention to provide more in this line. But for now what we have is something that certainly looks good, and would, hem hem, fit just right on your shelves.
Junction True by Ray Fawkes and Vince Locke offers a very different graphic novel's very different look at a very different interpretation of finding beauty.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Beauty by Jeremy Haun and Jason A Hurley at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Beauty by Jeremy Haun and Jason A Hurley at Amazon.com.
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