That magical question is at the heart of many a great story, expanding our imaginations and often helping us examine ourselves as well as the world around us.
The most recent example of this is Image Comics’ The Beauty, which wonders: 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 attainable.
Previously in THE BEAUTY: “The Beauty has transformed average people into beautiful people. But is it killing them, too? Detectives Vaughn and Foster are close to learning the truth, and that puts them directly in harm’s way. Sometimes the truth isn’t pretty.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOKING GOOD
I’m often amused and entertained by what we go through to appear attractive to others. We spend a lot on clothes, hair stylists, manicurists, dentists, etc., all to enhance our appearance. It takes a lot of time and money, and we sometimes wonder if it’s worth it.
Well, this book looks at an STD called The Beauty that actually alters a person’s physical appearance so they are more attractive to others. This just makes such sense to me since we’re often drawn to others based on how they look, so the disease is doing the perfect thing to pass itself along.
Of course, some are more interested in looking good than others, including a newscaster who literally explodes on the air. THAT was certainly unexpected, and what was a positive life-altering experience now could threaten the person carrying The Beauty.
There’s also things going on behind the scenes, and that keeps the newly formed Beauty Task Force busy. Just who is doing what to who makes for engaging reading. I love the “fancy spray can” that grabs their attention!
This concept reminds me of a great comic I read a while back called Rest. It examined the notion that we could accomplish so much more in our lives if we didn’t need to sleep. Since that book came out, I’ve seen that idea taken to the big screen and TV. I still think about it when I realize how much of my life I spend asleep.
I really enjoy Jeremy Haun’s work, which has included Bad Karma, Berserker, Batwoman, Wolf Moon, Dino Day and Constantine. According to information presented in the letter’s column of this issue, the concept for The Beauty has been around for a while, and it’s now getting to print.
His scripting with Jason Hurley for this book is strong, with things happening at a rapid pace. When there’s a need for exposition, it’s concise and quick. There are also great surprises along the way, so it’s a very fast read, the kind I love!
PERFECT ART FOR THE STORY
Haun and John Rauch’s colors match the tone of the book, with subtle tones even when the on-air personality explodes.
What’s particularly important is how carriers of The Beauty are portrayed, and their look is smoother, showing only the details necessary to convey the notion of “handsome” or “beautiful.” The art displays this extremely well, and yet gives us the feeling of some level of ugliness also there. Well done!
BOTTOM LINE: A Powerful, Thoughtful Series
I’m fully locked into this series, anxious to know how things will progress from issue to issue. It makes me think about beauty and its importance while making me care about the people we’re following.
I was also entertained by Jeremy’s website, where they have a promotion/hashtag they would like fans of the book to use. Here’s how he describes what to do: “The idea is to take a shot of yourself (please do a square format) with the hashtag #beautyfree using a mememaker app (we’ve been using mematic), then post it on the social media outlet(s) of your choosing. Do it how you want. Color. Black and white. In the morning when you wake up. Later in the day when you’re feeling human. With makeup or without. It doesn’t really matter. It’s more a statement that we’re all Beauty free, and that’s absolutely okay.” You can see Mr. Hahn’s example to the right. I love the double meaning of all this, both free of the STD but also not necessarily beautiful. Fun!
There are also fascinating memes there, including ones that say, “Leave a good-looking corpse,” “Tell yourself it’s only a cough,” “Drop dead beautiful,” and “It’s an STD that makes you beautiful.” Maybe it’s just me, but these all made me smile and feel a little repulsed at the same time, which I think is the point.
I highly recommend this title, which looks great and actually makes the reader think! What a concept!
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