The Beauty is a story about an STD, yes, a sexually transmitted disease, but this disease is different. This one makes you beautiful, and the only downside is a slight but persistent fever. Sounds great, right? Well, in the pages of The Beauty, it apparently seems that way to roughly half the population of the world, because that's how many people we are told have it.
The Beauty is equal parts crime thriller and police mystery, but 100% enthralling. It had me within the first few pages, and that doesn't exactly happen all the time with a new series. The story moves at a quick pace, spending just a couple of pages setting up the world in which it takes place, then it drops the first shocker two and a half pages in with a visceral half page splash of human spontaneous combustion.
From there we meet our main character(s?), a detective and his stunning partner. His partner, Vaughn, as you probably already guessed from my descriptor, has the disease known as The Beauty. After investigating the combustion case on the subway, and subsequently being removed from the investigation by federal agents, the two know something is amiss. Why would the feds arrive so quickly to the scene of what was supposed to be a homicide? Already we're getting two distinct plots to explore, and we're only ten pages into this series. What do the feds know, and what will Vaughn's role be in relationship to The Beauty?
A hallmark of successful popular fiction is the ability to grab readers/viewers with early intrigue, but to be able to keep them guessing for the duration of the narrative. Only time will tell if The Beauty will be able to achieve the second point, but it's off to a good start with a successful hook. To end the second half of this issue, our detectives end up following a lead to a gentleman's club that caters to people who have The Beauty. Once there, they end up in a gun fight with a suspect in a room above the club. The chase leads them outside, where they eventually end up shooting the suspect, but not before he utters something mysterious about 'saving everyone with The Beauty'.
As our protagonist closes the day with a late night in bed with his wife, he wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, only to discover that he too now has The Beauty.
Very solid first issue. I was immediately engaged and never lost interest. There is enough mystery here to warrant my attention for probably at least a couple of story arcs, if not more. If you can suspend your disbelief (c'mon, this is comics, right?) regarding an STD that makes people beautiful, then you will find much to enjoy about this issue.
Jeremy Haun and Jason Hurley appear to have a great concept and a solid start on their hands here. I didn't really know what to expect coming into this one since I only know Haun as an artist at DC Comics, and I had never heard of Jason Hurley before this, but they definitely delivered a comic book worth your $3.50 here. Incidentally, this book is very easy on the eyes, Haun and colorist John Rauch provide artwork worthy of the book's title.
Check this one out for sure.