The Beauty #7
Now that the first storyline of The Beauty has concluded, creators Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley have decided to tell some single-issue stories “to explore the wider world” of their premise.
That’s a great idea, since the strongest part of this series is the concept, of a world where a sexually transmitted disease makes you more conventionally attractive, and I’d welcome learning more about how people react. These stories are set before the events of the first arc, before the widespread adoption of the disease, the discovery of its ill effects, and the trauma surrounding the release of the cure.
They’re using guest artists to tell these stories, which I also find a plus. The edgy style of Jeremy Haun on art made for a good read, but one that accidentally countermanded the point of the story, since his people were never that pretty. It’s interesting to see other people work within this world, since based on this installment, they’re trying to be consistent with its style while putting their own spin on the look.
The Beauty #7 is illustrated by Mike Huddleston (The Coffin, The Strain). It’s a very nice touch that an interview with him is included in the back of this issue. It not only introduces him to readers who may not be familiar with his work, but it discusses his approach to working on someone else’s series and what he brought specifically to this issue.
Of course, given my tastes, I’d like to see a “day in the life” issue, covering everyday people with this disease, but I suspect the authors are aiming for more exciting story genres, given how much of the previous arc was a thriller. There’s an awful lot of violence in this issue, gunshots and murders and face-stampings. (Retailer content warning: There’s also full-frontal male nudity.) Timo is a small-time gang criminal who objects to the way his boss, who’s only in place because of his daddy, runs things. So he decides to take drastic action.
(Spoiler paragraph: I am rather curious about what the coloring, by John Rauch, implies. Timo begins as a large guy, Hispanic (I think) with brown skin. After the Beauty, he’s lower weight, which the text deals with, but he’s also much lighter skinned. If I hadn’t seen the character previously, I’d read him as Caucasian. Was that an intentional change? A comment on how our culture values whiteness? Or an indication of how difficult realistic skin tones can be to portray in comics?)
Issue #8 will be drawn by Brett Weldele, who’s previously illustrated another comic exploration of extreme appearance trends in The Surrogates. He also drew the alternate variant cover for this issue. (The publisher provided an advance digital review copy.)