Imagine a world in which people actively try to catch a sexually transmitted disease. That is the world in which The Beauty exists – a disease that sheds excess weight, clears up skin, makes hair healthier, and turns people into gorgeous versions of their previous selves.
Two years after its first infection, more than half the people in America now have The Beauty, and anti-Beauty terrorists groups have formed. When Beauty related deaths start piling up, detectives on the Beauty Task Force, Vaughn and Foster, investigate the terrorist cells, but find things are more complicated than that. In the first six issues which make up the first volume, the two uncover a government conspiracy and barely stay one step ahead of the psychotic serial killer, Calaveras, sent after them.
One of the things that sets Image Comics apart from the rest is their willingness to publish some of the most compelling (and often disturbing) stories out there. The Beauty is no exception. It reads like a mix of psychological thriller and horror, with slick dialogue and truly frightening panels – and managed to have a few truly laugh-out-loud moments.
Kudos to Jeremy Haun and Jason Hurley for creating a woman lead, Vaughn, who is smart, brave, and kicks all kinds of ass. And her platonic relationship with her partner Foster, who, in another refreshing change has all of the relationship romantic drama, is one of the series’ highlights.
The volume ends as though this is just a limited series, but I hope that isn’t the case. With government and pharmaceutical conspiracies, and the unexplored consequences of the heroes’ solution, there’s still a lot of story to explore.
The Beauty, Vol. 1