The Beauty, Vol. 1

Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley, and John Rauch. Image, $9.99 trade paper (164p) ISBN 978-1-63215-550-4
In the opening pages of this graphic novel, a gorgeous woman sits on a subway, starts coughing, and explodes. It's a stunning introduction to an STD that turns average-looking joes and josephines into supermodel knockouts, though not without consequences. But while artist and writer Haun (Batwoman), and cowriter Hurley flirt with the possibility that their series will take a satirical and incisive look at the value and cost of physical attraction, they eschew those concepts for a boring, by-the-numbers police thriller. As afflicted beauties start popping all over the place, in comes a cast so stock it feels preassembled from a box. There are two authority-flouting cops, a shady corporation, a corrupt politician, an assassin, and a group of anti-Beauty activists. Haun's clear but tedious art, which cycles between close-ups and staid shots of people standing around talking, only emphasizes the series' problems. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
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