Friday, 16 December 2016

The Beauty, Volume 2 Review (Jeremy Haun, Jason Hurley)


If you thought the second volume of The Beauty would follow on from the first, think again - this is an entirely new cast of characters and storyline! In Volume 2 we meet a gangster who rips off his employers and uses The Beauty to completely change his appearance to escape. We’re also introduced to a trans hitman who becomes a target for her bosses after being set up. 

In the first volume we discovered that The Beauty was an STD that made anyone who had it extremely physically attractive - for a short time that is before burning them up from the inside-out! Here it’s like a street drug? Huh. 

The Beauty’s uses are explored further in this book as an effective way of changing your identity if you’re on the run as well as enhancing trans people’s appearances so that they look more physically like the gender they’ve transitioned to. It imaginatively shows the extent to which the world of this comic has been affected by this disease, which seems to have some positive aspects to it - though this is before people realised The Beauty caused internal combustion! 

The stories though are fairly generic. Gangsters/hitmen being double-crossed, fighting to survive against their former employers, no honour among thieves, etc. and the forbidden love angle too have all been done to death. Jeremy Haun and Jason Hurley’s treatment of it is competent but unremarkable. Brett Weldele’s art is really ugly and he illustrates most of the book - the colouring is grotty and it looks like it was drawn on grease paper! 

The Beauty, Volume 2 is a decent but broadly familiar crime comic that only slightly stands out because of the weird disease angle. The art is unappealing though the story is quite well written so that even if it’s not that impressive or generally original, it’s not terrible or boring either. The Beauty continues to be a so-so title that feels like it’s again falling short of realising its potential.

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