The Beauty 1

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Are There Lesbians? Yes

What Happens?
There’s a new STI going around, but unlike the others this is one that everyone wants. Referred to as “The Beauty” those who contract it become well… beautiful. They appear younger and slimmer, even heal quicker. The only downside? A slight fever.  Oh and apparently after a while you self-combust. This last is not exactly public knowledge and with a major pharmaceutical company holding back the cure through whatever means possible (up to and including major death) two cops with a certain self-interest in the diseases cure will do almost as much to make sure the world knows The Beauty’s terrible secrets.

The Verdict:
Not gonna lie. What first drew me to The Beauty was the cover art. Because in comics art can be everything and people get paid a lot of money to design these things. So yes I am going to judge my books by their covers. And then by whether or not they have lesbians. Luckily for The Beauty it has both in spades. The lesbians aren’t even sexy, young or there for the male gaze! They are a devoted, married couple and one of them is the head of the center for disease control. And by god does she get shit done.

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Of course a kickass lesbian like this is too awesome to live and she’s dead by the end of issue #6 but what a way to go. That being said, I’m getting pretty annoyed that the Bury Your Gays trope is still so alive and well – I thought we might be getting over such a long history but apparently not.

With Foster, the main character, a 30-something-white guy with sudden marital troubles, and Vaughn, his partner in crime and best friend an equally white female officer, it’s nice to see a bit of variance in the supporting characters who are more often POC than not. While Foster can be a bit of your average male action hero and is of course the one who kicks everything off, it really seems to be the women who get things done in this comic. Unlike Foster, Vaughn has had The Beauty for a while and on discovering that she’s probably not going to live for very long, is very pragmatic in her approach.

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The TP starts with an introduction by the editor who talks about a childhood love of horror and Stephen King in particular. I can only hope that The Beauty is going down a similar route, although I am not the greatest fan of Stephen King and am thus a bit leery of such a comparison. Apart from the obvious heads blowing up thing, there seems to be little tension in the storyline and I’m not getting much of the creeping sense of dread that I like in my horror. It’s probably a bit unfair to expect quite so much from 6 issues however and the TP did end in a rather gripping cliffhanger, so even if Vaughn and Foster’s arc is apparently complete for now, I still have my fingers crossed that the psychological horror elements will expand in the issues to come.

The Beauty is a very interesting idea for a comic, and it’s fascinating to read all the different reaction to the disease, because of course, there are those who remember that it is a disease. The first TP has raised a lot of questions for me – is this a bioweapon? Why is the cure being held back? Are there more side effects to the cure? Etc so I really can’t wait to read the next volume!

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