For a short while I was worried that The Beauty would lose the momentum it’s built for itself with a fantastic first three issues, that the ingenious premise would be exhausted over time: fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Writers Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley continue to keep things interesting with unexpected twists thrown into each issue which take this book to ever-more interesting places. This issue sees Calaveras, a villain really only teased in issue three, making a proper entrance and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. Everything from the merciless nature in which he hunts Vaughn and Foster, to his intimidating design which includes a creepy Dia de los Muertos-style mask helps solidify him as a worthy threat to the two detectives and their shaky alliances. Following his entrance is a gripping action sequence in which the lead characters frantically try to escape his grasp, a series of panels which had me on the edge of my seat.
Of course it helps that the events unfolding are brought to life wonderfully on the page by Jeremy Haun and colorist John Rauch. Their crisp, clean and realistic characters and environments contribute to the feeling that everything in this book is very much grounded in reality. Unfortunately, this extends to even the more worrying aspects of this story i.e. the idea of cures to deadly diseases being withheld from the public. These realistic stakes have completely pulled me in to this story, with the small band of rebels trying desperately to root out a conspiracy feeling like a very timely idea at a point where governments around the world are looked at with more suspicion than ever before. As conspiracies often are, the plot of this book is still very much shrouded in mystery. The intentions of some characters are still unknown and if the last four issues are anything to go by there’ll be plenty of twists yet to come, which is a fun way to keep the readers guessing.
In the end, this all amounts to the best issue of The Beauty since its impressive debut three months ago. The team behind this book seem to have a strong grasp on how to keep things interesting, with plot twists and mystery in abundance. With a cast of characters easy to throw your support behind and a beautiful art style as well, The Beauty has everything you could ask for from a comic on your pull list.
The Beauty #4 Writer(s): Jason A. Hurley, Jeremy Haun Artist: Jeremy Haun Colorist: John Rauch Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: 11/18/15 Price: $3.50 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital