I kind of want to slap myself up the backside of my head– that being a result of the fact that I just realized I have yet to review one of the consistently best books out monthly… THE BEAUTY. Before THE REALM there was this, and it tackles “beauty” as a sexually transmitted disease that turns anyone who catches it into a beautiful person. Though, there’s an eventual cost. You could say quite a large one too. What is that cost? I’m glad you asked, oh it’s just death.

I’ve been following the series since it first released back in August [of 2015,] and man has it been one hell of a ride thus far. I’m quite the fan whenever a series tackles anything beyond our reality in a plausible and almost scientific way. It makes it feel real. I think in general that raises the appeal to readers, and has a far better chance of drawing an audience since most fans of fiction are looking for stories that they could see becoming reality. Stories that fulfill their fantasy in some way, shape or form.

Something that it [THE BEAUTY] has going for it, which many other books don’t, is that its cast of characters change every arc. It really helps keep a breath of freshness about it.
With this being the start to the newest arc, we’re introduced to Coop and Nia,

Art by Thomas Nachlik, Colors by Nayoung Kim

They’re our duo, and running a “news” type of podcast where they research a specific topic and go in on it. Really, delve into it and give their view on the evidence at hand. I specifically like how this issue starts with the closing to their “first season,” and that we see they’re a bit worried on what they’ll do for the second.

Jason A. Hurley (co-creator) and Jeremy Haun (co-creator) really did a great job with their [Coop and Nia’s] chemistry. They have a tight bond, which has a real brother and sister vibe to it. Bickering and picking at each other, and it brings in this level of organic comedy. It brought a smile to my face reading their interaction, and again, it feels real. The character chemistry through each arc has been solid, and definitely appears to be Hurley and Haun’s strong suit.

The winning aspect of this issue, and what I’m looking forward the most going forward into this arc, is the mystery thriller aspect.

The last arc had a mystery vibe about it for most of it, where we saw the return of Detectives Vaughn and Foster— my favorite BEAUTY characters, but this feels more along the lines of an intense mystery thriller. You can feel that your heart will get pumping as it really starts to roll.

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I will say, that it does seem going forward that our duo won’t be so lucky by the end of this arc. The whole set up of them looking for a big story that’ll top what they had for “season one,” and it falling in their lap, it screams something’s not right. Let alone the “source,” as he appears to be someone you just need to look at and realize not to go into business with him, which Coop also feels to the point of saying he’s a fruit loop.

We don’t know when exactly this is taking place; either before the initial arc, or post, but there’s a strong vibe that at least one of them — Coop and Nia — will bite the dust. I have this strong gut wrenching feeling that Nia will for sure. It just seems too unlikely that she’ll survive after all is said and done.

One thing for sure, Coop is the main focus. He’ll be our guide through this, and who the writing team has done an excellent job at tying us to him. It felt very much so like we were riding shotgun with him, and that sets up a lot if the arc continues this quick pace of this issue.

Art by Thomas Nachlik, Colors by Nayoung Kim

I [personally] found him to be quite relatable. He’s a guy who’s hard working and quite funny, which will make it that much easier for a rollercoaster of a ride as we go forward. Seeing his reaction to the footage (above panel,) it’s exactly what you would expect.

I feel like there’s some writers who are too straight forward when giving moments of understandable expectations of what’s to come, and then others who aren’t capable at all– where everything has to be a huge twist. This issue was a beautiful look at the best case scenario of what reality would be like in the world of THE BEAUTY.

Something that I can’t pass over in this issue is Thomas Nachlik’s (artist) art. His style is very similar to Haun’s, and it keeps a baseline from the first arc to this. From his ability to capture expressions well to clean and crisp work, you can’t help yourself but loving what you see as you read the issue.

This issue is sitting on the shelves at your local comic shop, you can pick up THE BEAUTY #19 from the same shelves on Wednesday, January 31st,

Sometimes the hunt for the truth yields more than you bargain for. Coop is learning that the hard way.

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