Review by Frank Plowright
We’ve already met Timo and Ezerae, here only referred to as Bonita, criminals and assassins who’ve taken on a vendetta against their former employers. The whys and wherefores were provided in volume two, and we catch up on them still targeting ranking thugs, working their way up the Bianchi organisation attempting to send a message by closing it down entirely.
A beauty of The Beauty is how creators Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley no longer need the hook of a sexually transmitted disease that transforms people into an idealised version of themselves. It’s now reduced to a passing component of their neat crime dramas. They work with some twists we see coming, overconfidence being a standard crime story device, but having made us think we know who the story is about, Haun and Hurley surprise by also reintroducing police detectives Drew Foster and Kara Vaughn. While it’s nice to see them, the creators tease by doing so right after a cliffhanger chapter ending only resolved later, efficiently twisted into the main narrative.
Five volumes in, you’re already going to know if you like Haun and Hurley’s approach, and if you do, you can trust that they’re not going to let you down. He’s not been part of as many volumes, but the same applies to artist Thomas Nachlik, who’s worked out the minor faults in his art with practice. You can rely on him for action, conversations and detail, with this story being very much action led, gangsters firing bullets popping out from almost every door. A lot of complicated choreography and viewpoints are needed to ensure the action flows smoothly, and Nachlik ensures it does.
Overall volume five has the feeling of one of those crossover TV shows that used to happen in the 1990s, when the cast of Law and Order would drop down to Baltimore for a case with the Homicide crew. It’s a plot that thrills from beginning to end, and really sets the cat among the pigeons regarding the bigger picture.