Tag Archives: john rauch

Exclusive Preview: Batwoman #14

Batwoman #14

Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Art by: Fernando Blanco
Color by: John Rauch
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Cover by: Dan Panosian
Variant cover by: Michael Cho
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
U.S. Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: April 18, 2018

“The Fall of the House of Kane” part two! Vengeance and madness come home to Gotham City! The Many Arms of Death have descended upon the city, bringing a plague that will devour everything Batwoman holds dear—and Alice, Kate’s long-lost sister, leads the way!

Preview: Batwoman #13

Batwoman #13

Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Fernando Blanco
Color: John Rauch Letterer: Deron Bennett
Cover Art: Dan Panosian
Variant Cover: Lee Bermejo
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich Editor: Brittany Holzherr
In Shops: Mar 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“The Fall of the House of Kane” part one! After her deadly trip around the world hunting the infamous Many Arms of Death, Batwoman returns to her childhood home in Brussels, the site of her most brutal losses and memories. As the clock begins to tick on a new cycle of violence, Kate must overcome her haunted past to prevent an attack more terrible than any before!

Review: Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1

Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner are back on the scene to kick off he first take in this super fun, super sized, four story issue celebrating Harley, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1. We are treated to a bevy of talented writers and artist and, despite the diverse writing and art styles, cover to cover Harley Quinn 25th is an interesting and fun exploration into Harley’s most interesting relationships. In “Diva Las Vegas” we get a glimpse into a girls road trip featuring Harley, Catwoman and Poison Ivy where they stop a robbery and destroy some stuff with a huge party. We then get a history of Harley’s birthdays and some slight Joker interaction where we get a sweet wink into her relationship with Ivy. The third story is another fun adventure with Ivy and the issue wraps up with a Harley vs Robin fight where Robin gets to be a hero and Harley does something unexpected.

There are some amazing artists lending a hand in this issue using various but, somehow cohesive styles. Paul Mounts and Dave Sharpe make the colors and art pop in “Diva Las Vegas,” Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair give some pop style art to the Paul Dini written “Birthday Blues,” David Lafuente and John Rauch provide the muted tones and throwback art for the Daniel Kibblesmith penned “Somewhere That’s Green” story and Chip “Zdark Knight” Zdarsky‘s “Bird Psychology” gets an artist assist from Joe Quinones who served us some simple but, aesthetically pleasing characters and detailed backdrops.

Overall, this issue is a fun read for Harley fans. There’s some nice girl powered storylines, a glimpse into Harley and Joker, a view into her turning point where we remember the complex nature of our favorite antihero. It’s a hella fun ride and I think that everyone should get in on the action for some great stories that are short, sweet, and packed full of Harley Quinn goodness.

Story: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chip Zdarsky, Paul Dini, Daniel Kibblesmih Art: Joe Quinones, Paul Mounts, Dave Sharpe, David Lafuente , John Rauch, Chad Hardin, Alex Sinclair
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Marvel Weekly Graphic Novel Review: Captain America: Sam Wilson and Mockingbird

It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. We’ve got two new volumes from Marvel featuring Sam Wilson Captain America and Mockingbird.

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 4 #TakeBackTheShield featuring issues #14-17 and Captain America (1968) #344 by Nick Spencer, Paul Renaud, Angel Unzueta, and John Rauch.

Mockingbird Vol. 2 My Feminist Agenda featuring issues #6-8 and New Avengers (2010) #13-14 by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons, and Rachelle Rosenberg.

Find out about the trade and whether you should grab yourself a copy. You can find both in comic stores April 19 and bookstores May 2.

Get your copies now. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 4 #TakeBackTheShield
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Mockingbird Vol. 2 My Feminist Agenda
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW



Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Marvel Weekly Graphic Novel Review: AXIS and Power Man & Iron Fist

It’s Wednesday which means new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. We’ve got two volumes from Marvel covering some of their newer releases.

Avengers and X-Men: AXIS collecting issues #1-9 by Rick Remender, Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Terry Dodson, and Jim Cheung.

Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 2 Civil War II collecting issues #6-9 and Sweet Christmas Annual by David F. Walker, Flaviano, Sanford Greene, Scott Hepburn, John Rauch, and Matt Millia.

Find out what each trade has in store and whether you should grab yourself a copy. You can find all three in comic stores March 8 and bookstores March 21.

Get your copies now. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Avengers and X-Men: AXIS
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 2 Civil War II
Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW



Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Review: Midnighter and Apollo #6

midnighterapollo6coverMidnighter and Apollo #6 concludes the miniseries in breathtaking, double page spreading, and smooching as fashion as Apollo rescues Midnighter from hell and shines a little life into his life. Steve Orlando, Fernando BlancoRomulo Fajardo Jr., and John Rauch go for broke in showing the bond between Midnighter in creative and epic ways. The plot is  simple: escape from the creepy hell place, but the creative team pours all their efforts into letting Midnighter and Apollo go full badass and team up together against the hordes of Neron before having some much needed alone time.

Fernando Blanco’s layouts have been a consistent highlight of this series , and he tops himself in Midnighter and Apollo #6 beginning on the second and third pages. Blanco plays with symmetry with an opposing set of panels juxtaposing Apollo flying through Hell with Neron torturing Midnighter about how he’s going to die here because he’s a murder, and evil always wins. Except Neron’s words are empty air because the panels featuring Apollo get bigger and bigger as Fajardo’s yellows seeping in culminating in a full page splash of Apollo cold cocking Neron. It’s just lines on the page, but you can feel the rage and love behind Apollo’s solar powered fists as he goes flying. For most of Midnighter and Apollo, Midnighter has been trying to save Apollo, but its time for superpowered boyfriend to return the favor.

Through their quick dialogue during the action scenes and an extended epilogue, Orlando and Blanco dig into why Midnighter and Apollo work as a couple in a sweet, violent way. There’s nothing like exploding your scarecrow-looking demon doppelganger to show that your man really cares for you. But Midnighter gets really honest too as he’s in excruciating pain after returning from Hell with his body and fight computer healing all over the place. He doesn’t come back with some big no killing plan after having a near death experience, but is going to continue to kill the really bad guys to stop the pervasive spread of evil. It’s a dark duty that Blanco shows with the bodies of his victims


When it comes to stories or songs about rescuing your lover from the Underworld, most writers and artists allude to Orpheus and Eurydice. But Steve Orlando should be applauded for a little deeper into Ovid’s Metamorphoses and referencing Apollo and Hyacinth as the god couldn’t rescue the man he loved, but did create a beautiful flower out of his death. He riffs on this myth and gives it a much needed happy ending (In more ways than one.) even though both Midnighter and Apollo have been put through the wringer throughout the miniseries. Apollo didn’t pick out his superhero name because of his solar power, but because he was inspired by the story a man, who went to the realm of the dead to plead for his dead lover’s life. And he’ll keep fighting for Midnighter to the end. It’s nice to see them as a happy couple at the end, talking out their issues, and sharing the strangest of dinner parties with Extrano, his husband, and some friends from the Midnighter ongoing series.

Yes, queer characters occasionally get happy endings, and Midnighter and Apollo #6 is a wonderful story of two men, whose love was so strong that they would fight Hell and all its demons just to be in each other’s arms. The comic also is a technical marvel with Fernando Blanco’s clever layouts and Romulo Fajardo’s play of light and darkness showing the contrasts between Apollo and Midnighter while also showing that their differences make them great. Midnighter’s determination and Apollo’s sense of hope definitely makes them the true power couple of the DC Universe, and hopefully there will be many more adventures featuring them in years to come.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Fernando Blanco Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr. with John Rauch
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Manga Monday: Attack on Titan Anthology

aot_anthology_nycc-450x675The manga megahit Attack on Titan, reinterpreted by some of comics’ top talent! Featuring original stories by a long roster of comic superstars such as Scott Snyder, Gail Simone, Faith Erin Hicks, Michael Avon Oeming, Paolo Rivera, Cameron Stewartand Babs Tarr!

This unprecedented, full-colour collaboration between East and West will be released first in English, making it indispensable for Attack on Titan fans and curious comic fans.

When it comes to Attack on Titan my only real exposure to the series was watching the horrendous live action film that came out. I haven’t watched the anime and I haven’t read the manga, but when I heard the Attack on Titan Anthology was coming out, I made sure to grab a copy during New York Comic Con. If I was going to buy it, might as well go with the limited edition cover.

While this anthology isn’t a traditional way to be introduced, it was an interesting one as a who’s who of Western creators tackle this manga phenomenon. And what’s nicer is that each creator gave it their own spin sticking to their style of storytelling and moving the settings of the stories around for different situations and locations.

This is an eclectic mix in a good way with stories that seem to stick to a setting and story that you’d see in the manga series while other creators went with a complete break. There’s horror. There’s humor. There’s action. There’s a little of everything and it’s all enjoyable in its own way.

What’s really interesting to me is recognizing the creators based on their entries. I read the entire graphic novel in one sitting and played guess the creator as I went along creating a fun little game and each creator really does bring their own style. So, if you’re a fan of the folks’ work, you’re probably going to enjoy this.

I knew so little about the world and what to expect going in other than the creative talent lined up, but coming out of it, I want to check out more. If you’re interested in finding out a bit about Attack on Titan, but don’t want to take the chance on manga, this is a solid way to go to find out a bit more about what it’s all about.

Story and Art: Ray Fawkes, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, John Rauch, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Bill Murdon, Afua Richardson, Genevieve Valentine, David Lopez, Faith Erin Hicks, Cris Peter, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Paolo Rivera, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, Alonso Nunez, Elmer Santos, Sam Humphries, Damion Scott, Sigmund Torre, Rhianna Pratchett, Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman, Ben Applegate, Ronald Wimberly, Kevin Wada, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, Jiji Knight, Si Spurrier, Kate Brown, Paul Duffield, Dee Cunniffe, Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, Kate Leth, Jeremy Lambert
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Captain America: Sam Wilson #14

captain-america-sam-wilson-14-cover“TAKE BACK THE SHIELD” STARTS NOW! The world has received an ULTIMATUM: Peace in our time…or face the fury of The Flag-Smasher! Amid cries of “#TakeBacktheShield”, Sam Wilson stands against a rising tide. But he is not alone! Guest-starring in this issue – Steve Rogers: Captain America! Only, Steve has a secret…

Marvel Comics is back with issue #14 of Captain America: Sam Wilson. This is the first issue of this series that I’ve read and I was able to gather pretty quickly that America is having a hard time with Sam Wilson now holding the shield and there has been a movement formed called #Takebacktheshield in response. Sam’s also having a hard time dealing with the response from the public and at times has issues with the job itself. After all he isn’t a super human.

Writer Nick Spencer does a great job with the writing for this series except for one spot and that is Captain America’s big secret at the end of the issue. His writing makes you feel bad for Sam and everything that he has gone through as well as the dialogue with the main protagonist.

The artwork, coloring and cover art by Paul Renaud, John Rauch and Marcos Martin was really well done but what else do you expect from artists with Marvel Comics. The visualization was really solid and all the characters look really good as well, the only thing I will say is the colors could have been a little more vibrant, but that’s just how I like it…. bright and colorful but the artistic team did a fantastic job

Overall this issue was good. There was a strong plot point and the dialogue was good and the art was fantastic, but the big surprise at the end pissed me off and I feel like they made Sam Wilson sound too much like a baby and a bit out of character.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Paul Renaud Colors: John Rauch Cover: Marcos Martin
Story: 6 Art & Color: 9 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

NYCC 2016: Talking Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime with Joe Illidge


Ever since Lion Forge announced a new line-up of hires, it’s been a company to watch. You don’t bring on that sort of talent without having a bigger plan and something up your sleeve.

I’ve watched intently parsing every word said by staff and every hint dropped to try and figure out what exactly what was being worked on.

At New York Comic Con, we found out what that was.

At their panel Sunday, Lion Forge announced “Catalyst Prime,” a new superhero universe with a killer amount of talent writing, drawing, coloring, and lettering, and diversity on the page and behind the scenes. But, impressively it’s also established and new talent alike working together to create this new world. That’s something that’s important for the company, to bring together old and new voices.

Along with the creative talent it was announced that Desiree Rodriguez is joining the company as an editorial assistant for the new line. Rodriguez is a freelancer for Nerds of Color who wrote this fantastic piece about being Latinx in comics.

Before the panel, I got to speak with Senior Editorial Manager Joe Illidge and got the details as to what we can expect.

Graphic Policy: It’s been months of teasing and hints and I know I’m excited to hear the details. What’s the scoop as to what Lion Forge has announced at New York Comic Con 2016?

Joe Illidge: We’re announcing the creation of a new superhero universe which will be under the title of “Catalyst Prime.” There will be seven monthly books and the line will launch in May of 2017.

GP: Who’s the talent that’ll be involved that you can announce?

JI: For the kick off book it’s going to be mainly written by Christopher Priest, co-written by myself with the art by Marco Turini, letterer Deron Bennett, and colorist Jessica Kholine. For the first ongoing series with a Black male lead, the writer is Brandon Thomas, artist Ken Lashley, letters by Saida Temofonte, and colorist Juan Fernandez. The second main book about an interracial duo, it’s co-written by David Walker and Dr. Sheena Howard, illustrated by Chuck Collins, and colored by Veronica Gandini. The third book is written by Joe Casey, illustrated by Damion Scott, lettered by Janice Chiang, and will be colored by John Rauch. The fourth book will be a team book written by Joe Casey with story consultation by Ramon Govea who created the concept, illustrated by Larry Stroman and Rob Stull, and colored by Snakebite Cortez. For the fifth title with a British male lead which is a science fiction thriller, it’ll be written by Joe Casey, illustrated by Jefte Palo who is well known for illustrating the Black Panther Secret Invasion storyline in which the Wakandans held back the Skrull invasion, it’ll be colored by Chris Sotomayor, and lettered by a legendary letterer. The letterer of the Hugo award winning Sandman Overture graphic novel, Todd Klein. The sixth title with a White male lead will be written by Alex De Campi, illustrated by Pop Mhan, and lettered by Deron Bennett. Deron Bennett is doing a bunch of DC “Rebirth” books. One prominent one is Batgirl. The seventh title with a lesbian lead character will be written by Amy Chu, illustrated by Jan Duursema, colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and lettered by Deron Bennett.

GP: That’s impressive you can remember and name all of them. So what can you tell us specifically about the series?

JI: Well basically the whole universe is started from an asteroid heading to Earth and a private corporation called the Foresight Corporation, which produced our teaser memo, they send four astronauts on a suicide mission to stop the asteroid. What happens leads to the emergence of super humans on our world. After that, most of the books will take place one year after that.

GP: As far as the comics, how are they kicking off, a mini-series and then everything launches from there?

JI: It’s going to start with a one-shot co-written by Christopher Priest and myself, coming out the first week of May 2017. And then we’ll be rolling out the books from there, from May through December.

GP: That’s an amazing group of talent working on the comic that’s very diverse, what about the characters?

JI: The characters are diverse. Of the four astronauts, you have two women, one of whom is lesbian, one of whom is Black. The two men, one is Black and one is British. The other three are American. Then there’s also a Chinese woman who is part of mission control who is supervising the mission in space, but was not one of the four astronauts.

GP: That certainly is diverse. When putting the series together, was this a priority and thought through?

JI: It was thought through in the sense that the owner David Steward II, the President Geoff Gerber, and I are really committed to creating a universe that invites everyone. Diversity is a buzzword that has become obsolete because it’s been used for a lot of PR. Diversity should be intrinsic if you have an expanded mindset and worldview so when you’re going to creators they’re not all heterosexual, they’re not all Caucasian males. They might not all be from the United States. They’re from different industries. They have different political backgrounds. Diversity is automatic. But we want to create something new and exciting that doesn’t have a burden of decades of continuity. We want everyone to feel invited to this world and this world will evolve into a world that will more accurately reflect the demographics of the one that we live more than a lot of other fictional superhero comic universes.

GP: When it comes to the writers… there’s a habit lately that writers are pigeonholed into what they write based on the color of their skin or their gender, in November out of 13 female writers for the big two only one was writing a comic with a male lead as an example, are you breaking that mold?

JI: I am breaking that mold. The book that is going to have the latino teenager lead is going to be written by Joe Casey whom is neither Latino nor a teenager. But, Joe Casey has clearly been an advocate for variety in superhero comic books, in creator owned comic books. And frankly he’s the co-creator of America Chavez. To me, that right there, America Chavez is one of the most beloved Latinx characters of our time. So I’m comfortable with him writing a Latinx character considering he created one of the most popular ones right now.

GP: He’s shown he can do it.

JI: Exactly.

GP: One of the things that caught my eye in your teases was a woman writing a male character, so it’s either Dr. Sheena Howard, Amy Chu, or Alex De Campi.

JI: What it is, the book that will be co-written by David Walker and Dr. Sheena Howard is an interracial team book written by a man and a woman featuring a man and a woman. That really came down to whom I feel David and Sheena are as people. Due to their academic backgrounds. Due to their vast social and cultural knowledge. Due to the fact they are both social crusaders, they are expertly qualified to tell this story.

Amy Chu is going to be writing a story about a Caucasian lesbian. Alex De Campi will be writing a story with a white American male lead. So you don’t have to keep these straight lines. Some of them won’t be straight for the sake of being straight. I really tried to see who were the best creators to tell these stories book by book.

GP: With the baggage that comes with continuity and years of stories, are you thinking through that as you put together this universe and series? A perfect example is Valiant that has continuity but you can read just one series, step into a new story arc, there’s clear starting points, or you can enjoy it all.

JI: Absolutely. No two books will be alike aesthetically. We want readers to be able to read a book and not feel like they are trapped or tricked into reading other books. If you read other books and you keep moving forward, you start seeing connected threads, and you get the benefit of the worldview of this entire thing. If you choose just one book, or two books, or four books, you can have individual experiences and as we look forward to the first crossover event, which will probably take place in 2018, that will be a story in of itself. If you choose to keep reading your book, you can do that. It’s very important for us that the reader not feel interrupted in the book, or books, that they like. It’s also important that when we collect these books we really want to engage the book market. We want to create volumes where a new reader can pick up any volume and get into that world. Whether it’s across titles or whether they pick up volume two of any series and we hope that they don’t feel like that have to pick up volume one but instead that they’ll want to pick up and read volume one.

It really comes down to characters. Characters are the underpinning of all stories. We want to create characters that the readers will care about. We want you to come along on the journey with these characters. So, by defining the characters, making them compelling, and making them relatable, is the ultimate way that we can invite readers, old and new, into the universe.

GP: Is the universe set in our world or slightly off? Do we get fake countries or ones that actually exist?

JI: It’s going to be our world geographically, all the identifications will match up to Earth. I look at this as the love child of Darwyn Cooke’s DC New Frontier and Vertigo Year One and the brilliance of Karen Berger in using Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Shade, the Changing Man, Black Orchid, and Kid Eternity as the foundation for a truly imaginative and impressive body of books. These will be super hero genre books, but they’ll also engage in other genres like science fiction, techno thriller, young adult, action adventure, teen adventure, social drama, so that is how I see it. For that to be the case, it had to take place in a world like ours.

GP: Since it is taking place in a world familiar to ours, there’s the debate as to whether comics should just be entertainment or if it should touch upon social justice issues being waged. Will the comics touch upon real world issues? From the characters and what you’ve described it sounds like social issues will be a natural thing for the series, but is it a goal and point?

JI: You know, we don’t see it as a hard agenda. It’s not something we’re going to beat the audience over the head with as far as the stories. When you’re talking about social justice, art has always been a vehicle for social justice.

GP: Comics always have.

JI: Exactly. We’re at a time where we are vulnerable in so many other areas. Our bodies are vulnerable. We’re being told what bathrooms we can use. We have political icons engaging in reprehensible behavior, xenophobia, and sexism. Art may be one of the last frontiers that is bullet proof. If you’re going to do a universe, and you’re going to engage the super hero and what the super hero can do, how can you not engage in social justice?

GP: How long has this been in the works?

JI: It’s funny, there has been different stages. I started working at Lion Forge in June and I really expanded it. The origins of the “Catalyst Prime” super hero universe starts with the owner of Lion Forge, David Steward II. As someone highly influence by Milestone, we are obviously simpatico on that front, myself being a Milestone alumni, Geoff Gerber the President of Lion Forge being an advocate for social justice, the three of us together really wanted this to be something special that would invite everybody. It started with the owner, but when I came in I took the nucleaus and put together a team of writers. We did a writers retreat where we all sat down in a room and spent a day and basically nurtured this universe to life and that kind of creativity, that imaginative osmosis, the results of that are really going to be seen in the books. You’re going to see us subvert some familiar archetypes. You’re going to see some characters of ethnic backgrounds that you never thought you’d equate with roles of power. We’re really looking to give you the kind of familiar things you want with super hero comic books, but we want to return fun and imagination to super hero comic books.

It feels like right now we’ve hit a critical mass in terms of cynicism, in terms of doubt, in terms of dissapointment, for the faith and investment of time we have given. I want this super hero unvierse be a return to fun and imagination and the consumer being rewarded for their time and love of this genre and this medium.

GP: With starting a comic line now, it feels like it’d be different because it’s no longer just print you’re dealing with. There’s digital, there’s mobile, there’s web, the avenues and distribution is so different. Is that in your thoughts in putting it together, looking at the big picture and how different people will interact differently with the material?

JI: Absolutely. It’s very important for us that anyone who wants to get our books will be able to get our books. Whether it is comic book stories in the direct market. Whether it’s book stores and collections in the trade market. Whether it’s digital. We have been looking at a lot of metrics and data in regards to digital comics. Some of those discoveries will impact how we put together and provide these books. And it’s very important to us that if you’re unfortunately living in a place that’s a comic store desert, you can still get the book. It’s important to us that if you feel there’s a local environment that’s not welcoming to you as a consumer that you can still get our book. It’s important to us that we engage in a discussion with retailers and consumers about pre-ordering so that we expand the vocabulary and help consumers get our books.

GP: Any final thoughts?

JI: It’s exciting for us to start this new thing. I think culturally that we are at a high point of the popularity and the agency of the super hero as a genre and so there’s no better time to start a new universe than right now. I firmly believe, and the creators that I’ve assembled, we all firmly believe that ultimately people want good stories. It’s not about what genre it is. It’s about good stories and good characters.

Review: The Beauty #1

TheBeauty 1 coverVitamins and supplements are a big industry throughout the world as everyone craves perfection. Health and fitness have become paramount in the news, as celebrities’ flaws are magnified and the most disciplined, their health regiments are duplicated through various books and DVDS. Imagine a world where we can just take a pill and become our best selves? can such a thing exist? This is the question that is explored in Jeremy Haun, John Rauch, and Jason Hurley’s The Beauty.

The Beauty opens up with background on a certain sexually transmitted disease, which had actually positive effects, as the thought bubble narration clearly says” FAT MELTED AWAY , THINNING HAIR RETURNED, SKIN BLEMISHES FADED, AND FACIAL FEATURES SLIMMED.” This disease quickly becomes a fad, as it seemed as though it had no negative effects at all, and everyone was trying to catch it. Eventually it becomes an epidemic, and over half of the population becomes infected, as those who are infected, are labeled “beauties”. This creates special interest groups who range from the publically outspoken to the downright violent as within the first few pages; someone gets killed from an implosion.

The police investigate this latest death with much trepidation, as the NYPD, has set up their own Beauty Task Force, and are beginning to think this more than just another random Beauty killing, as the CDC gets involved. The task force, starts unraveling the case, clue by clue. They eventually run into a perpetrator who may have the answer to everything, but something unfortunate happens. The issue ends with another person being infected with the “Beauty”, and someone no one expected it to happen to.

The creative forces behind this comic are more than a force to be reckoned with. The story by Jason Haun is a beautiful of crime procedural with dystopian science fiction, in Haun’s refreshing style. The art by John Rauch and Jason Hurley is elegant yet raw, style most welcome in this genre. Overall, an excellent first issue for a series that seems to be most ambitious series Image has undertaken in a while.

Story: Jason Haun Art: John Rauch and Jason Hurley
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: BUY NOW

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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