Trade of the Week: The Beauty Volume Two
The Beauty Volume Two
Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley
Mike Huddleston [CHAPTER 7]
Brett Weldele [CHAPTER 8-10]
Stephen Green [CHAPTER 11]
John Rauch [CHAPTER 7+11]
The Beauty Volumes 2's greatest weakness is also it's greatest strength. The previous volume established The Beauty and left a cliff hanger ending for what's to come. In this volume it at first appears to be random unrelated stories that later intertwine but nonetheless almost have nothing to do with the first volume except for the fact that it takes place in The Beauty universe. Due to that this volume accomplishes something most sequels don't, it stands all on its own. As a preface The Beauty is a disease that makes you beautiful. Your body metabolizes anything you put into it and gives you somewhat of a healing factor. The catch is you eventually burn up and die. You don't see much of that last part in this one. Instead you see how Beauty can be used, utilized, and effect different people of this world.
The first story, chapter 7, is about a heavy set fella, Timo, that appears to be a Black and Latino mix. At the beginning he's talking to someone on the phone telling them he has to take care of something. He's part of this crew that he takes out. He uses Beauty to change his appearance so they won't be able to find him, and it works.
Chapter 8-10 tells the story of a trans person who got Beauty at a young age. Ezerae was beautiful and feminine so she got bullied a lot. Her mother accepted and supported her for the person she was. Then her mom got killed. She worked for a dinner for a while until she fell into some work doing odd jobs for a Mr. Parks. He helped her get trained and get the change she'd always wanted. One day she got an easy delivery job with a fellow coworker, Lucca. They get it done but Lucca is set up. Ezerae has an alibi for Lucca so they all team up to take the people out that set them all up against each other. It doesn't end well for anybody but it does end in beauty. The story comes full circle.
The story is beautiful, brilliant, and masterfully woven. I could care less that Volume 2 had almost nothing to do with Volume 1. You could say they are just side throw away stories but that couldn't be further from the truth as it expands the Beauty universe and how it changes the people in its world. Not only that, the way that these stories were told, show, and woven together was magnificent. It jumps around different times and places but it's done so masterfully it works smoother than butter. The stories expressed were so beautiful in so many different ways that it's nearly impossible to complain.
Story comes down to two things intertwined, writing and art. Much like the stories themselves they intertwined incredibly. The narrative was different for each story yet similar. The first was told in a much more linear and fast paced fashion that worked extremely well through Timo. The other story was told in a way that served it best through slight of hand and well timed revelations by Ezerae. In the end these stories came together keeping with the linear style of the first but the narrative stayed with Ezerae. Similar things can be said about the art. The first story was a more dark, gritty, faced paced style done by Mike Huddleston. Then Chapters 8-10 were illustrated through Brett Weldele with a softer, smoother, gentler style that sometimes reminiscent of watercolors when retelling the past. The final chapter was the perfect mix of both styles of art from the first and second stories. It was a true work of genius.
There's not much left to be said of The Beauty Volume Two other than a rehash of what I've already said. As long as they continue to put out gold like this I could care less if they ever get back to the main plot thread from the first volume. This creative team knocked it out of the park again but in an entirely new and inventively intelligent way. I can't wait for more. I absolutely loved and adored this book. I strongly consider you purchase this graphic novel. I'm overjoyed that I did.