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Beautiful Creatures #1

Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2009
By: Bill Janzen

Kurtis J. Wiebe
Ash Jackson
Red 5 Comics
EDITOR's NOTE: Beautiful Creatures #1 will be out in September and is available now for pre-order.

As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I always look forward to checking out new series from smaller publishers because it's like stepping into a new world--one that's, hopefully, fresh and exciting. Of course, a lot of the time my high hopes are dashed within a few pages, but sometimes a new title from an indie publisher outshines the multitude of other titles out there; it's like finding a hidden gem. I'm pleased to review here Beautiful Creatures #1 by Red 5 comics, a hidden gem if I've ever seen one.

Beautiful Creatures is not your standard comic tale. It's a modern day story about four beautiful college girls who have just recently met, but who are becoming fast friends. Then, suddenly, they're lives become immersed with aspects of magic and myth.

As quickly enjoyable as the story is even from just this first issue, it's somewhat difficult to describe since there is so little other material out there with which to compare it. The nearest comparison would have to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The difference is that even to a major Buffy fan like me, the Buffy mythos seems to be getting dragged on further than it should. However, this world and these new characters are fresh and interesting, and the story being hinted at looks to have a satisfying depth to it.

Kurtis J. Wiebe's writing for the series is very well done. Overall, it's a creative twist on some very old themes. The dialogue and characterization both feel very original, which is quite an accomplishment in a day when it feels like everything's been done before. There is a good balance between giving us pieces of the story and holding portions back, presenting mysterious appearances and characters that we'll certainly find out more about later.

The art is similarly excellent. While it doesn't have the polished appearance of a Marvel or DC issue, Ash Jackson brings fun and life to each character, and he easily captures emotions and expressions. His use of different angles and distances in the panels, and the dynamic feel of his art, bring a sharp cinematic feel to the story. Jackson's skill is perhaps most apparent when one realizes the contrast between his dynamic sequences and the calm, easy feeling of other scenes.

I enjoyed the issue so much that I almost feel like I'm nitpicking by pointing out any areas that I think could use improvement--but hey, I'm a reviewer, it's what I do. The main area is one that some people will certainly disagree with me on. Some guys obviously like ogling even fictional (and illustrated) girls--as is obvious by the success of Witchblade and similar series--but I can't help but find such T&A content unnecessary.

If looking at illustrated girls is a guy's best option, that's just sad. So, needless to say, I found the inclusion of a scene of the girls in a hot tub together to be kinda tasteless--and likely just an attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator. However, as I said, I know a lot of guys will probably disagree with me on that one.

Overall, Beautiful Creatures #1 is an amazing start to what will hopefully be a continually incredible mini-series. I plan to collect it myself, and I highly encourage you to fit it into your comics budget as well.



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