12th Jul2018

‘The Beautiful Death’ Graphic Novel Review

by Alain Elliott

Written by Mathieu Bablet | Art by Mathieu Bablet | Published by Titan Comics

beautiful-death-cover

As far as comic books go, I cant say I’ve read many ‘end of the world-type’ books that didn’t involve zombies. But I have of course watched many films with different ideas, so I was looking forward to see what the graphic novel world had to offer.

The Beautiful Death has a very distinctive and very cool visual style. Realistic in a ‘cartoony’ kind of way, with colours that suit the dynamics of what is happening on each page. Sometimes bright to show the characters of each person and sometimes dark, like the apocalyptic world it is set in. The style works whether it is a group of people chatting or a giant monster attacking them.

The story is unlike any I have read before. With insects this time the ones who have taken over the world. But even that is not as simple as it sounds because when humans and the insects start crossing paths more regularly, things get even more interesting and very strange. We do run through some of the usual things that come from this genre. A group bump into someone new who they’re not sure they can trust, there’s arguments between them all, there’s a big finale to ‘save’ the world. But that’s about it and even these things don’t get boring. Just the insects being the main enemy, gives this an edge that similar stories don’t have.

If there’s any complaints about A Beautiful Death, then it would be that some of the storylines feel a little rushed. Coming and going, it seems, in a matter of seconds. Sometimes you’ll feel like you missed the start of what is being explained and sometimes something ends with you desperate to know more.

The first few pages are great but like a completely different comic to the rest of the novel. It’s serious, almost poetic, kind of too much so but then it takes a complete U-turn in the most perfect way and everything falls into place. It’s a really clever and fun way to start proceedings. And thankfully the overall big story arc stays highly entertaining.

As an avid cinema-goer, as well as a comic book reader, I will always wonder how a comic would look like as a movie. In originality, The Beautiful Death gets a big thumbs up whether it be as a comic book or if it was made into a film. And it’s the type of story that would work just as well as a big budget (kind of) serious blockbuster, as it would a cheesy, bad CGI-filled and much cheaper Syfy made for TV movie; and that’s actually a massive compliment to the writing.

The Beautiful Death is such an entertaining and easy read. I flew through it on no time at all. Apocalyptic comics don’t get much more refreshing and exciting as this.

**** 4/5

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