Beautiful Art, Beautiful Story and a… – Beautiful Killer (2002)

Beautiful Killer is an espionage/revenge story by Jimmy Palmiotti and Phil Noto about a girl who loses her parents and decides to avenge them by taking out anyone who had anything whatsoever to do with their murder. Originally published by Black Bull Entertainment, the comic imprint of Wizard publisher Gareb Shamus, the book might not be in print anymore, but it can be had for a song and if given a chance, it is definitely worth the pick-up.

Some of the best spy thrillers around are those about the spies that are found within their pages, particularly spies getting burned, betrayed by the organisation they work for and such is the case here. What happens here though is that the spies in question manage to get away and they do so for quite a while, even managing to have a child in the meantime and raising her in all the skills of the same trade. Factor in a secret formula that caused the original crisis in question, enemies from abroad and at home and the child born from not only the fruit of the love the spies have for each other, but of the aforementioned formula and it all makes for a perfect storm of ideas that are excellently executed with suspense, action, tension and intrigue.

Brigit, the girl in question was born without any skin pigmentation, or at least very little and as such, her mother teaches her how to blend in with society, something she will very much need to know if they are ever tracked down by the organisation they ran from. That is exactly what happens and Brigit soon becomes the focus of the book about two-thirds of the way in, the titular Beautiful Killer and the way she goes about taking revenge on those who wronged her and her family is beautiful as well. Violent, bloody and brutal in some cases and yet fully warranted, who could say they would not do the same if they were able. Palmiotti tells a very strong story and it is a page-turner right from the get-go with some truly incredible artwork by Noto who not only pencils, but inks and colours as well. It makes for a very solid read, one that the audience will find hard to put down as Brigit goes upon her quest. Additionally, Palmiotti factors in a tiny bit of politics into the book when it comes to the formerly secret formula, now life-saving drug and it adds another level of realism to the proceedings. Brigit, as well as her mother Anna and father Kingsley are well-rounded, fully formed characters that make the book a joy to read and by the end, one can say that they do not want it to end.

While everything is wrapped up nice and neat, it would be great to see a continuation of Brigit’s tale, should there be some way to organically keep her in the game. For now, Beautiful Killer has a beginning, middle and end that completely satisfy and is a book that others can take a cue from when telling a self-contained tale.

4.5 out of 5

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