By Max Bemis, Ransom Getty, Ryan Winn & Chris Blythe
Evil Empire had a fairly strong start last month, and this book will surely appeal to a number of readers. However, this second issue doesn’t seem to suggest much substance to the story. Even more so, the adequately interesting relationships that started in the first issue didn’t have much consequence for this latest installment. Admittedly, the story has its intrigues and it’s definitely something new.
After the previous shocking cliffhanger ender, Max Bemis deals with this confusion fairly quickly in Evil Empire #2. The answer felt a bit less than satisfactory, but at first it doesn’t seem that it could play into the plot too much. Actually, the explanation behind the bizarre ending of issue #1 basically underpins the direction the plot seems to be heading. This event spurs a huge portion of the population into riots and widespread destruction. It’s difficult to describe without just giving away the story, but it basically descends into a serious spin on the Simpsons’ own Do What You Feel festival. Given the brutal dystopian setting we’ve only glimpsed in the opening pages of each book, the current story feels like a hollow way to get there. Again, the nature of this series will undoubtedly appeal to many readers, but it feels like there could be more to really hold your interest.
On the other hand, the artwork is really quite terrific. Ransom Getty’s illustrations are impeccably detailed and each panel is very well filled out. The facial expressions look great throughout the book as well, really helping to convey each emotion. The inks and color work, provided by Ryan Winn and Chris Blythe respectively, add a ton of depth to each image with deep, detailed shading and realistic, vibrant colors. There isn’t much more to be said about the visuals in this issue other than everything is done with perfection.
Hopefully this series will reach the inevitable point of the actual Empire rising but for now, the story doesn’t do as much as it could to really grab your interest and maintain that hold. None of the characters have become particularly interesting yet and it remains to be seen how much can be accomplished with the current plot. Despite the negative criticisms, things could have been far worse. While the story hasn’t offered a lot yet, the actual writing is decent, the story is fairly fresh, and the artwork is excellent.