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Empire of the Dead: Act Three #1

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By George A. Romero, Andrea Mutti, & Rain Beredo

Zombie subgenre godfather George A. Romero’s latest foray into his world looks to be reaching its inevitable conclusion in Empire of the Dead: Act Three. Romero has now introduced vampires into the mix and that they have been controlling New York from the shadows for some time. Of course, the status is shaken up with the political intrigue, militaristic dealings, and new revelations about the walking dead. All these plots are starting to come together and unfold. This issue is the beginning of the end…

It was a very wise decision by Romero to present this story in the comic book medium. With the introduction of vampires, the material may not have translated well to film. In this form, his social and political commentary is not lost amidst some of the more supernatural elements.  Those familiar with George’s work will also appreciate the progression of the walking dead and their presence in this world.  His logical sense of storytelling is very satisfying. Also, it’s fascinating to see various art teams interpret his vision.

The new art duo is Adrea Mutti and colorist Rain Beredo. Mutti’s work is a little cleaner or more expressive than what has been done in the past two series. It’s very refreshing to really see the detailed facial expressions of the characters. Beredo maintains a dreary, unnerving atmosphere by highlighting the shadows in the background with the action in the forefront.  The pages set Columbia Hospital at the beginning of the issue are especially noteworthy. I look forward to what these two will depict for the rest of the arc.

Considering this the third act of a storyline, I would not recommend just picking this up on a whim. Pick up the trades of the first two arcs and become familiar with the plot. Fans of the horror genre should be reading this, especially fans of the zombie subgenre. I mean come on…This is a work from George A. Romero.

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