The Empty Man #2 Review

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Posted July 9, 2014 by Joel Raivid in Comic Books

Written by: Cullen Bunn

Art by: Vanesa Del

Publisher: BOOM!

The Empty Man is truly unsettling! After 2 issues it has already captured the right balance between chilling, while providing a great detective story.

Like the first issue, this issue did spend a lot of time explaining the background of this world. A world that has been filled with a virus which has killed a huge amount of people, but yet people don’t actually know too much about it. This is what Bunn has done so well I think with this idea, because he shows us all the different manifestations of this virus, and it begs the reader to ask the question as to how this one virus can affect people in so many ways, and just like the actual detectives in the book have a problem to solve, it also makes the reader want to solve the reason why the virus manifests the way it does.

There is a strong feeling of uncertainty for all the CDC and FBI agents in this book and this is why it puts us as the reader in a position where we feel akin to them, we want the agents to solve the mystery, yet we really want to be the ones to figure it out ourselves first. The scene in the interview room which carries on from the end of the previous issue is a perfect example of the mystery as clearly this monster thing has become real, and as we are told previously that the way the virus appears is solely internal to the person carrying the virus, and in this room this monster is clear for all to see (and to fight). What happened in this scene to one of the agents while fighting the monster was not a surprise and we see the reality of this towards the end of the issue, yet despite lack of a bombshell finding out what has happened to this agent, it is still done in a way where we can’t wait to see how it is played out as we haven’t seen someone infected from the outset, we have only seen what it is like just before they die.

What us as the reader are privy to is the elements of the story which the agents are not involved in, while the agents are trying to figure out the kidnappings we are shown where they are in the last part of the story in this hospital type thing. This reveal really surprised me and really opens up so many questions that this and with the agent above having been infected is really two strands that are going to drive this short series.

Really driving this series forward is the art. The panelling is fantastic and really edgy (literally), the parts of the issue in the past giving us a look at past manifestations of the virus is really effective using this way of panelling. But besides the panelling, the actual art itself is really unique especially the colouring which has a sort of faded smudge to it and really creates the whole chilling atmosphere that is often found in these small town murder mystery type TV shows. The atmosphere created therefore is truly in tune with what we are reading thereby creating a seamless blend and an excellent reading experience.

This really is a great book, and with only six issues for the whole series one might consider waiting for the trade to come out, but I think it works really well in this format as I can’t wait to pick up the next issue because it gives me time to think about what we have learnt to try and solve the mystery of this virus. If you are a fan of this genre, I definitely recommend this book. If you are a fan of detective stories and never really liked horror, I would still recommend this book because it is written in such a way that the horror of the virus is not the focal point it is the figuring out of the plot strands and really makes this book more of a detective story than a horror story. I can’t recommend this book more highly, go pick it up!!!


About the Author

Joel Raivid

Senior Editor at We The Nerdy, a family man, comic book lover, tv addict, sports fan and all round nice guy. Follow him on Twitter at Follow @Joel_Raivid