Empire: Uprising #1 Review

Written by: Mark Waid

Art by: Barry Kitson

Publisher: IDW

Having never read the original Empire series I was intrigued enough to check out the sequel based on three things; Mark Waid, Barry Kitson and the concept. The new series was originally released as a digital-first weekly series but has now made it’s way into brick-and-mortar store shelves with some new art mixed in. Alongside it is a new printing of the original series, allowing for newcomers to join in. The question remains however is Empire: Uprising worth your time? From this first issue alone the answering seems like a resounding yes.

For those like me who’ve never read the original series, Empire: Uprising is set in a world wherein the all-powerful supervillain has achieved his goals and actually managed to conquer the world. This series picks up a year after the original and shows a very dark society that oozes fear around every corner. It’s a very unique world, especially since Waid often like to lean more towards the lighter, optimistic side of superhero comics it’s pretty shocking to see him display such a harsh world. You can really feel the pressure the people are living under in this society and Waid make it feel like a very real, scary place. He’s aided by the supreme talents of Barry Kitson, who gives the comic a very cold, dark edge. His storytelling ability is also second to none, as he renders some very chilling moments during the mandatory three minute silence. If you’ve never read the original you may miss a few details, but I found the story easy enough to follow and really got involved in the world so I’d recommend it if you’d like to try out the newest series before diving into the original series.

The only thing that really held back this issue for me though is the lack of forward momentum. Aside from the world building and introduction there’s nothing much else that goes on during the story other than a potential uprising. This itself is interesting and allows Kitson to employ some really brutal and highly violent art, but apart from this I have trouble telling where the story will go from here. With the talent on board I have no doubt it’ll be a story worth reading, however I would’ve liked a little more suggestion as to where the story is going from here.

Aside from this nitpick, this was a pretty awesome introductory issue and has left me excited to read more from this series. If you’re a fan of any of Waid’s stuff it’s definitely worth checking out, even if you’ve never read the original series, and in fact I’d especially recommend it if you haven’t as it may turn you towards the original. This definitely gets a recommendation and I’ll certainly be sticking around for future issues.