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‘Empress #6:’ Comic Book Review

Teenagers…amiright?

When last we met our intrepid heroes, Emporia, Tor, and Dane were trying to find their way back to the children who were about to get a good look at the inside of a grenade and then the vast expanse of the vacuum of space.  Cheery.  Things get explosive at the top of this one (Yeah, I sometimes want to slap me, too.), and we see the results.  With the rash of insanity that we’ve seen so far, I can say there are a few moments of calm in this issue, but as you would expect, they don’t last long at all.

Millar allows us some tense moments of breath this time around, giving us some quieter scenes that hearken back to Issue #2, where skulking and stealth get more accomplished than the breathtaking ride we’ve been on since.  I’ve always been wanting more from the character development side of things, but only because Millar’s given us so many interesting people to focus on.  The last page has a couple of surprises, not the least of which is that it seems the series may be wrapping up, which I will certainly be saddened to see happen.  The action and twists have been phenomenal, but I had always hoped for more small, quiet moments like in the first few pages of this issue, when it seems like luck has run out.  It immediately made me think of this emotional bomb, and damn if it didn’t hold me up for a second.  It was crafted beautifully and reinforces the deft touch of a stellar storyteller.  There’s also a subtle plot that’s been hinting around the edges a bit that seems to be about to twist the story in a fantastic and potentially explosive way.

Stuart Immonen has one of the greatest sensibilities when it comes to amazing action sequences.  His composition work is impressive with setting tone, and the emotional range of every character makes for some captivating moments.  I do worry about lower lips, though. I don’t think one was left unchewed through this issue.  Really, they must have some awfully tasty lip balm in space.  I think what I notice most is how well Immonen uses dynamic tension to control the pace of the issue, as his ability to accelerate up and down in relation to the script makes for a cohesive experience.

I want more, pure and simple.  I want to see more than lip service paid to the underlying stressors driving this narrative. I had been really looking forward to seeing how the family dynamic played out a bit more, but there’s no debating that this is one of the most engaging sci-fi tales to come out in a very long time.  The action is solid, the thrills are genuine, and this is a creative team that is working in fantastic concert to make one hell of a reading experience.  I highly recommend picking up this issue and grabbing the back ones on the off chance you’ve missed it.

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