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‘Empress #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The universe is a big, dangerous place.

Mark Millar kicked things off in a big way with his new series, and now things are getting really interesting.  I had only seen the pencils version of the first issue and when I got to see the pages in my hand, I was blown away; the finished product is beautiful and truly deserving of the title “space opera”.  Stuart Immonen has filled a rich and wondrous galaxy for us, and this escape tale hits every note with grace a poise.  Everything in Issue #2 takes another step up, and it’s a helluva fun ride.

As hinted in the first issue, Emporia and Captain Havelok have a plan in place, but if another well-known space epic has taught us anything, it’s that plans . . . change.  Havelok seemed a desperate and driven man in the first issue; he takes on some reckless badassery in the second and really moves the action.  We get more of a glimpse into who Emporia was and begin filling in the blanks on these characters who are still very fresh to us.  The basics are there: bumbling bureaucrats and slow-reacting henchmen overwrought by characters with hefty sets of, well . . . let’s just say that our protagonists don’t lack in a certain fortitude.  This is the issue where everything gets turned up and we get to really see everyone cut loose.  There’s enough story to support and still drive the narrative, but it seems we’ll have to wait just a bit for the pieces of the puzzle to be filled in.

Damn is this book pretty.  Having seen again only pencils, I can’t wait for the issue to drop to see the polish on this one.  Holy cow, the panels are composed with a cinematic flair that does a great job at not only telling the story but giving loving attention to the fantastic creations they’ve come up with.  Everything seems larger than life, and there’s one half-page shot labeled with “Stars!” that I am chomping at the bit to see finished.  The action is handled beautifully and nothing seems to stall or slow down the fun at all.
This is a great book that can sweep you along with flashy action and bravado aplenty but remembers its core of an abused family on the run.  So far, the two issues have tended toward the action side of things, but I think that soon we’ll be dealing with the down-to-earth realities that have been hinted at so far.  If this title finds the right balance of those two aspects, this will become one of the best new series of the year.

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Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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