REVIEW: ‘The Empty Man,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Empty Man #2 is horror comic published by BOOM! Studios and by creative team writer Cullen Bunn (Bone ParishHarrow County), artist Jesús Hervás(Lucas Stand, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser), colorist Niko Guardia, and letterer Ed Dukeshire. This series is a sequel to the previous run from Bunn which introduced readers to a dystopian world paralyzed by the mysterious Empty Man virus. This series brings us back into the fray of that world with the previous issue introducing us to the Kerry family. Melissa Kerry has contracted the disease and should be in isolation as per government regulation but her family refuses to give her up knowing if they turn her over they will never see her again.

This issue opens with more explanation of the nature of this violent pandemic. Victims of the disease do horrific things in the name of ‘The Empty Man’ including, purposely wrecking into cars, kidnapping children, and even cutting off parts of their own body to blend them. The disease brings out the deepest and darkest parts of humanity. Later, we see a team from the CDC and FBI speaking to Vicki Kerry about her mother Melissa. Melissa is clearly getting worse and the family is having a harder and harder time hiding her from authorities. Additionally, it’s clear the government has their own secrets about ‘The Empty Man’ pandemic while a new group, The Whisper Oracles, emerges from the shadows.

As many of you know, despite not being a horror movie fan, I love horror comics. The Empty Man has stolen my heart and is quickly becoming one of my favorite comics currently on shelves. Bunn has crafted a creepy and unnerving story that hits particularly close to home for me. I am chronically ill and like any sick or disabled person, I often have insecurities and fear around being immobilized by my conditions. Like any good horror story, The Empty Man feeds into these fears and crafts a compelling narrative.

Additionally, Hervás’ art in this book is fantastic. It is beautiful in its own deeply disturbing way. I also love Guardia’s coloring in this book. The entire book feels like it is being viewed through a grainy lens with everything bleeding together, pun intended. In regards Dukeshire’s lettering, the book shies away from onomatopoeia words traditional comics tend to rely on and for that I am thankful. In The Empty Man, the focus on is on the art and script. This is not an action-heavy book in the traditional sense of epic gunfights. Instead, the book focuses on building psychological tension.

Overall, The Empty Man #2 is a fantastic read and while picking up issue 1 is not strictly necessary, I highly recommend it if only because it is also fantastic. New readers of the series do not need to pick up the 2014 run to understand the new story. If you enjoy horror comics this is a must-have for your subscription box.

The Empty Man #2 is available at comic stores and online December 12, 2018.

The Empty Man #2
5

TL;DR

Overall, The Empty Man #2 is a fantastic read and while picking up issue 1 is not strictly necessary, I highly recommend it if only because it is also fantastic. New readers of the series do not need to pick up the 2014 run to understand the new story. If you enjoy horror comics this is a must-have for your subscription box.