REVIEW: ‘The Empty Man,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Empty Man #8 is the final issue in this horror series that is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Cullen Bunn, with art by Jesús Hervás, colors by Niko Guardia, and letters by Ed Dukeshire. Previously, Jensen and the Kerry family reunited with Langford, who was long thought dead. Langford recalled his time in the Empty Man’s mind and his attempt to kill the Empty Man. Now, Jensen and the Kerry family attempt to stop the Empty Man’s signal before the world is completely lost. But to doing so have potentially dire consequences.

The Empty Man #8 closes out the series and ties off some of its loose endings while also successfully adverting expectations in regards to its ending. This series started out focusing on the Kerry family and while it has added new and intriguing characters, including Jensen, the series closes focusing again on the Kerry’s. The family has been thrust into fighting this disease, turned holy war.

The Empty Man #8 moves quickly as all the pieces were cleverly lined up in previous issues that even the twist fit into place. Bunn’s script in this issue relies more on exposition than dialogue, which is an interesting choice considering this is the final issue, at least for now. However, the choice fit the overall aesthetic of the issue and showed just how little we still know about the illusive Empty Man. The disease is still not quite explained as it appears to be in a lot of ways grounded in the supernatural. But this lack of information makes the plot stronger as the disease and the figure of the Empty Man himself is that much more unnerving.

A lot of this issue utilizes body horror and Hervás’ art elevates the panels. The grim and gritty color palette from Guardia only highlights further the unearthly nature of the bizarre creatures featured in the issue who are seemly made of blood clots. Additionally, the creatures following Langford are inspired by the tumors of his cancer. The choice to have them reflect that, while disturbing, is also beautiful. Cancer is a disease that affects nearly everyone on the planet in some way. Also, the idea of a physical embodiment of your illness following you around is a feeling many mentally and physically disabled people have. There are days where my Hashimoto’s Disease feels like it has a life of its own which is fueled by draining my own energy.

Overall, The Empty Man #8 is a satisfying close to a spectacular horror series that has weaved various haunting themes throughout its narrative. The ending of this issue leaves room for this creative team to return to the series in the future. I have consistently loved this series and gone on record as saying it is my favorite book currently on shelves. This issue only furthers that belief for me. If you are a fan of horror comics, particularly of the infection subgenre, I highly recommend this book.

The Empty Man #8 is available now everywhere comic books are sold

The Empty Man #8 
5

TL;DR

Overall, The Empty Man #8 is a satisfying close to a spectacular horror series that has weaved various haunting themes throughout its narrative. The ending of this issue leaves room for this creative team to return to the series in the future. I have consistently loved this series and gone on record as saying it is my favorite book currently on shelves.