Grumpy Bird Reviews: Evil Empire #1

art by Jay Shaw
art by Jay Shaw

Evil Empire #1

Writer: Max Bemis

Artist: Ransom Getty

Publisher: Boom! Studios


The Summation: The issue starts with a glimpse of a future USA that appears to be patrolled by menacing secret police who are happy to draw down on citizens for intervening in the beating of a guy in a wheelchair. Meanwhile caption boxes tell us we are about to get the story of how the dystopian future began and how it’s all our fault. Cut to the present day where we have an outspoken rock diva being visited by a young presidential candidate who wanted to meet her. We quickly learn the other party frontrunner has suffered a family tragedy. We get some yadda yaddaing through interviews and speeches leading up to a shocking reveal.

The Review: The issue is very heavy with dialogue which leads to its major weakness. Nothing said sounds real. I can’t see real people holding conversations like this. The patter feels off, and in a book that is majority conversation that is a major failing. I think that I am supposed to be impressed with Bemis’ cleverness but instead I just feel like Bemis is trying really hard to be clever and edgy and missing the mark. Its the written version of a singer who can’t find the proper note and is always just out of tune. By then end of the issue I don’t feel curious about any of the characters nor do I find any of them likable enough to want to follow their story. The shocking reveal at the end feels more like a case of the most likely antagonist revealing himself to be the antagonist.

The art is serviceable but inconsistent. Faces are constantly changing and the second half of the book looks different from the first half. I can’t say what exactly, but something about the inking style seems overdone and heavy, especially on faces. All that said, there is nothing about it that is bad, just a a whole it doesn’t mesh.

All in all, there isn’t much here I can recommend but there is also nothing to really condemn either.  The bottom line is I’m not invested in any character enough to care about a plot that feels fairly standard and for such a dialogue heavy comic the dialogue is its weakest point.

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