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Empire #1

Posted: Saturday, August 2, 2003
By: Shaun Manning



Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Barry Kitson

Publisher: DC Comics

The Story:
The first DC issue of all-new material of the book where the bad guys win! The new ambassador from Greenland meets the world dictator Golgoth face to face. While he may fare better than his deceased predecessors, there is little chance he will escape unscathed. Meanwhile, Golgoth’s treasured daughter begins to learn the truth about her esteemed father, and may have secrets of her own. Xanna’s knowledge of the Eucharist drug, the hyper addictive substance that serves both to heighten the efficiency of Golgoth’s elite killers and also to keep them loyal, attracts the attention of the Empire’s manipulator of privileged information.

The Reaction:
Read issue 0. Or, if you’ve got’em, issues 1 and 2 of the original Image/Gorilla Comics series. Waid has some very good stuff going on in this issue, but it’s not much in the way of introduction. While the writer has stated that each issue can stand alone, the foundation created in the “origin” issue really is necessary to grasp the weight and importance of these characters’ actions. One can certainly catch up, but the revelation of the last hero Endymion’s final fate is much more forceful when experienced first hand, rather than in flashback.

Kitson’s art is resonates with Silver Age goodness, making the reversal of fortune of Earth’s heroes and villains that much more compelling. This is the world where Superman can toss planets around and manipulate his facial muscles to change his appearance, but this Superman wears a suit of iron and executes friends for recreation.

The Verdict:
Again, hunt down number zero or the “collector edition” original printings. They’re great fun, and provide the best primer on what this world is about and what its leaders are capable of. Imagine a second term for GWB and you’ll have a small insight into the horror of Empire.



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