Evil Empire #6
Words: Max Bemis
Pictures: Andrea Mutti
This book is frighteningly good. I mean, it’s kind of frightening realizing just how a few little nudges here and a few turns of the head there, and this book, or something very close to it, could be a reality.
Max Bemis has a nice grip on pacing in this issue. After taking issue five out of continuity, we’re back and up and running in no time. He deftly gets us into the story, including a nice little two page chart delineating Sam and Julia Duggins’ rise to Evil. The simple, matter of fact way we see the short, six month time line expressed is refreshing (as it doesn’t drag down the crux of the story with heavy handed exposition) and chilling as well. These five panels are so succinct in expressing the necessary information, but they also relay the attitude of Sam Duggins. This is happening, period. At just four pages of story, we’ve come a long way in catching up and being reminded that this dude, Sam, is for real. He means every single Evil thing he’s done and is going to do. That’s pretty good for just four pages.
The rest of the pages are just as good. We catch up with Sams’ Ex and her burgeoning resistance as she and Theo meet up with Quinn and Yale. There’s plots and counter plots afoot, and dammit if that Sam Duggins doesn’t seem to be one step ahead, or at least unfazed by anything happening.
I’m digging this book a lot. It’s more than just a thought experiment into what would happen if there were no rules. It’s a serious look at what if means to be “free” and what it means to have “consequences”. And how without consequences, it’s easy to slip into the thought pattern that unfettered, unchecked freedom is what we deserve. As I’m thinking about this book (which by the way, is a sign of a really good piece of work, that I’m sitting here thinking about it… a lot) I’m left wondering if Sam Duggins has a plan for when his Evil Empire of celebrating freedom will prove to be his downfall. Because, if you take this to the logical end, why should he be calling the shots? We’re all free, right? Why should one guy be able to set any standard for any of us? Why shouldn’t I be calling the shots?
Max Bemis has taken us up and down a slippery slope of power, control, freedom, and responsibility, and the journey is far from over…. And I’ll gladly see it out to the end.
PS: Three words; Porno On Ice.
4.5 out of 5 Clenched Fists