The Empty Man #5
Words: Cullen Bunn
Pictures: Vanesa R. Del Rey
This is one dark book. Not just story wise, although a supernatural disease is pretty dark, but from a visual aspect as well.
I normally start reviews by talking off what I dig about the story, but this time around, I’m starting with the art. And why not, comics are a visual medium, and The Empty Man is very visual. And like I said at the front, dark. The shadows have shadows here in The Empty Man. The darkness is thick, and pervasive, and oppressive, and damn near claustrophobic… exactly the way it needs to be. It surrounds our characters, it surrounds the story, and before too long, it surrounds the reader. This book does such a good job of practically infecting the reader with its sense of… what? Fear? Dread? Danger? Weirdness? All of the above? This issue really struck me with just how dark it looked and that has stayed with me. Very nicely done, Vanesa R. Del Rey.
Of course, the story is having the same effect. There’s a depth to the darkness from Mr. Bunn as well. The creep factor is high as reality and vision blurs as we delve deeper into The Empty Man. The wall hugging, red headed, tentacle sister is a sight to behold. Almost as creepy as her brother (or at least I assume that is her brother, the actual Empty Man), almost. That dude is downright wicked. Again, a big tip of the hat to Vanesa on that. And of course there’s the Preacher who knows more than he is letting on, and that’s always a red flag. You can just sense the “not rightness” coming off of him in waves. They may be subtle, but they are definitely there. Secrets, they’re everywhere. And that’s what makes this dark little gem work so well.
This story leaves me with a rather Lovecraftian feel, where there’s something out there that is just beyond my understanding or comprehension, and it’s not going anywhere until it gets what it wants. With just one more issue to go, I can’t wait to see how this one will play out.
4.25 out of 5 Shadow People