Review: The Empty #1

Image Comics has seen a resurgence in the past few years that’s seen more new comic releases from the publisher than ever before. It’s an onslaught of epic proportions with new series after new series unleashing #1s every other week or so. This week’s new books included a debut from writer/artist Jimmie Robinson called The Empty, and while the creator depicts a wonderful and beautifully rendered world and characters, he failed to get me to really care about either.

Empty01_CoverTHE EMPTY #1
(W/A/CA) Jimmie Robinson
ART / COVER: JIMMIE ROBINSON”DEATH,” Part OneTanoor lives in an empty apocalyptic world of poison and decay. Her village is all that remains of humanity as they struggle against mutant beasts and rotting bones.But Tanoor finds a chance to save her people when a stranger drifts into town. A stranger armed with the power to grow life from death. A stranger who could change the world-if Tanoor can keep them alive in the deadly world of The Empty.

The Good

Creator Jimmie Robinson’s art is a shining example of the sort of unique, stylized, brilliantly designed artwork that deserves to be seen. There’s a tone of wicked beauty found throughout the book, and every turn of the page demands a few more moments of staring at each panel. The settings and the characters build this stunning world through a dynamic use of visuals, and it’s truly a wonder to behold. There’s creative choices and design decisions that require a wild imagination, and if Robinson can keep up this kind of pace The Empty could go in directions that make it a must-read comic.

The Bad

While the artwork does a great job of creating a unique universe, the writing failed to deliver. Robinson fails to make me care for the imperiled world and great-looking characters, and despite there being some brilliant story elements, I just wasn’t really all that interested in them. With this great-looking artwork, that did a great job of building the overall plot, the plot itself failed to deliver. The writer puts a lot into this single issue; there’s a lot going on and a lot of people to meet; and things seemed rushed and glanced over, characters seemed derived, and this great artwork deserved an equally good accompanying story.

The Verdict

Despite building a unique and beautiful world and characters, The Empty fails to adequately put together all of its overarching plot elements. While there’s a ton of cool things going on, they seem to be just haphazardly thrown toward one another, making for a lackluster story. The artwork makes up quite a bit for this lacking, however, and The Empty still has a ton of potential moving forward.

Story: 2.5 Out of 5
Art: 4 Out of 5
Overall: 3 Out of 5


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