‘The Empty Man #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I read issue one of The Empty Man, but a concussion kept me from writing the review at the time, so here we are at issue two as Cullen Bunn taps into what makes online urban myths like The Tall Man spooky as hell to me. The Empty Man is a virus, or maybe a person, or maybe both that gets into the heads of its victims, making them do erratic and violent things. It can affect anyone at any time. It makes you see things, think things, believe things. It alters your reality. The idea is unnerving. The execution makes it more so.

Cullen Bunn simultaneously deals with the microcosm and the macrocosm. With the latter, Bunn gives us a series of gruesome anecdotes, many of which made me cringe, but he doesn’t just give a listical. He grounds these moments in the real world which makes it all the more effective. In the microcosm, Bunn has chosen to follow a family of three - father, daughter, and the wife/mother who is infected with The Empty Man. The father has been approached by the leader of what appears to be a cult, and the daughter separately has been approached by agents of what appears to be some government agency. Realistically, they are at their wits end, unsure of how to properly deal with the increasingly erratic behavior of their loved one.

Wasting no time, Bunn is already ratcheting up the tension as these elements promise to clash in the near future. The amazing thing is, he’s doing this without fully revealing the motivations behind the different factions. It’s a juggling act that he succeeds at, because we know exactly how it would feel being a part of that family.

Artist Jesús Hervás captures the violent chaos in a way that makes my skin crawl. It isn’t just violent to be violent; the violence slowly encroaches into the normal world, like a cockroach slowly making its way up your bed under the covers. Cunn injects enough psychological tension to make the violence really hit home.

This is an effective book, cutting into the reader with the mathematical precision of a doctor and their scalpel. If you’re a fan of horror, it’s worth picking up.


Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (writer), Jesús Hervás (artist), Niko Guardia (colors), Ed Dukeshire (letters), Marie Krupina (designer), Eric Harburn (editor)
Publisher:  BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.



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