Review – The Empty Man #1

The Empty Man #1 - Boom! Studio

Written & Created by Cullen Bunn

Art by Jesús Hervás

Colors by Niko Guardia

Letters by Ed Dukeshire

Cover Art by Vanessa Del Rey

The fear of becoming ill is a rational one.  You turn on the news, and there always seems to be some new disease that is causing some sort of a public health crisis.  How would happen if that crisis continued to grow?  The Empty Man is here from Cullen Bunn, and it might just make you paranoid.

The story centers around an outbreak of what is being called The Empty Man virus.  Since my reviews are spoiler free, I don't really want to go into any symptoms or how it is presented.  What I will say is this, it's freaking terrifying.  There is a point in the story where the virus is being described while we are seeing each stage play out on the page and it is wild.  It's certainly exaggerated because it's still a work of fiction, but there are plenty of real world elements at play to make you believe that this is something that could actually happen.  We get to see a lot from the Kerry family, which would be considered the main characters in this arc.  There is a young girl and her parents, one if which I can tell you is infected.  What the Kerry family is about to find out is that there are a lot of interested parties in this disease, and that becomes the story in the latter half of this first issue.  As a matter of fact, that leads to quite the tense cliffhanger at the end, as well.

I hate to keep pulling out my Cullen Bunn Fan Club card with every book he puts out, but it's hard not to.  This story is masterfully written, and really sets a new standard for pandemic horror stories.  The combination of the mental and physical aspects of The Empty Man virus really make you think that this could happen.  Then the way we get taken inside the mind of the victims is something that will really mess with your head.  Then the story gets taken a step further, as we get to see the response to this disease and all of the things that could happen if this scenario played out in the real world.  I certainly don't want to leave the art team out of this, because none of this works without seeing how the disease is brought to life.  It's the kind of visuals that will give you nightmares.  I'm not sure if I'm selling you on this story, or terrifying you to the point of not wanting to read it.  Trust me, this is one nightmare you want to be a part of.


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