Comic Book Report: Empire

I finally got around to tracking down Mark Waid’s oft-praised, early-2000’s mashup of deconstructed supervillains and epic fantasy–emphasis on the latter. It’s all courtly intrigue, rife with hidden agendas and betrayals and reversals and technology indistinguishable from magic. Characters and situations are depicted in mile-wide brush strokes, and pretty much everyone is…

…wait for it…

irredeemable.

Thank you! I’ll be here all week!

Empire was certainly not a dull read, but it also was not the superawesomeOMGtodiefor book that certain reviewers have made it out to be. It’s a tragedy through and through, but it all felt hollow. The last few pages should have broken my heart. Instead, I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on. YMMV.

See also: Neil Gaiman’s Miracleman stories, which offer a slightly different take on the superhuman-as-world-ruler premise and, for my money, are much creepier and more emotionally involving.

Buy the book: Powell’s, Amazon (affiliate links)

CKL

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