Written by Max Bemis
Art by Andrea Mutti
Published by Boom! Studios
Release Date: 08/27/2014
Another comic that I keep finding myself dedicating a lot of coverage to is Max Bemis’s EVIL EMPIRE. Bemis is perhaps best known as the lead singer for the band ‘Say Anything’. In 2013 Bemis collaborated with BOOM! Studios and released the miniseries POLARITY. Now, he is once again working with the Los Angeles based publisher and teaming up with Ransom Getty, and for this issue Andrea Mutti (The Returning). The fourth issue hit stands this week and this violently charged political thriller continues to amaze me.
Like past issues, this once again begins twenty-five years in the future where the still unknown dictator of this evil empire meets with some of his men, as they discuss and address the growing concern and threat of this revolution. Let’s just say this “Wicked One” (which is how he is addressed) has zero tolerance for those soldiers in his ranks that may cause doubt and uncertainty.
Back in present time, the confrontation between Laramy’s now former men with Reese and Theo ends with gunfire and federal agent intervention. Months go by and the scene shifts to the night of Sam Duggin’s election. We see how some of these relationships between some of our characters have developed, with Reese and her attempt to befriend Kara Laramie, again Reese and her love for Sam and the way she opens up to him. Sam is sincere and caring with her, always giving her sound advice (as we see Reese and Theo reconcile). Bemis sets up this really close bond and trust between the Duggin’s family and Reese, which really creates this special dynamic between them all. That’s what makes the end of this issue once again so shocking, as Bemis reveal and introduces us to one of the most unexpected relationships in the story so far.
Normally, I dislike it when a book or series changes artists. I’m not actually sure what is going on here and if Mutti is replacing Getty from here on out, or if they will continue to work together and continue to share pages. Regardless, Andrea Mutti’s illustrations hold up really well. I enjoyed his work on The Returning and both he and Getty have been impressive. Even if their styles are a little different, Chris Blythe does such a superb job with his colors that the artist flip-flopping is hardly noticeable.
It is pretty obvious that the reason so many readers are enjoying this series is the shock factor, as Bemis has managed to now script four abruptly brilliant endings that gives us enough reason to keep coming back for more. The quality of his writing is outstanding, as Bemis is doing a superb job in keeping his audience off-balance and guessing. Just when you think it is safe to make an assumption with where EVIL EMPIRE is going, it comes right back at you and unpredictably forces you in another direction. A frightening take on the violent descent of American society, this graphic novel continues to remain a must read!
REVIEW: EVIL EMPIRE #4
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)