June 14, 2004 | Trades


Mark Waid, Barry Kitson
DC Comics
$22.95/$14.95 (Paperback)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

There are two key truths in comic books: Death is rarely permanent and good will always, eventually, overcome evil.
But life’s not like that in Empire.
With this collected limited series, acclaimed writer Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Fantastic Four) and talented penciller Barry Kitson (JLA: Year One), have created one of the most unusual titles in years.
There are no good guys, just bad guys with an occasional flitting of conscience.
Set in a not-too-distant future, the Empire rules almost all of earth. Along with his cabinet —ministers of war, execution, discipline, etc. — supreme ruler Golgoth (picture Darth Vader without ‘The Force’ but with good technology, a quantity of fanatics and a lot of guns) now moves toward crushing the last few pockets of resistance left on the planet.
With stories told mainly through the eyes of the ministers, some of whom question their roles, and even their loyalty, to the Empire, we are taken on a roller-coaster ride that can best be described as bleak.
The death in this series, and it does tend to run rampant, is very permanent and there doesn’t appear to be much hope for good.
Empire breaks the rules and takes no prisoners. It is an interesting examination of the ambiguity of morality, modern warfare and fanaticism.

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