This week, we get a new number one to throw into the ring with The Empty Man from Boom! Studios. Also, Marvel dropped their TPB (trade paperback for new readers) for Night of the Living Deadpool. Som we get a solid dose of the post-Apocalypse this week. One ends up being a solid entry into a genre on the rise and the other ends up falling a little bit flat.
The Empty Man #1
Published by Boom! Studios
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Vanesa R. Del Rey
Cullen Bunn is the man behind the highly innovative sleeper hit “The Sixth Gun,” a fun mystical western romp that you should really check out if you get the chance. Knowing that, I was expecting a new and interesting story from "The Empty Man" and about halfway through the issue I found myself a little disappointed.
The story seemed like a classic retread of so many stories we have seen before: 28 Days Later, The Stand, every other post-apocalyptic tale ever. But stick with it for the long haul because the last five pages are when things get really interesting and Bunn manages to flip the story on its head and reel you in. It’s hard to describe without giving it away, but two federal agents are investigating a rash of strange incidents that seem to be related to some sort of virus dubbed “the empty man.”
What comes off as a generic one-and-done evolves into an interesting creep fest by the end of the issue. Del Rey also manages to keep things interesting with her gritty sketch art, a perfect tone setter for the story.
Night of the Living Deadpool (TPB)
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Ramon Rosanas
Coincidentally, both of our comics this week are written by the same author. And where one draws readers in with its new and unique hook, the other drives readers away with its standard rerun of a story we’ve seen/watched/heard a billion times.
"Night of the Living Deadpool" tells the story of Deadpool awaking from a food coma and finding that the world has ended due to the zombie apocalypse. Despite every other hero ever being dead, this still ends up feeling like a Marvel Zombies comic which, let’s face it, were super fun when they came out and then burnt out due to oversaturation. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m still burnt out.
The comic doesn’t give us anything new, its twist is pretty predictable and also very anticlimactic, and the jokes miss more often than they hit. There is one fun six panel run where a reference to numerous classic zombie movies is made (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Shaun of the Dead) but the fun doesn’t extend very far past that. It’s four issues of boring hack, slash and shoot ‘em up kills that aren’t fun and only gives the reader a few true moments of redemption, including a large group of pistol toting elderly women.
Ramon Rosanas art is pretty enough to look at but even the good art can’t keep you interested. Major props to Jay Shaw for the four issues of beautiful cover art, though.