Saturday, June 20, 2015

Comic Review: Empty Zone #1

Image Comics has no editorial mandates for a specific shared universe or style, and pushes an ethos towards being independent and willing to publish anything. Despite that, many of their comics feel very much a part of certain genres, and Empty Zone very much shares many common themes and elements, without setting itself apart too much from the rest. 

The first place to look is the art. It pairs a very dark color palette with a heavily inked sketchbook style. This works for making the world feel very dark and dirty, both literally and figuratively. For as much as it works for tone, however, it often feels like overkill, sacrificing clarity for tone, which does a very good job for the tone, but not for helping us actually get into the story and characters. 
The story and characters are a dark version of the future, feeling oddly like the dark cousin of Alex + Ada, perhaps an inevitable comparison because that series ended this week. Our main character is Corinne, who is part cybernetic, has been involved in some very shady business now and in the past, and has a tendency to have nightmares or hallucinations. There are also inducations that she has some control over machines, but that is barely touched on in this issue, like just about everything else about her character. There is not much of her character to really grasp, and no one else in the story is well developed, either. Without these characters, I have nothing to grasp onto with the story. 

It is really trying, and I wanted to like it more, especially as it starts to set up some mysteries at the end of this issue, but there's nothing to really elevate it above the average. More than likely, I'm not going to pursue this series further, with nothing in particular to hook me. 

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