Empire #6 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Consummate Plan

Written by: Mark Waid
Penciled by: Barry Kitson
Inked by: James Pascoe
Colored by: Bad@ss
Lettered by: Comicraft
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics

Wrapping things up…

There are certain good and bad points to reading a mini-series. While I would have loved to see Empire as an ongoing series, the comic industry really doesn’t take kindly to new characters, let alone new universes. There are a vast array of wonderful characters with long publishing histories and loyal fan followings. Quite often new books just don’t get enough attention and are cancelled within the first year or so. While it stinks that Empire was only a 6-issue (plus a zero issue reprinting previous tales from the now defunct Gorilla Comics) mini, at least the format allowed a somewhat complete, and satisfying, tale to be told.

Empire from the start has been more about the characters and situations than big battles and overdone action. This has been the best written, best looking soap opera you could ever see, and to top it off it features supervillains! These are not cookie cutter villains with poor characterization, and no real motivation, or depth. Characters like: Lord Golgoth, Lucullan, Xanna, Kafra, Lohkyn, and Delfi have been so well developed, that while you may love-to-hate-them, you also can’t help but just love them. Or something like that.

So much more to tell…with any luck.

The amazing thing about Empire is that even with the unpadded seven issues thus far, this team has barely scratched the surface of this properties potential. Never mind the idea that this is a world where the bad guys won. There is little to no real resistance. That in itself is a concept with myriad possibilities moving away from the normal comic story. It’s the character interactions that make this series worth reading. Many men find the soap opera appeal in professional wrestling, well this book should have that similar appeal to comic fans, only better written than the wasteland that is the current wrestling landscape, and with far more interesting characters.

I’m not going to waste time giving a blow-for-blow of the final issue. Suffice to say Lord Golgoth really gets pissed this month, so pissed that it’s clear he’s only been a little cranky in previous issues. Mark Waid throws in some excellent tidbits that will hopefully lead to future tales, and Barry Kitson and James Pascoe turn in another stellar artistic performance. If you want to know any more, pick the damn thing up!

John Babos, my good buddy, has used reviews of last issues (of arcs and minis) as a place to cull the previous grades of the series by the fine 411mania staff. I figured I’d follow in his footsteps and bring you a similar collection. You’ll see below that the variety of staff members were in pretty solid agreement on the book.

Issue #0 – review by Dave Graham: 8.5

Issue #1 – review by Chris Delloiacono: 8.5

Issue #2 – review by Mathan Erhardt: 7.5

Issue #3 – review by Kevin S. Mahoney: 8.5

Issue #4 – review by Oscar Ferguson: 7.0

Issue #5 – review by Dave Graham: 8.5

Issue #6 – review by Chris Delloiacono: 8.0

So, the cumulative score by 411mania’s staff is a very respectable “8.0.” If you can’t find the back issues, you owe it to yourself to pick up the trade paperback. That is when DC actually prints it! Hopefully very soon, 2003’s must read mini-series will become the must read trade paperback.