Empress #1

Marvel Icon

Release Date:  4/6/16

Words:  Mark Millar

Pictures:  Stuart Immonen

The Sitch:  

65 million years ago, Earth was ruled over by the ruthless King Morax. King Morax likes to rule his people with the threat of violence and death. He is married to a woman named Emporia, who after seventeen years of marriage makes a break for freedom from her husband’s tyranny and a better life with her three children, ages 15, 10 and 18 months. Emporia and her children, together with the help of her loyal body guard, Dane Havelock, begin an escape that is all danger and fast-paced action.

The Confession:

Mark Millar rarely disappoints with his stories and this is no exception. Empress is all science fiction and action, crazy fast action that does not stop. The main protagonist is a strong female lead, a woman who is smart, determined and courageous enough to not sit around and allow her children to grow under the influence of their ruthless father. She wants a better life for them and intends to get it for them. Never underestimate a mother’s love. Emporia is one bad ass mother.

Immonen’s art is dynamic, using vibrant colors and panels that display a grand scale of story telling. There is a seamless flow of fast movement that gives the reader a sense of urgency and anticipation. The depiction of so many contrasting characters and their personalities while they deal with what life throws at them is as effortless as it is beautiful.

Empress #2 was released 5/4/16. If you are a fan of the thrilling, high-paced science fiction chase, give Empress a try. The art alone is worth it.

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Robocop – The Last Stand #1

Boom!

Release Date:  8/7/13

Words:  Steven Grant, but based on Frank Miller’s script

Pictures:  Korkut Oztekin

The Sitch:

Frank Miller’s screenplay is brought to comic book life through the pen of Steven Grant.  In Robocop – The Last Stand, the Detroit police force has disbanded and the people of the city are at the mercy of ED-209s and OCP officers.  Robocop is their only hope.

The Confession:

As promising as it all sounds, especially if you’re a fan of Miller and/or Robocop, this book falls a bit flat.  The reader can easily see Miller’s influence, and it’s not that Grant does a terrible job, but there is a half-assed feel to the story.  The story has been done before, more than once even.  It goes like this:  our hero is living in the shadows, fighting the good fight, while the city around him is filled with debauchery and corruption, so it is up to him alone to take the last stand for the people.  Fans of Robocop will find their hero is still matter-of-fact about executing his form of justice in defense of the people he is sworn to protect, and aesthetically, he is still the cool Robocop from the 80’s that we know and love.  No complaint there.  But the best part of the original movie was the villains he took on.  There is none of that here, at least in this first issue, and that is what makes it all a bit dull and unmemorable.  The characters are not fleshed out enough to give them any color or substance.  There is a lack of the outrageousness and humor of the characters, especially the baddies, that we saw in the movie that made the story so classic.

The best part of this book is the art by Oztekin.  He gives the feel of mania and desperation of a dark, and dirty city.  His composition of the action sequences are good.  He keeps true to the look and feel of the Robocop defined in the 80’s.

I would recommend this one to fans of Robocop who having been dying to see what happened to Murphy and his city.  I, too, like scratching that unfinished business itch.  It’s not terrible but it’s not spectacular either.