Rating: 4/5 – A Polarizing but Effective Art Style.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
The Empty number one is a story that has ideas and concepts that we’ve seen plenty of times before, but told in a unique and interesting way. Writer and artist Jimmie Robinson who’s best known for his work on Bomb Queen has created a whole new world with two female leads. The Empty includes science fiction and religious elements in a story that’s simple to follow with a small but interesting cast of characters, and an art style that may be polarizing to some.
The human characters in The Empty are not drawn in a “comic book normal” style, but you come to realize that this is exactly the style that Robinson is going for and over the course of the issue, that style does grow on you as it sets a specific mood for the story. The characters from the world of lush greens and trees are drawn with abnormally long necks and eyes much too large for their head, giving it an almost manga-like feel. The characters from The Empty, including main character Tanoor have arms that go past their knees. In the first few pages the art feels off, but throughout the course of the issue I came to appreciate the style Robinson is going for. Tanoor’s design is especially memorable with her gigantic blades attached to her elongated arms, and towards the end of this issue I was excited by the designs Robinson surely has lined up for this world.
The world we see the most of within this first issue is an “Empty” desert wasteland engulfing small town that’s fighting to stay alive. Alien like roots have sprouted up and branched out, releasing deadly fumes that adversely affects all manner of life. It’s Tanoor who’s trying to do what’s best to save her people when she comes across a stranger who can perform miracles, although not everyone in town sees it that way. They see this outsider as a devil, disrupting what they know. As mentioned above, the story isn’t all that original, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining, and in it’s own way original.
The Empty may turn some people off with its non-standard art style as it did with me at first glance, but as I read the issue I came to realize that Jimmie Robinson’s art is creating a subtly alien world that I want to read more about. Image comics has been releasing plenty of new series lately and I’m intrigued enough to come back for the second issue of this series that feels different from the others being launched. I hope this book finds an audience of people who are going to appreciate exactly what Robinson is going for here, something different from the average comic that hopefully will click with the different from the average readers out there.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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