Empress #1

by stephengervais on April 06, 2016

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Publisher: Marvel Icon
Mark Millar has done it again. He’s written yet another tale in which I can’t wait for the next issue. For his latest space romp he’s enlisted the help of superstar penciler Stuart Immonen. They’ve crafted a world set on Earth millions of years in the past but could very well take place in present time. The story revolves around a wife desperate to flee the clutches of her tyrannical-ruler-type husband with her children and loyal bodyguard in tow. The issue is pretty much full-tilt action throughout with some short character and world building at the beginning to ease the reader in.
Millar does an exceptional job thrusting the reader into the characters lives. We get a marvelous introduction in which we fully understand just how wicked King Morax is and why his wife, Queen Emporia, wants to so desperately escape his grasp. It doesn’t take long to sympathize with the Queen’s dangerous decision which initiates a metric ton of space action. Millar provides a just enough narrative to help the reader connect to this newly created universe. This combined with some well thought out dialogue help move the story along without making it feel bogged down or take away from the heavy action sequences. That being said, there is one flashback scene in the middle of the escape which felt a bit out of place. It wasn’t expected and felt somewhat jarring. Perhaps it was meant to give the reader a small breather from everything that was going on. It doesn’t take away from the story but also doesn’t seem to really add much to it either.
Accompanying the wonderful story of course is the beautiful art of Immonen. Everything in the issue is so well drawn. His character work is flawless, his backgrounds are amazing and even breathtaking at times, and when needed his detailing is dead-on. The art is what truly gives this story such a fast-paced feel to it. His work has such a fluid look that it seems to be moving in almost a cinematic manner.
This was a very fun debut issue with a story that can take so many different directions. As soon as I got to the end I cursed monthly schedules and wish I had the entire story to consume a la binge. Immonen’s art is out of this world (pun intended). He seems to have really hit mark in the sci-fi gendre as of late. Great first issue! Pick it up!

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