All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Check out the archive to see what books have been spotlighted so far.
Today we look at The Empty #1, which debuted THIS WEEK from Image Comics by Jimmie Robinson (writer/artist).
The Empty is a compelling take on your standard post-apocalyptic story, as here, we get to see the end result of ruining the environment, as a good deal of the world is now barren. This mostly barren world has forced people in these regions to adapt, as we see from the people living on these lands…
However, there are another group of people who live on lush lands. Among those people is a young woman named Lila, who has the ability to cause things to grow. Can you imagine how powerful such a person would be in this situation? Because of her powers, a plot rises up against her and she ends up stuck in the barren lands (the “Empty” of the book’s title) where she meets the warrior named Tanoor. Remember what I said earlier about adapting? That’s perhaps one of the coolest things about this first issue, is that Robinson designs Tanoor and Lila in drastically different ways, as they have each developed differently according to their environments. Tanoor has long arms and a short neck. Lila is the exact opposite.
So Lila shows up and demonstrates that she can bring life to this barren land. So you’d figure everyone would be thrilled about that. You’d be wrong, as Robinson does a very nice job showing how fear, superstition and a desire to protect ones own power over ones own people leads to Lila suddenly being ostracized by TWO groups of people! Now Tanoor must protect Lila while she tries to bring Lila back to Lila’s home while also securing a future for Tanoor’s people.
Robinson’s artwork in this first issue is excellent – he designed an engaging and interesting world and his sequential work is particularly strong. Particularly a sequence with Tanoor and Lila trying to cross a bridge.
Robinson has a lot of fun with the dichotomies presented by Tanoor and Lila. Their partnership is still new and already their personalities have clashed very nicely.
The set-up here is rich for what I hope turns out to be a long run.
Go pick this book up today!
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