Story: Cullen Bunn (@cullenbunn)
Art: Vanesa R. Del Rey( @VDelRey)
Letters: Ed Dukeshire (@eDukeDW)
Colors: Michael Garland (@MichaelGarland)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios (@boomstudios)
Release Date: December 10, 2014
For years the Empty Man disease has been wreaking havoc on main street America, causing people to brutalize themselves, and often others, in horrific ways. CDC specialist Walter Langford and Special Agent Monica Jensen may have finally found patient zero, but will that discovery lead to a cure for the disease and the return of the Simmons children?
**WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!**
In issue #6, Jensen and Langford manage to catch up to Pastor Abram just as the opportunistic man of faith begins to transport the Empty Man to another undisclosed location. There is a mild confrontation as Abram is taken into custody and interrogated.
This issue is a conclusion yes, but it could conceivably be the beginning of the next chapter, as Jensen reveals to Langford that she has been infected for some time and communicating with the Empty Man’s dead sister, her (Jensen’s) unrevealed source. This revelation in turn leads the team to the discovery of a doorway into the Empty Man’s mind, the realm where he’s been keeping the Simmons children.
This is really a wonderfully horrifying tale that exists just on the other side of plausibility. The book toys with modern concepts of mental illness and group-think, combining them to form a story that is undeniably creepy and unsettling.
The artwork is appropriately dark and foreboding, with deep shadows and washed-out color schemes or scene enhancing monochromes that crawl across each page. If you’ve been following along so far, you know that the book also utilizes an unconventional panel layout, a v-shaped pattern, that literally and figuratively points toward a single locus.
Bunn has crafted a believable and compelling relationship between the two main protagonists, with just the right amount of conflict and compassion. The supporting cast, especially the secretive Dr. Marsh, give the story fullness, added dimension, that is sometimes lacking in horror titles. That’s probably because Empty Man so effectively mixes genres; crime procedural, mystery, sci fi, suspense, and of course, horror.
Even if you haven’t had the opportunity to get into the story up until now, I’d still suggest you go out and grab Issue #6, as it’s a satisfying ending to a great mini-series.