In Evil Empire‘s first issue, we were introduced to rapper Reese Greenwood, incumbent GOP senator Kenneth Laramy, and Democratic nominee Sam Duggins, who had seemingly taken a liking to Reese. Laramy commits a heinous crime and brags about it on international television, leaving us to wonder why. Will we get answers in issue #2? Is it good?
Evil Empire #2 (Boom! Studios)
Laramy explains his despicable actions from last issue to a shocked crowd before getting carted off to jail. He reasons that we’re animals after all, and if you feel in your heart someone is doing you wrong, you kill that mother fucker, consequences be damned, as problems would be handled in the animal kingdom. While the general sentiment of “eye for an eye” is one I can get behind to a certain point, this is obviously a bit extremist. He does paint his now late wife in an ugly light, but how much of it is actually true is merely speculation. So, the crazy gets shoved in a jail cell and spends the rest of his life rotting in the corner of a filthy jail cell, right?
Scarily, and perhaps insanely unbelievably enough, a good portion of the population clings to Laramy’s view, and essentially begins razing the cities in which they live; whether they do this to right perceived wrongs, send a message or just have some good ole’ fashioned mob mentality fun is unclear, but either way, the country is in shambles as it seems all hell has broken loose. Laramy reveres Reese as some sort of a muse for his twisted teachings, which Reese obviously rebuffs. Her music is anti-establishment, sure, but it’s certainly not pro-baseless, mass murder. Reese aims to set the record straight and distance herself as far away from Laramy’s message as possible, all the while dealing with budding emotions toward his former political opponent, who now seems poised to take office by default (insert Homer excitedly dancing: “the two sweetest words in the English language! DE-FAULT! DE-FAULT!”).
“C’mere, ya big galoot!”
This issue is mostly fallout from events in an issue that was mostly setup, so we begin to enter decompressed territory here. Max Bemis’ formula for this series, judging by its first two entires, seems to be waxing intellectual about the follies of modern society, a flash-forward here, a juicy detail there, and end it all in a cliffhanger that makes anticipating the next issue easy. I’m not summarizing the events this way disparagingly, mind you; not at all. The questions asked by Empire are thought-provoking, interesting and leave me wanting more.
Getty’s artwork continues to impress, providing pleasing, mood-appropriate artwork throughout the narrative. Layouts are unique (check Laramy’s giant metaphorical and literal middle finger in that first image), characters are realistic and emotions are conveyed perfectly. Much like last issue, no complaints whatsoever as far as the art goes. Another perfect companion to Bemis’ ambitious plot.
To be fair, Miley is probably hella fun to hang out with these days.
Is It Good?
While not necessarily gaining much more traction than it already had, Evil Empire #2 provides adequate fallout from its debut, and sets everything in motion nicely. If you don’t often think about the sad state of politics, revolution, or dystopia, I don’t know that this series offers much to change your mind, but if you’re into this kinda thing, it’s punk rock ethos in comic book form. What’s not to love?