EmpireOrder this bookStory: What happens when a would-be world conqueror actually succeeds? An armored military genius named Golgoth is about to find out, as only a small corner of the globe sits outside of his empire. That empire is far from peaceful; not only is a rebellion brewing, but Golgoth’s own inner circle is far from trustworthy. Golgoth keeps their ambitions in check through his control of Eucharist, a highly addictive drug. The source of Eucharist is a closely guarded secret, but Golgoth has surrounded himself with men and women who will go to any length to achieve their ends . . . how long can the secrets last?

Review: “Empire” was originally meant to be an ongoing series from the late and lamented Gorilla Comics imprint. Gorilla shut down after only two issues were printed – and if you can ever get Mark Waid to tell you that story at a convention, go for it – but DC stepped in to finish off the first arc as a miniseries. This book definitely concludes with the feeling that there is more to the story, and sadly Waid and Kitson have not gotten around to telling it yet. That’s a shame because Waid really let loose here, and it seems he had a lot of fun channeling his inner bad guy. The world-conquering is really backdrop for the soap opera drama of Golgoth’s family and inner circle, and Waid brings his usual skill with dialogue and characterization to bear. Since this is an original property, there’s no need to hit the reset button, or to tone down any edges to keep audience sympathies. (In fact, on more than one occasion, Waid seems set to introduce a sympathetic character, and then proceeds to pull the rug out from under us.)

I could go on and on about the artwork of Barry Kitson and company, but I already did that in 2001 and 2003 over at Not News. Suffice it to say that I really like Kitson’s clean lines and detailed drawing. He has some distinctive design quirks that show up in his near-future technology and costumes, but by my lights that just adds a bit of personality to the work.

For a comic about a world-conquering possible madman, this book is a very enjoyable read. Check it out.

Writers: Mark Waid and Barry Kitson
Penciller: Barry Kitson
Inker: James Pascoe
Publisher: DC Comics
Pages: 208