Evil Empire, vol. 2

Summary: With the true face of the Evil Empire revealed, the entire world has been turned on its head. Those who never thought they’d find themselves on the opposing side of society now have to resort to conforming to evil or going into hiding. Reese is now the leader of the underground resistance, but with the lines between right and wrong so blurred, she’ll have to watch her every move.

The continuation of Max Bemis’ (POLARITY) critically acclaimed political thriller, with art by Andrea Mutti (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) and a special fill-in issue featuring art by Joe Eisma (MORNING GLORIES).

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Evil Empire, vol. 2, by Max Bemis, Andrea Mutti and Joe Eisma 5.75

The second volume of ‘Evil Empire’ continues down the same irresponsible path as its predecessor: the first issue alone follows a serial killer who’s imprisoned a woman in his basement and forces her to watch him torture, kill, cut up and even eat his victims.

It’s a pointless issue with no redeeming quality, indulging in bloodlust and nothing else. I’d go so far as to brand it despicable. I mean, it even gives us a brief on how to stalk and kidnap victims. I understand that part of it is tongue-in-cheek, but it’s without merit.

In fact, it’s sort of disturbing how flippant Bemis can be about the kidnapping and torture of other human beings (has he watched too much ‘Saw’, perhaps?). It’s a wonder if he’s actually cautioning or just using this as a vehicle to express his own psychopathy.

Either way, the way it’s presented is dangerous because it validates the repressed anger and violence of the people who should actually seek help. It’s not good. You can’t even claim that it opens a dialogue because what is presented here is strictly one-sided.

Again, I have no issue with satire or using off-putting ideas or imagery to caution an audience, but you must have a counter-message to give people perspective. Otherwise, all you’re doing is sowing seeds of dissent and discord and allowing them to grow.

And, without a good horticulturist, it can turn ugly fast.

Honestly, it all looks like just a twisted fantasy that Bemis had to put to the page, because much of it simply doesn’t make any sense. It already stretched credulity to the breaking point with the first volume, but it actually manages to cross the line even further.

Case-in-point:

  • Sam goes to the U.N. and slaughters all the world’s reps in one go. Firstly it’s impossible: surely there’d be security. And given his reputation, someone would be paying him some mind. Secondly, would this event be enough to kill the U.N altogether? Well, Bemis makes that silly claim.
  • Sam’s EE spreads globally. Yep. It just does. It’s not just that it’s taken over the U.S. overnight, it’s like a plague. Apparently, the world’s peoples are craving that kind of “freedom”.
  • There’s no indication of opposition anywhere – aside for Reese and her gang. As if. Seriously? Everyone has either joined the big party, succumbed or hidden away? Honestly?
  • Reese gets a chance to kill Sam, but passes on it – saying she wants to do it on her terms, not his. WTF? There was no one around. No one knew where either of them was. She could have ended it. But, obviously, Bemis didn’t want it to end.

Thankfully, the art is much better than it was at the end of the last one. One gets the impression that Motti was rushed in to finish off the first set and had more time to apply herself now. It’s passable. Not great, but okay. At least it’s way better than it was then.

Ultimately, though it’s never boring, ‘Evil Empire’ is turning out to be a totally absurdist take on domestic and global politics. That it references the ‘Star Wars’ prequels (and poorly at that) in its plot development is an indicator of just how unsophisticated and inept this is.

It’s ridiculous stuff.

…but morbid curiosity may kill this cat.

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