Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Skittering creepy crawlies that hide in the shadows; a seemingly conscious and anthropomorphized disease; and two groups of individuals—Agents Jensen and Langford and fanatical cult leader Abram Markoff and catatonic prophet figure Patient Zero—working through the remains of a plagued-ridden and soon to be post-apocalyptic world to uncover (or preserve) the mystery of the sentient virus, “the empty man.” BOOM!’s newest comic series, The Empty Man, is literally about the stuff of nightmares and a perfect book for any fan of psychological horror, pandemic dystopias, and conspiratorial crime procedurals.
As a master of suspense and the supernatural, Cullen Bunn’s (Sixth Gun) writing perfectly complements artist Vanesa R. Del Rey’s (Hit) dark and gritty illustrations. The world of “the empty man” may be built upon our fears of the intangible monsters that lurk just out of sight, but as you read the book the seamless integration of the murky crime genre grounds the story in an all-too palpable reality and makes for a fantastically terrific tale of terror.
The pacing is brilliant, the characters are genuinely creepy, and the boogiemen of our nightmares are just visible enough to keep you on the edge of your seat—a kind of terrifying blending of The Shinning and The X-Files. In the book “the empty man” may make people live out their most horrific nightmares (often with fatal results), but in my case it compelled me to keep reading and is now keeping me anxious for the next issue.
~ Caitlin McCabe