Empire of the Dead review – a strong start for George Romero

Posted on 24 January 2014
By James McAllister
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George A. Romero’s Empire of the Dead comic book has taken its first bite and fans can rest assured Romero’s on screen legacy translates with great aplomb to print from screen.

Zombie film legend Romero establishes the world of post apocalyptic Manhattan well in this first issue.

The undead story-telling genius employs his main characters and their traits to extrapolate the rules of the zombies in a way that never feels like he is preaching.

As a writer Romero remains conscious of the varying degrees of fans that will pick up the book.

He includes a less than subtle nod to veteran Romero fans, with a reference to the Night Of The Living Dead, but also opens the world up to new readers.

Despite the exposition and a distinct lack of gore in this debut issue, Romero uses his masterful pacing to keep the story interesting.

There is alot to get your head around, but with zombies being done to death over the years, Romero revisits scenarios that feel familiar, but still manages to put his own twist on them.

Attempting to domesticate zombies to fight for blood sport has been seen in The Walking Dead and Dead Rising, but it’s interesting to see Romero slot it naturally into his familiar world.

The artwork and story go hand in hand. Alex Maleev cut his teeth drawing a dark and shadowy New York during his time on Daredevil.

When Maleev’s work is combined with Matt Hollingsworth’s colour skills they are able to create a striking and even menacing contrast between the blood and the shadows.

Romero’s first step into the comic book world is a successful one. Any zombie fan should add this run on their pull list.

Empire of the Dead #2 is set for release on 26/02/14