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Empress Volume 2 Main

"Empress: Volume 2 – Goddesses" Graphic Novel Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Cruel Productions & Isle Squared Comics

empress volume 2 large

Written by Brian Barr
Illustrated by Sullivan Suad and Marcelo Salaza
Inked by Zilson Costa
Colored by Geraldo Filho
Lettered by Chuck Amadori
2018, 99 Pages
Graphic novel released on January 11th, 2017


Zia has returned to Hollywood and this time she's brought some little green friends. The former starlet was driven mad by what she thought were hallucinations. It turns out the goblins she was seeing were very real and they wanted her to take her rightful place as their ruler. Now she's back and ready to make a bloody splash on Tinsel Town.

It's a long journey back to the States, so while Zia is on the boat back home, we're given flashbacks to her ancestors. These tales explore how Zia's family line has been linked to these creatures for generations. She's the first to fully embrace her destiny and role as Empress.

Click image to enlarge

While these additional tales fill in the history of Empress, it does cause the book to lose some of its momentum. The first volume was all about Zia with only a few pages here and there dedicated to her ancestry. This one is the opposite, with Zia's story book-ending each chapter until the final one where she takes center stage.

Shadow is used very effectively in these flashback tales. Although the women don't seem evil, there's a sinister quality to them in how they appear. Darkness seems to follow and surround them. It's like the shadows are trying to consume these otherwise innocent girls.

Colorist Geraldo Filho makes this innocence stand out with the pale skin and bright blue eyes of the girls. They pierce through the darkness. It's like there's a glimmer of hope in there as these women stand on the edge of madness. They can reject their destiny and live a somewhat normal life. Or they can plummet into the abyss.

Click images to enlarge

While these techniques make for a moody atmosphere, some of the character poses can look a little awkward. It's like they're action figures positioned on a shelf instead of dynamic moving people.

Empress really takes off after you go through these background stories. Zia is on a mission and it's a disturbing and bloody one. Aided by her goblin subjects, she looks to tear the town apart starting with her former boss. This is one of the creepiest sequences in the entire series to date. Artist Sullivan Suad shows much and implies even more. Sure, you see a man get ripped limb from limb, but that's just the start of this gruesome process.

It's clear that Empress is building upon a massive story that dates back centuries. Zia's journey is just the latest chapter of this ongoing saga and I'm curious as what she'll do next. She's gone all-in with the goblins and is reveling in the chaos and bloodshed they've caused. Where can she possibly go from here?


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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