This volume picks up one year later, after the death of Princess Delfi, who the people are told was at the hand of rebels. There is a mandatory three minutes of silence for the Princess, that if one does not comply, is killed on the spot. However, there is a group of rebels that seem to want to stop Golgoth's rule.
The first volume, as a whole, of EMPIRE is very good, but this first issue of the new volume is fantastic. What a way to kick off the story. While it's not the best place for a new reader to jump on, Mark Waid and Barry Kitson make this pretty new reader accessible. The world is set up quickly and explained pretty well, without it feeling redundant to those who read the first volume.
The things fans loves about that first volume are here, but since it's been 11 years, both Waid and Kitson have gotten better at their craft. This opening flows incredibly well, and while the point of the issue is that everyone is silent, the scenes with dialogue are a bit more to the point and concise.
During those opening scenes, it's explained how Golgoth has been ruling the world, in the past year, and what steps he takes to keep his throne. It's pretty brutal and it's mainly a "obey or be killed" scenario every time. These scenes dance back and forth with a school teacher praising how great Golgoth is.
Kitson's art is fantastic here, especially with Chris Sotomayor's awesome color work. Artistically, this book has a fantastic flow to it and is simply eye candy. A good chunk of this first issue is silent, so the art is what's moving this story, and it does so well. Sotomayor's colors give this book a great amount of depth and a great update to the characters from the book 11 years ago.
It's a bit short and leaves the reader in a place where they really want more, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a bummer.
Going into this, it was hard to know what to expect, since it had been so long since anyone saw Golgoth or anyone from EMPIRE. However, this first issue to this new volume is a home run. It's everything we loved about the first volume, but a whole lot more. Waid and Kitson have another hit on their hands. This book is available through the Thrillbent app and website. To learn more about the book, check out the interview we did with Mark Waid and find out everything you can get with the Thrillbent subscription.