Eternal Empire #2 (Image Comics)
So, the world has gotten kind of weird and we’re getting a lot of dystopian literature out of it and they tend to get one thing wrong: the Big Bad Evil Guy does not set himself apart from the people if he or she wants to stay in power. Look at the real life examples: fascist dictators gain power by presenting themselves as being of the people, lying about sharing their hardships and claiming that they can make the world great again while feeding off those same people like a parasite. The truth is that no matter how many times they claim that they’ll make the country great again, all these fascists do is incite violence and bully away dissenting opinions by providing an alternative truth that is easier for their followers to accept than what is actually happening.
And that’s what’s happening in this comic: there was danger of maybe a group coming in and doing some damage to an ancient people, so they used ancient magic to create a savior they didn’t understand and now things have gotten bad. The Empress is a half-dragon half-human presence that we never see, but we do see statues of her and feel her eyes on everyone in this book – the slave protagonist and her peers, the soldiers that keep them in their place, and the reader on the other side of the fourth wall. The Empress is pervasive, dangerous, and the slave’s break for freedom is possible only because her keepers are certain it will kill her.
That was last issue, though, and we know she made it through.
And so now we turn to issue the second, where our heroine the escaped slave has bumped into a man who can control fire. We know nothing else about him, not yet, but we have suffered with how badly things have gotten and we know only one country stands against the Empress and her empire. Is this strange man from that final country? We’re going to have to pick up this issue to find out, and I very much will be.
Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn are co-writing this, and their combined efforts have given the world in this comic the feel of something worn and lived in, a place that is hauntingly familiar and feels like a warning. Jonathan is also doing the art and has taken a page from the likes of Avatar: the Last Airbender and Studio Ghibli, his designs being deceptively complex and speaking to the characters and their world.
This comic is a lot of fun, and you should read it.