Comic Book Review: Empress #1

Expresss #1 Mark Millar


Mark Millar


Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger


Ive Svorcina


Stuart Immonen, Steve McNiven, Sean Gordon Murphy, Skottie Young


Marvel Icon




April, 2016



Imagine you’re married to the worst bad guy from your favorite sci-fi movie. An alien dictator feared throughout the universe, who will kill you if you leave — but you need to escape for the sake of your three children. All you have are your wits, your bodyguard, and three guns. Welcome to EMPRESS, your new favorite comic.


Mark Millar likes to take known big stories and sort of put his own humane twist on them. It usually starts out with a random question “What if batman was an A*hole” and we got Nemesis, “What if kids really tried to be vigilantes?” We gotKickAss, and so forth. This time around I feel like the question is “What if Meng the Conqueror had a wife, and she was like F-this I’m out!” and ya know what? It works! Just like pretty much everything Millar, we get a story that is half standard comic book mayhem, and half character driven storylines. This time though we also get the gift of Stuart Immonen providing some beautifully drawn pages. It’s something different as typically Millar works with some more detailed, darker style artists. Immonen brings a sense of flair and vibrancy that a space epic like this truly requires. Ive Svorcina delivers colors that allow the art to jump off the page and immerse the reader into this interesting alien world (or not so alien as you will learn!) This issue is mostly set up, giving us a sense of the cruel dictator and how his world is run, along with how and why the Empress came about. Which leaves us with the blueprints for a pretty epic “on the run” story. I’m curious to see who and what is sent to track down The Empress and take back the Emperor’s children.

Express cover

  • The Hey!: Millar sets up another great story with fun sci-fi epicness going on. Empress definitely has me hooked in wanting to see what lengths a former queen and strong mother will go to in order to protect her children, and likewise what does a despot ruler do to reclaim his progeny?
  • The Eh: It was a little weak that aside from her body guard and hand maidens NO ONE seemed to worry about the Empress or the children, also we didn’t get to really see much of The Empress in action. I hope there are some flashbacks to see how she treated her subjects.
  • The What?: Immonen is fantastic with storytelling in his panels and facial expressions. Also, there’s a giant dinosaur and a book can never go wrong with a giant dinosaur.
  • Who should read this series?: If you love stories like Flash Gordon, or John Carter of Mars then you might really dig this. There isn’t a scantily clad Dejah Thoris but hey this book isn’t relying on sex to sell!
  • Why should you buy this book?: It’s the first of the series and doesn’t get bogged down with exposition, instead we are just shown who these characters are and understand that a plot to escape has been underway for some time now. So mostly pick up the book and enjoy the ride.

Score: A

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Express Cover #1

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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