What the HELL Did I Just Read: The Empty Man

boom_empty_man_001_a
The Empty Man, a new horror comic from BOOM! Studios comes at a rather apropos time. With the recent rash of “Slenderman attacks” from small children, The Empty Man story is chillingly familiar and terrifying. A horrifying disease reaches epidemic levels and spreads across the world. Two investigators look into the consequences of the disease, which include doing incredibly violent things for seemingly no reason. Women kill their children, men scrape their skin off and all claim that it is the “Empty Man” who told them to do it. Meanwhile, a religious organization grows more and more popular as people look for an escape from the disease.

Cullen Bunn keeps the pacing just right in this horror comic, making sure to not reveal only a little information at a time. Vanessa R. Del Rey’s art style is unsettling, leaving the images of death and violence with an extra level of discomfort for the reader.

In the wake of several children going out of their way to attack schoolmates and parents with blades for the glory of the fictional character Slenderman, The Empty Man struck a nerve. Looking at a full grown adult man cowering in the shower covered in blood and crying that the Empty Man made him do it was enough to make this reader feel unsettled and uncomfortable. Bunn and Del Rey do their job to terrify and they do it well.

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