Cullen Bunn will return to the world of The Empty Man this November and, if an early preview for the upcoming reboot’s debut issue is any indication, the plague-stricken Earth has found new and inventive ways of getting even worse. The exclusive preview from BOOM! Studios reveals that the virus that decimated mankind — inspiring unsettling religious devotion in the process — has evolved, and it’s only getting worse.
The Empty Man #1 is a continuation of Bunn’s 2014 series by the same name. That series introduced readers to the concept of The Empty Man pandemic that seemingly came out of nowhere. The disease itself heavily affects human cognition, making victims irrational and violent. The original series focused on the deification of the disease through the lens of the FBI and CDC investigators sent out into the field to investigate.
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The rebooted The Empty Man #1 looks to take a different approach, focusing instead on a family and their encounters with the disease. While the government demands that anyone showing signs of the disease surrender themselves, the Kerry family isn’t abiding by that rule for one simply reason: The people who give themselves up don’t return. So, Melissa Kerry, her husband and her daughter all do their best to hide the fact that Melissa is sick with The Empty Man.
The Kerry family’s predicament is bound to lead to trouble, though. The preview reveals that the government’s response to the disease has become ever more radicalized, likely due to the disease itself evolving. Now, The Empty Man plague is also apparently prompting physical changes in human beings. Readers get a clear view of a man covered in boils scratching at his blood-covered skin in an attempt to rid himself of his affliction.
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“The Empty Man is an unflinching, insightful look at the way we deal with tragedy both abroad and close to home, wrapped up in a haunting horror narrative,” said Eric Harburn, Senior Editor at BOOM! Studios in a press release. “From the first page, readers will glimpse a world infected by a terror that has irrevocably changed it — and might just see a bit more of the real world than they ever expected, thanks to the incredible work from Cullen, Jesús, Niko, and Ed.”
The Empty Man #1 from BOOM! Studios will go on sale on Nov. 7. The issue is written by Cullen Bunn. Jesús Hervás is the issue’s artist. A preview of the issue’s cover, variant and first few pages can be found below.