The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

ZRC Review: ‘Empire of the Dead’ Volume 1

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George Romero, longtime foe and occasionally sympathetic voice of Zombies both, is at it again with a comic series from Marvel.

Entitled ‘Empire of the Dead’, it features, well, Romero Zombies, more or less, in a post-apocalyptic world very similar to Romero’s more recent films like ‘Land of the Dead’ or ‘Diary of the Dead’. This means the Living walling themselves away from, and then opportunistically exploiting, the Differently Animated.

Which of course we resent, here at The Zombie Rights Campaign.

Consistent with ‘Land’, ‘Diary’, and events going all the way back to ‘Day of the Dead’, however, the Romero Zombie population isn’t content to stand still or merely lurch about aimlessly; they’re looking to get their Lives (or Unlives) back on track, at least to some degree.

Set in what’s left of Manhattan after the tragic.. unpleasantness… that sometimes accompanies a Global Reanimation Block Party, ‘Empire of the Dead’ sets the stage for a conflict between the Living humans who research, or cruelly abuse, the Zombie population, and a shadowy group of individuals who the book takes little time (as in, it’s on the back cover) in revealing are… Vampires.

You may recall a similar theme from Max Brooks’ ‘The Extinction Parade’, which coincidentally, is also now available in comic book form.

Our principal Zombie protagonist in this story is Xavier, an Undead former police officer striving to promote coexistence between Zombies and the Living, as well as regain her place in society.

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This is a theme the ZRC can get behind, and Xavier’s relationship with the Living, and her steadfast disinterest in, say, devouring them mercilessly, makes her an excellent comic book role model for today’s Zombie readership.

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However, not everything is roses and Zombies in this book; it deals with difficult themes, like the gruesome Anti-Zombie gladiatorial fights staged by New Yorks’ new, ahem, shadowy ruling faction, to keep the Living population docile.

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The Zombie Rights Campaign of course does not promote or condone unnecessary conflict between the Zombie and Vampire citizenry, let alone staging pit fights between the Undead to distract Living people from the dapper, unchanging folks who happen to rule from the shadows.

Still, it is too early after evaluating only one volume to condemn or praise ‘Empire of the Dead’. There is a chance for a story from the more progressive, less shotgun-happy side of George Romero, and we hope to see he found it in the next two volumes.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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