Empress is a detective type comic that debuts with a shroud of mystery.
The story opens with the hiring of a young, brash Private Detective as he attempts Zia. She is needed on set in order to complete a movie but every detective that has gone looking for her…has never returned!
Zia is a risk taker, one that does not like to be controlled. She likes her own personal freedom, but could this be the only factor behind her disappearance? Silver Screen Studios are itching to get her talent back on set. They believe that without her they will have no future. Mr Lance has been hired by the big wig at Silver Screen Studios, Mr. Cohn. But this time the studio will be sending an intern along in order to find Zia, a beautiful woman that goes by the name of Rose.
Zia is known for her roles in silent films. We see a flashback where she shows her preference for this art, as she deems “talkies” to be a fad that will die out soon enough. Little did she know that the fad would last to this day. Mr. Lance is also unaware that there are external forces and ulterior motives at play. After he reads Zia’s diary and the mysterious events recorded in it, our protagonist has to prepare himself for a threat like no other.
The art provided by Marcelo Salaza is great. It is high in detail and it exerts the expressions of characters, making their feelings easy to identify and relate to. The female leads in this book are all rather “gifted”, but this does not steal from the story in any way. The colouring is good even though you feel that the dark shading takes away from areas that could have been high in detail, especially when it comes to faces. But once again this does not steal much from the story as expressions are easy to identify.
What starts off as a regular detective mystery takes an exciting plot twist that opens a new realm of possibilities. Where this story goes from here will be quite interesting, thanks to Chuck Amadori’s writing and a conclusion that you will not see coming.