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Comic Book / Empire of the Dead

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The night unleashed the horror of the undead. The dawn ended our world as they quickly encompassed it. The day arrived and saw our world in ruins After the End. Now we live in this hellish land. What's next? An empire.

Empire of the Dead is a trilogy of comic book miniseries created by George A. Romero, continuing the themes in his zombie trope codifying Living Dead Series. It's after the Zombie Apocalypse, as humanity lives in the ruins of society alongside the wandering corpses that drove it to devastation. Mankind keeps themselves busy regardless of their current predicament, often watching controversial gladiator games which use zombie fighters. Unknown to these survivors, New York City is not infested by one kind of living dead, but two. For in reality, their mayor, his family, and his inner circle are blood-drinking vampires.

For years, they maintain their secrecy with utmost discretion. Then the zombies came and they finally found a scapegoat. Their rule will soon hit trouble, however, as survivors sick of their aristocratic rule over NYC or know of their secret are planning a coup.

Currently, talks for a TV Series by AMC are underway.

Provides examples of:

  • A World Half Full: Interestingly, despite the setting, the world in Empire of the Dead is this, rather than the complete civilizational collapse implied in the latter half of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. Society is shown to be very much intact in New York City, and it's implied that numerous other areas in the United States and abroad are in a similar state. Rather than being an extinction-level threat to humanity as depicted in the films, the zombies in the comic miniseries are treated as more of a manageable nuisance.
  • After the End: The series takes place in the same post-apocalyptic world as Day of the Dead.
  • Continuity Nod: One of the protagonists, Penny Jones, is the sister of Barbra and Johnny, characters from Night of the Living Dead. Penny also recounts the film's events while also adding an extra layer of intrigue: Zombie!Johnny actually saved Barbra from the other zombies attacking the house.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The vampires are aristocratic and the wealthiest people in New York while the zombies are slave labor and used as entertainment despite some evidence of intelligence. There is one notable scene where some vampires try to get rid of a victim and find a group of what they assume to be zombies. They leave the victim there to be devoured and run off, failing to notice that the group is actually a bunch of black people who take the victim to a hospital.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Bill Chandrake.
  • Hybrid Monster: The zombie Xavier is eventually revealed to be a vampiric zombie.
  • It Can Think: Following in Day and Land's footsteps, the series continues an examination of the idea of intelligent zombies. Or at least zombies that have some semblance of remembering their past lives like in Dawn. Zombies wander New York, sure. But there are a large number of them who are mindlessly repeating mundane tasks such as doing laundry or playing chess. Living characters debate whether or not these actions are signs of intelligence or simple expanded muscle memory.
  • Retcon: The series reveals that Barbra didn't die at the end of Night of the Living Dead, but was saved by the zombified Johnny, who defends Barbra one final time before being gunned down by the rednecks from the film's ending.
  • Wham Shot: One that shows us what we're truly in for: Bill Chandrake drinking blood from the neck of his mistress.
    Xavier: Different...Different kind of living dead...