Marvel Pick of the Week: Empyre #1 - Reviewed

After weeks of build up, Marvel’s latest crossover event Empyre is here, and the first issue does not disappoint. Al Ewing, who is doing a masterful job on Marvel’s current Immortal Hulk run, handles writing duties for this story along with Fantastic Four writer Dan Slott that finds the Avengers and the Fantastic Four forced to work together to tackle the threat of a Kree/Skrull alliance. For those unfamiliar with these two alien races, they have been at odds for millennia, until now that is. Now united, these armies pose an immeasurable threat, especially to the Cotati, a plant-like alien race who find themselves in the center of the cross-hairs of the Kree/Skrull super army. 

The Cotati have taken up residence on Earth’s Moon, and have requested the help of the Avengers to defend against the upcoming attack. Just as the Avengers arrive to help, the Fantastic Four are investigating the Kree/Skrull command ship, trying to determine their plan of action. This issue features some exciting developments for a few of the Avengers team, most notably She-Hulk, who has transitioned from her recent raging self back into the more intelligent She-Hulk of old thanks to some help from the Cotati. 

It wouldn’t be a crossover event if there wasn’t fighting, and there is some exciting action on display here. For anyone that hasn’t kept up with Marvel’s recent team compositions, the Avengers have now added Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ghost Rider, and She-Hulk to the classic cast of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. These characters are all given a worthwhile moment in the action, from Ghost Quinjets, to Black Panther in a space mech suit, there are plenty of moments that help create the massive scale that a battle between four super powerful armies should have. 

The most interesting part of Empyre #1 comes thanks to a twist in its last few pages, presented at a frantic pace thanks to full page spreads showing the action unfold. One of our heroes has made a grave mis-judgement of the situation, and leaves the fates of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four up in the air on an unexpected cliffhanger.

This is the best way to start a crossover, with twists, a good pace, and awesome looking action. If the first issue of Empyre is any indication, this should be one of Marvel’s most interesting events in recent memory. 

-Neil Hazel