Marvel’s big event, Empyre, continues in this second issue! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers, must team up with the Fantastic Four to defend the Earth. In this war for the planet, the heroes are aided by some unlikely allies, the Kree-Skrull Empire. Spoilers for Empyre #1 ahead.
After the Avenger’s defense of the Cotati in the first issue, the plant-based species have completed their garden and now set their sights on Earth. Having captured the Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, most of the Cotati’s forces now focus on the invasion and defeating the Kree, Skrulls and Fantastic Four. However, the Cotati did not thing to bind Thor’s hands. Quickly summoning Mjolnir, Thor breaks himself and his friend free. All of the Avengers, except Captain Marvel, head to Earth to defend it from its invaders. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel heads towards the Kree-Skrull fleet to aid them and the Fantastic Four.
Dan Slott and Al Ewing seem to have a full-understanding of the vast cast of characters within Empyre. Captain Marvel and Hulkling are the main standouts in this issue, likely due to the Avengers having their own tie-in comic that also released this week. This issue makes me want to go back and read more about Hulkling, as he seems like an interesting and complex character. Plus, that giant energy sword he wields is pretty awesome.
Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia’s art is stunning once again. The panels covering Quoi’s history, his parentage by Mantis and Swordmaster and his tutelage under the Avengers, captured his nostalgia for the times before his people’s conflict with the Kree and Skrulls. The bright oranges and reds show his hate towards the two empires that have caused his people so much pain. However, the best use of color is this whole comic is whenever Captain Marvel is on screen. Gracia and Schiti represent Captain Marvel’s powers perfectly, and the show of strength makes her seem powerful, but not without weakness, complimenting Slott and Ewing’s writing well.
This second issue helps endure readers to the Kree, Skrulls and Cotati through their shared history of conflict. Seeing the Skrulls and Kree on the more heroic end of an event is welcome surprise and I am interested to see if their allegiances will change over the course of Empyre. The reveal at the end of the issue only further complicates matters for our heroes. I am interested to see how Hulkling reacts to it in the next issue.