If you came into Empyre expecting crazy action, this is the comic for you. Coming off the heals of the first two issues of Empyre, the fate of the Earth is completely in the hands of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers. Spoilers for the first two issues of Empyre ahead.
The Kree and Skrulls have ended their long war and have joined forces to combat a mutual enemy, the Cotati. The Cotati have been residing on Earth’s moon, putting them in the Avengers’ protection. By the time the Avengers learn of the Cotati’s true intentions, it is too late. The Cotati have already invaded Earth. To stop them the heroes must team up with their past enemies, the Kree and Skrulls.
Picking up right after the events of Empyre #2, the Avengers have contacted every active and reserve member of the team to combat the Cotati’s invasion force. Various heroes show up to help, including Scarlet Witch, Vision, Luke Cage, Quicksilver, Doctor Voodoo, Black Knight and Mocking Bird. They split into teams and head to different parts of the Earth.
Writer Jim Zub weaves many interpersonal conflicts within this issue. Along with the typical witty banter between our heroes, the Avengers also realize the greater conflict at hand. The Kree and Skrulls are willing to destroy the Earth if it is the only way to stop the Cotati. Naturally, the Avengers will do anything to ensure that fatal scenario never comes to pass. However, this, along with the Kree and Skrulls unwillingness to take prisoners, puts the Avengers at odds with their temporary allies.
95% of this comic focuses on the various battles on Earth and artists Carlos Magno and Espen Grundetjern allow each panel to flow seamlessly despite the fast pace. They paint the Kree and Skrulls as violent warriors without mercy. Sadly, the Cotati are not much better, killing any human or animal they come in contact with. Magno and Grundetjern do an excellent job showing the powers of the various Avengers in case readers are not overly familiar with them. The best example of this is Wonder Man being unaffected by the enemies’ weapons. The light bouncing off of him shows just how powerful he is compared to his allies. The final two pages of this issue brilliantly setup the rest of this series and the artists handled the reveal perfectly.
Empyre: Avengers #1 is an action-packed comic filled with great moments from the Avengers that will likely not appear in the main event title. It was nice seeing lesser known heroes, like Doctor Voodoo, the Black Knight and Wonder Man in action. I am excited to see how the surprise at the end of this issue will be dealt with in the next one.