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Empyre #1: Review

Jul 2020
Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Empyre #1 Review by (July 17, 2020)
Al Ewing and Dan Slott, the separate scribes of Empyre: Avengers #0 and Empyre: Fantastic Four #0, combine to write this issue.

Franklin Richards used to have god-like power, but he used most of it up recreating the multiverse 1 universe at a time after Secret Wars III (as explained in the current FF#2). Since then he's been conserving what's left.
Valeria failed her driving test in FF#11, because she multitasked while driving.

Super-Skrull became Emperor of the Skrulls in Infinity #6.
Tanalth led the Pursuers in All-New Invaders but I don't think she ruled the Kree, at least not before the Incoming 1-shot. The 2 sides in the Kree Civil War were the Empire led by the Supreme Intelligence and the Imperium led by the Vox (see the Death Of The Inhumans mini-series and issues of the current Captain Marvel series).

Captain Glory previously appeared in the No Surrender story arc in the Legacy issues of Av. He may be this timeline's version of Marvel Boy's father.

Mur-G'nn previously appeared in #3-4 of Sunspot's New Av. She is a Kree/Skrull hybrid sorceress, member of the Knights Of The Infinite who kidnapped Hulkling in an earlier attempt to set him up as Emperor Dorrek VIII to unite the 2 races.

OK, the ending changes the game completely. So Incoming was right when it said "Beware the trees".
So the Empyre of the event title is the Cotati, and the Kree and Skrulls are the Alliance. Hmmm, Empyre vs Alliance. So we know who the bad guys are then.
But of course the plants won't really have killed the FF, or even Hulkling. I'm guessing Mur-G'nn caused another illusion to cover their escape.

Previously in Empyre:-

In the Incoming 1-shot Hulkling became Emperor of the Kree/Skrull Alliance, and 2 Kree/Skrull agents were killed by plants.

In Road To Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War 1-shot we got a potted history of the Kree and Skrulls, as the Warner family of undercover Skrulls were shocked to learn about the Kree/Skrull Alliance.

In Empyre: Av#0 Quoi called the Avengers to defend the Cotati against the Kree/Skrull armada, and we got a brief history of the Cotati.

In Empyre: FF#0 the FF rescued Jo-Venn and N'Krall and learned about the Alliance (which has destabilised the Galactic economy).

Also in Empyre this week:-

In FF#21 the FF kids take the Kree & Skrull children to Alicia Grimm but the Cotati send assassins after them. So they recruit Spider-Man and Wolverine to join the FF again.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Empyre #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Empyre: Avengers #0 the Cotati led by Quoi, the Celestial Messiah, and the Cotati wearing the image of Swordsman called the Avengers to the Blue Area of the Moon where they had created a garden but were about to be attacked by an armada from the new Kree/Skrull Alliance. In Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 the Fantastic Four rescued a Kree boy Jo-Venn and a Skrull girl N'Kalla from an arena where they continually fought while the spectators bet on them. Then they warped back to the Solar System and found themselves in the middle of the armada.

Mr Fantastic is recording things in his thought journal as he tells his children Franklin and Valeria to take the alien kids to safety in the spaceship's escape shuttle. Franklin Richards protests that *this* is surely a situation where he should use his dwindling cosmic power, even if it uses it all up, but his dad talks him out of it. Val offers to let him stay and *she*'ll pilot the escape pod, but Reed reminds her she failed her driving test. So off the 4 go (and we'll see what happens to them in FF#21).

Sue Richards makes the FF and their craft invisible, and Thing steers them to a window on the flagship's command deck. Inside they see Hulkling on a throne with a big sword backed by Super-Skrull and Kree Tanalth the Pursuer plus another Kree and a blue-skinned(!) Skrull female. But Kl'rt has the powers of the FF and is able to detect the cloaking and dispel it. Teddy Altman welcomes them and offers to answer any questions. Reed Richards knows Hulkling is a Young Avenger and wonders what part the Avengers are playing in this.

On the Moon Tony Stark is also making a mental record in his Iron Man armour of what's happening in case things go badly. He includes a brief version of Kree/Cotati history. Millennia ago the Skrulls organised a contest in the Blue Area between the primitive Kree and the Cotati plant-beings. The Kree built a city and the Cotati a garden. The Cotati won but the Kree nearly wiped their species out (and started the Kree/Skrull War).

Swordsman takes the bestial She-Hulk aside to give her a useful weapon, as Quoi approaches them again, this time with 2 humanoid plant guards (the sessile Cotati seem to have returned to mobility with a vengeance). He eschews all honorific titles and promises his allies the Avengers that there is a place reserved in the garden for them forever. (Reading this again after getting to the end, that now seems ominous rather than friendly.) She-Hulk rejoins them and she now has Jennifer Walters' intellect, courtesy of an amber hammer and Cotati meditation techniques (she must be a quick study). Thor isn't so sure this is good (he's been having a sexual relationship with the Hulk version).

The armada approaches the Moon and Captain Marvel contacts them to warn them off. But then Tony Stark also contacts them holographically and is surprised to see the FF and Hulkling. Meanwhile Reed has been thinking and has worked out that Hulkling is just a figurehead. The real Alliance was formed by Kl'rt and Tanalth, the  current Skrull and Kree rulers. Teddy confirms that he accepted the job because it would end the Kree Civil War as well as Kree/Skrull hostilities.

Iron Man is displaying the proceedings to the Avengers via his chest uni-beam. Hulkling says the Cotati will be allowed to surrender, but their garden must be destroyed as a threat to the Galaxy. So say Super-Skrull and Tanalth, and he believes them. Stark interjects that this is an obvious PR move to cement the alliance (as Quoi told him in Emp:Av#0), but Teddy will have to get his sword bloody to make it stick. Iron Man tells Hulkling to stand aside and let the Avengers deal with it. Ghost Rider drives the quinjet with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, She-Hulk and Swordsman inside. He uses his demonic powers to turn the spacecraft into a Hell-Vehicle and charges towards the fleet.

Reed tells Sue he's not sure whether to believe either side is right. He tries to persuade Hulkling to stop the fight and try diplomacy. Kl'rt urges him not to listen. Ben Grimm asks Teddy if he *wants* to be a puppet ruler. But Hulkling responds to that by being decisive and ordering Super-Skrull and Captain Glory (the other Kree) to go out and stop the Avengers but without casualties. Invisible Woman tries to stop them but they seem to melt away. The 4th member of the cabal (apparently a Kree/Skrull hybrid named Mur-G'nn) had used an illusion spell to disguise their departure. And the remaining players prepare to attack the FF.

The Ghost-quinjet spit hellfire to disable other spacecraft by delivering GR's penance stare which makes warriors experience all the evil they have committed. But Captain Glory is gene-modded to feel no guilt. However he follows Hulkling's order and only destroys the quinjet's engines. The other 4 leave GR and go outside to do things personally. Panther, the Avengers' leader, hacks into the enemy comms and tells the super-foes that they will be stopped. At his command Captain Marvel rockets into Glory and propels him from the field of battle. T'Challa tries to reason with Kl'rt, who attacks him with a combination of FF powers. She-Hulk fastball special's Swordsman to slash Super-Skrull.

Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are still on the Moon. IM attaches a device to Thor's hammer, and Thor sends Mjolnir into the other fight within the flagship control room. It aims for Hulkling but Teddy's sword stops it in flight, to the astonishment of everybody. But I guess this was part of Tony's plan because he remotely activates the attached device which corrupts the armada's computers stopping all the ships in mid-flight.

Quoi thanks the Avengers for their aid, but then turns sinister. They have delayed the fleet long enough for a plant called the Death Blossom to flower. And it enhances the Cotati's power so that they can take the Universe back from meat-things for its true owners, plant-life. And exact vengeance for all the crimes meat has committed against plant. And Quoi causes all plant-life in the Kree and Skrull ships to rise up and kill the inhabitants (which includes the FF). He declares that the plant Empyre will begin on Earth.

Valerio Schiti
Valerio Schiti
Marte Gracia
Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Frank Martin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Tanalth the Pursuer)

(Ben Grimm)


Plus: Captain Glory, Franklin Richards, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Jo-Venn, Mur-G'nn, N'Kalla, Quoi (Sequoia), Super-Skrull, Swordsman (Cotati).

> Empyre: Book info and issue index

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