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Empyre #3: Review

Jul 2020
Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Empyre #3 Review by (August 1, 2020)
So it wasn't any Ant-person in the spaceship last issue but the insecty Mantis (check those antennae, for which we've never been given an explanation or purpose).
Mantis has for many years been mostly involved with the Guardians Of The Galaxy. Her most recent app was in #11-12 of their 2019 series.

Super-Skrull speaks admiringly of the Kral planets here, describing their Skrulls as artists and dreamers studying Earth cultures. But in previous apps they've been portrayed as shunned by other Skrulls because they became addicted to their simulations..
Only 2 Kral planets have been seen. Fantastic Four #91-93 introduced us to Kral IV which was based on a theme of '30's Chicago gangsters. US Avengers #9,11-12 gave us Kral X based on '50's USA in a small town called Glenbrook (think Riverdale).
This issue suggests 1 planet was based on the Roman Empire. The nearest we've seen to that is that the gangsters on Kral IV ran gladiatorial games in a Colosseum.

Dorrek VII was Skrull Emperor during the Kree/Skrull War event (Av#89-97) and his wife was R'klll, who assassinated and succeeded him as Empress in FF#209. Kree Mar-Vell and Skrull Princess Anelle conceived Hulkling near the end of the War. R'klll and Anelle allegedly died when Galactus ate the Skrull throneworld Tarnax IV (FF#257). And Lords Of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling has just shown us a flashback in which they *were* there and refusing to leave while Big G was attacking. But now it seems R'klll *did* get away after all.

Also in Empyre this week:-

In Captain Marvel #18 Carol Danvers (or Car-Ell daughter of Mari-Ell), the new Kree Accuser, is sent to judge a Kree soldier accused of treachery to the Alliance who turns out to be her unexpected half-sister Lauri-Ell.

In Empyre: Captain America #1 Cap leads some US troops to the Pentagon to ask the military to defend the world rather than just the USA. They refuse but *his* troops follow him. However the Cotati are infecting military leaders.

In Empyre: Savage Avengers a Cotati warship/tree on the way to the battle in Wakanda stops off in Mexico City to pick up some fertiliser (ie dead humans), but Conan and Venom destroy it with an exploding petrol tanker.

Gabriel Summers used to be evil Emperor Vulcan but now he seems to be good and lives on the Moon. In X-Men #10 he finds some Cotati firing stuff at Earth. They attack him, unleashing the bad version who kills them. Then his companions Petra and Sway seem to calm him down. But the Cotati's attention has been drawn to Krakoa.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Empyre #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Mr Fantastic summarises the current position for his thought journal (and us). Last issue Captain Marvel saved the Kree/Skrull Alliance flagship from the Cotati's animated flora and now its troops are down on Earth fighting the enemy. Emperor Hulkling told them not to kill unnecessarily but they're not really following that order (as seen in Empyre: Avengers #1). Reed Richards has checked on his children but it seems they have recruited allies and have their situation in hand (see Fantastic Four #21). Captain America is leading a worldwide fightback (or trying to, see Emp:CA#1). Thor is seeking godly power (would that have been in Emp:Thor which has been cancelled?). And other Avengers are fighting in various battles (Emp:Av#1 again).

Now Reed's gone to Avengers Mountain to help Tony Stark devise a way to stop the Cotati's control of Earth's plantlife. Actually what Tony's doing is beating himself up because he was taken in by the Cotati, including the Swordsman and the Celestial Messiah Quoi, and helped them defeat the Kree/Skrull Armada (#1). But then it turned out the Cotati were the real menace who intend to wipe out all meat-life in the Universe, starting with Earth. Reed says he didn't suspect either.

Another Fantastic Four member Thing is in Wakanda with Avenger Ghost Rider and Fat Cobra, Gorilla-Man, Okoye and Wasp of the Agents Of Wakanda to help Shuri and the Wakandan troops defend their homeland. They have forcefields surrounding the place but the Cotati have now broken through, and pitched battle commences.

Quoi and Swordsman are close by at Lake Victoria because this theatre of war is important. They are winning against the zombies in Genosha (it doesn't look, like it in Emp: X-Men #1) and succeeding in the Savage Land (Emp:Av#1 yet again). But Swordsman advises Quoi that, having seen the Death Blossom on the Moon, Black Panther will have worked out what they want from his land.

T'Challa is with Invisible Woman and She-Hulk on the Wakandan Palace roof. He tells them that the Cotati want the vibranium mound. Jennifer Walters objects that the Cotati don't use metals, but Panther says they're after the vibranium-enriched soil. A Death Blossom growing on the Moon was enough to destroy the Kree/Skrull fleet. 1 grown in vibranium soil will enable them to control the plants of the Galaxy.

Now the space-craft we saw at the start of last issue arrives and out of it steps Quoi's mother Mantis. She says she's here to save her son whose mind has been poisoned against animal life by Swordsman. But she thinks she can get through to him. Sue Richards has to admit she would so no less for 1 of her own children. T'Challa supports a diplomatic mission but he will continue to explore other options too.

On the Kree/Skrull flagship another option is also being explored. Last issue Captain Marvel allowed Hulkling to stab her with his magic Star-Sword, and she absorbed enough power from it to kill all the plants in the spaceship. Carol Danvers was also given the Universal Weapon of the deceased Ronan The Accuser and was recruited into the Kree Accuser Corps. Now Super-Skrull proposes they stab her again. Mur-G'nn the sorceress explains that because she is a Kree/Skrull hybrid like the Sword (and the Emperor) she will be able to temporarily boost its energy so CM can absorb even more of it this time. Enough to destroy the Cotati Garden in the Blue Area of the Moon where they breed their soldiers and weapons.

Human Torch objects that it nearly killed her last time she used the energy, but Carol is willing to accept the suicide mission. (Strangely no-one suggests that the extra power she gets from the Universal Weapon might allow her to safely take more energy from the Sword.) Johnny Storm asks Emperor Dorrek-Vell to decide, but before he can answer he gets a call from Panther asking for the use of the Star-Sword *himself*. Teddy Altman gets T'Challa to confirm that *his* plan doesn't require an Avenger to die. And to everyone but Johnny's shocked surprise he mentally sends the Sword to Wakanda. Kree Captain Glory and Super-Skrull protest at the Emperor's weakness, but Dorrek-Vell gives his rational reasoning that the original plan could have wasted 1 of their best weapons, Captain Marvel.

Kree Tanalth changes the subject to what may be Hulkling's *real* test of fitness, the Pyre. She suggests Kl'rt tells him what happened to the Kral system, and the Skrull is dismayed that a Kree knows of this. Last issue he told Dorrek that the Pyre meant the death of a world, but now he ups it to the death of a sun, making it go nova and obliterating all its planets. The planets of the Kral system housed Skrulls who imitated human societies, but the Cotati infected some of the planets and would have taken them all. Kl'rt, Emperor of the then Skrull Empire, authorised use of Pyre on that system. (The destruction of Kral was told last issue from the Cotati POV, and also in the 2019 Guardians Of The Galaxy Annual.) The Earthers think this was genocide, but the aliens see it as killing billions to save trillions. And Tanalth reminds the Emperor that he may have to destroy the Solar System to save the Galaxy.

Tanalth the Pursuer leaves the room followed by Captain Glory. He noted last issue that she referred to Ronan as a hero of the Kree Imperium, but when he died he was on the side of the Supreme Intelligence's Utopians. This struck him as odd and he started watching her closely. She may fool a gene scan but he's fought Skrulls long enough to recognise that *she* is 1. She admits it but claims that she has successfully worked to make the Kree strong again, which he knows and which is why he hasn't publicly exposed her.

She further claims to have always known it was destined for the 2 Empires to form an Alliance, ruled by *her* grandson. And she reveals herself to be the long-thought dead Empress R'klll, mother of Princess Anelle and grandmother of Dorrek VIII/Hulkling. The 2 now agree to conspire to rid Dorrek of his human heroism.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

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)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Agents Of Wakanda, Black Panther (Shuri), Captain Glory, Cotati, Fat Cobra, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Gorilla-Man, Mur-G'nn, Okoye, Quoi (Sequoia), R'klll, Super-Skrull, Swordsman (Cotati).

> Empyre: Book info and issue index

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