Previously on Empyrean Evaluations: The Avengers and the Fantastic Four were taken by surprise when the true threat of Empyre was revealed. In Empyre #2, we see the aftermath of that well-timed revelation as our heroes pick up the pieces and get ready for the big fight ahead of them.
Story: Al Ewing and Dan Slott
Art: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
I consider myself a pretty big Marvel guy who knows way too much about Marvel characters, artifacts, events, and other fictional things. So I was surprised to learn that the main villain of Empyre is a pre-existing character who made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #325 back in 1989.
Quoi and the Cotati turning on the Avengers and laying waste to the Kree/Skrull Alliance along with the Fantastic Four was an explosive turn of events, so it makes sense for writers Al Ewing and Dan Slott to turn the dial back down a bit in Empyre #2. A bit of a bummer, but completely understandable.
So we get Quoi pretty much giving the Avengers a recap of what his people have been doing in the shadows in the past few months. We spend almost half of the issue listening to the villain explaining his villainy.
So far, Quoi, the Celestial Messiah, sounds like another generic monologuing super-villain. He even does the old shouting-vague-threats-before-escaping bit. I hope gets fleshed out more as the series progresses.
Carol the Accuser
While the first half of the issue is full of exposition, we get a bit more excitement in the second half as Captain Marvel joins the Kree/Skrull Alliance and the Fantastic Four in figuring out their next steps.
Saving the Thing from being eaten alive from the inside by microscopic seeds and cleansing an entire spaceship containing thousands of Kree and Skrulls of deadly plant matter is definitely more compelling than Quoi being a dick to Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America.
Captain Marvel gets the spotlight here as she gets a temporary power-up from Hulkling’s magical Sword of Space and gets handed Ronan’s hammer to become part of the Kree Accuser Corps. This sets her up as a powerhouse that can be used against the threat of the Cotati.
Captain frickin’ Marvel with a big ass hammer that sings a song of accusation. So that’s something to look forward to. Unless her story plays out in her own monthly series or a separate Empyre tie-in series, never to be heard from in the main series again. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
The Coming of the Pyre
Ewing and Slott probably realized that there’s too much exposition in this issue and they wanted to keep everyone interested, so they threw in a hint of things to come: the death of a world at the hands of Whatzisname. Yep, that works.
With things being dialed down to re-establish where everyone is at after the big things that went down in last issue, Empyre #2 feels a bit tamer and less event-y. It’s not as exciting as the first one, but still, somebody got stabbed with a magic space sword. So it’s still a good read.
We’re going to save the ranking of Empyre in The List once the whole series is done. For now, this second issue gets 3 stars.
Empyre #2 is available now wherever fine comic books are sold.