Previously on Empyrean Evaluations: The Thing stole the show while everything was set up to build hype for the grand finale of the series. In Empyre #6, we get to see whether they deliver or not. SPOILER: They do.
Story: Al Ewing and Dan Slott
Art: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
A Cave of Scraps
Empyre #6 picks up right where #5 ended: Tony Stark and Reed Richards talking about two end-of-the-world scenarios happening at the same time like it’s just another Tuesday afternoon.
Between the two of them, they have indeed seen things that make an exploding sun and violent threats from an angry teenager who can control plant life across the galaxy look like a relaxing day at the spa. It kind of took away some of the drama but it still made me look forward to this issue.
I was afraid that Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic will just swoop in and solve everything at once at the last minute, negating all the tension built in the past 5 issues. But they didn’t take the spotlight off of everybody else and they still played pivotal roles in saving everyone.
The rest of how the issue starts is a bit wonky, though. If you haven’t been reading the tie-in mini-series and monthly series, you’d be left scratching your head as Skrulls and the Kree are suddenly trying to kill each other.
It seems like the events from recent issues of Fantastic Four, where Spider-Man and Wolverine are back as members, tie directly into the events of Empyre #6. This is one of the most annoying things about crossover events, but I’ll let it pass since I still understood what was going on.
Once An Avenger…
One of the best things about the whole series is that it leans on character moments as much as it does on big explosions and epic widescreen battles.
We’ve seen a great character moment from The Thing last issue, and here we get a few from the rest of the Fantastic Four.
The Human Torch and Captain Marvel share a touching moment about unity, trust, and family.
The Invisible Woman shows grit, determination, and willingness to sacrifice herself for the people she loves.
Mr. Fantastic shows how good of a friend he is even to a prick like Tony Stark by asking him if he’s okay. And he gives the best “Avengers Assemble” line in recent memory.
Even the Richards children channeled Dominic Toretto and solved their own troubles by relying on the concept of found family.
The Fantastic Four have just proven that they are the best Avengers, at least in Empyre.
Captain America had a great moment too, but he’s been absent for most of the series, so we can consider this as a cheap pop.
Long Live the King
I’ve been giving Black Panther crap for letting me down the past couple of issues, but he just revealed that he can simulate death by controlling his heartbeat. That’s pretty badass.
His gambit ended the Cotati threat and I have to give him props for that. He paid tribute to a fallen comrade while dealing the killing blow to an alien invasion.
And speaking of paying tribute, I’d like to take this time to offer my condolences to the fans, friends, and family of Chadwick Boseman, the MCU’s Black Panther, who passed away on August 28, 2020. Long live the king. Wakanda Forever.
We’re All in This Together
Al Ewing and Dan Slott have never shied away from extremely wholesome dialogue and moments bordering on being corny, and they’ve exhibited that prominently here.
We are treated with one satisfying moment after another, ranging from badass to warm and fuzzy. None is fuzzier than when everyone — the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Kree, and the Skrulls — worked together to stop the sun from exploding.
It’s refreshing to see this kind of wholesomeness in an ocean of grim and gritty superhero comics. It’s superheroics at its purest.
Empyre #6 is a satisfying end to a series that took its time to get going. It’s a refreshing departure from other major crossover events focused on deaths of characters and universe-resetting stakes.
It’s a good Avengers story, a great Fantastic Four showcase, and a refreshing superhero event.
Empyre goes into The List as the new #6. This particular issue gets 4 stars.
Empyre #6 is available now wherever fine comic books are sold.