Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: R. B. Silva
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 8, 2020
Empyre is coming, and I admit that I need some convincing to get excited about it. Luckily, there are these zero issues to do just that, right? Well, I was not too fond of the Avengers one that much, so it’s up to Dan Slott and the Fantastic Four to get me pumped. Let’s see how that went…
It starts, “the introduction of a long-hidden Elder of the Universe… the Profiteer! Witness the first appearance of this new, major player in the cosmos!” Those are Marvel’s official words, not mine. She is running the Casino Cosmico, where the Kree/Skrull War continues with staged battles for fun and profit…mainly hers! There are also standard casino games of chance and skill, but now, the focus is on the fighting. We get to see a fight that plays out a past battle in the Lava Wastes of Lorkanna Six, which is fun, but the whole intro scene does go on a bit too long.
We finally get to the Fantastic Four, who have run out of gas and need some help. Luckily for them, a ship goes by and after talk of the devalued universal credit, it’s off to the Casino Cosmico to win some gas money. How are they going to do that? Well, at first, it’s all about Battlin’ Benjy heading back to the boxing ring.
At this point, I was having some fun. Sure, Slott wasn’t getting me interested in anything Empyre, but I like a fun story with the Fantastic Four in space! Things fall apart from here on out, and the story devolves into surface-level nonsense that had me shaking my head numerous times.
While Ben and Johnny go off to win their money, Reed and Sue investigate the Casino, while Franklin and Val gamble. Nothing plays out well here. The fighting is only about the Fantastic Four finding out kids are fighting the Kree/Skrull battles, Reed only serves to stack the odds in the good guys favor in a forced way, and Sue helps her kids cheat their asses off to win. While funny enough, this part makes the Profiteer look like one of the biggest morons in the galaxy! The “new, major player in the cosmos” has an intergalactic casino that gets screwed over by an invisible woman physically manipulating all the games? Really?!?!?
The issue ends with Val and Franklin owning the Casino with all their winnings, which they use to trade for the Kree and Skrull kids and some gas. The issue ends with the FF heading home and finding themselves in the middle of an invasion.
As an Empyre prelude, this issue was bullshit. As a Fantastic Four issue, it was okay, yet forgettable. There was some fun to it, but it ended up feeling like Dan Slott only wanted to get the Kree/Skrull boys with the Fantastic Four and ended up forcing it any way he could. In doing so, he made the Profiteer look like an idiot in her first appearance and told a disjointed story that was laughable. Yea, I was laughing at it, not with it! It did look great, though, thanks to R. B. Silva’s art.
Dan Slott gives readers a goofy Fantastic Four issue that did nothing to get me excited for the Empyre Event. Fans of the Fantastic Four may have fun with it, but I can’t see anyone talking about this after a week or two. If this is what Empyre is going to be like, count me out before it even starts!