Writer: Al Ewing, Dan Slott
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 29, 2020
Another week, another issue of Empyre to review. That’s my lot in life, and while I haven’t been fired up for this Event yet, I haven’t hated it either. I am stuck in that limbo of just not caring much at all. As a reviewer, that is the worst place to be, let me tell you. So, I am going into this issue looking for a spark, a seed, anything to get me excited. Did I find it? Let’s find out…
The book opens with some catchup that really should have opened last week’s Empyre: Avengers issue. The Kree/Skrull combined army meets the Cotati attack on Earth, and they are not known for fighting nice. It doesn’t serve this issue much at all, except to throw out the fact that Hulkling is not as respected as he might think or hope.
We then head to Avengers Mountain to see what the two big brains of the story, Tony and Reed are doing. Moping and sulking is the order of the day, and these two are getting seconds and thirds! After brief glimpses of what Captain America and Thor are up to, we head to Wakanda and check in with the Thing.
This is one of my favorite parts, not because it’s the most important, but because I love Shuri! It’s also cool to see the other characters involved, such as Wasp, because it makes the story feel bigger, just seeing more of the MCU involved.
We then get to the meat and cheese of it all when we find out precisely what Quoi is after and who he has to get through to get it. It’s a big moment, but again, it didn’t have me any more excited. No, the excitement comes afterward when a visitor arrives in Wakanda, and then we find out exactly who is helping Hulkling and why. This issue is all about family, and I will give Slott and Ewing credit; it was set up earlier in the issue by Reed in an excellent, subtle way.
I mentioned earlier that Hulkling isn’t very respected as the Kree/Skrull Empire leader, and he seems aware of that. Everyone may be looking at him as a figurehead, but if you are a fan of the character, you know that won’t fly for long. Well, he steps up by the end of the issue and shows he will make some of the hard decisions by himself. I hope it doesn’t blow up in his face!
I am finally a little excited. Maybe it’s that I’ve lowered my expectations for this Event, but things are getting interesting. I did expect a more bombastic story overall, but I am not against some intrigue now and again. I thought this was the tightest script yet, and the art was fantastic. I am still not to the point of recommending this story to everyone, but I am starting to enjoy it more.
Empyre #3 is the best issue of the Event so far and sets up the second half to kick into high gear. Political intrigue meets family matters (sorry, no Urkel) with great art to boot. I still wonder if this story needed so may tie-ins, but at least I’m starting to enjoy the main title. Fingers crossed that continues!