Empyre: X-Men #4 Review

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Art: Jorge Molina, Lucas Werneck, Adriano Di Benedetto, Nolan Woodard, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Tom Muller, Dan Brown, and Kyle Hotz

Price: $4.99

Release Date: August 19th, 2020

The Scarlet Witch has messed up again. After trying to right her wrongs on Genosha, she managed to make things worse by creating an army of undead mutants during an invasion from the Cotati. Needless to say, things got worse as Magik now took control of the undead mutant zombie’s right smack dab in the middle of the war against the Cotati. Meanwhile, her team of mutants battled zombies and alien plant creatures alike to a stalemate. And, if that wasn’t enough, throw in Demons and the Botanical Golden Girls (A.K.A. Hordeculture) and you got one $&@$ of a mess. Let’s dive into this concluding issue of EMPYRE: X-MEN #4 by Jonathan Hickman to see if we can make heads or tails of this chaotic cornucopia of Empyrical destruction.

If you’re interested in this comic or any of the others mentioned below, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy.

Hickman takes the reigns over to wrap this puppy up, strangles the insanity that was issue 3, and officially lands the plane safely and securely with purpose and meaning at its destination. After EMPYRE: X-MEN #3, this reviewer left the issue a bit concerned about what lied ahead for this week. Nonetheless, Hickman proved how talented he truly is by once again taking what was a sinking ship and somehow saving all the passengers including the mini-orchestra! Ironically enough, Hickman used very little characters from the past two issues of EMPYRE: X-MEN in order to right this ship, which was incredibly fascinating.

The main stars of this issue are Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch (who appear in roughly half of the issue) as well as Explodey Boy who seems like a new retconned mutant added to the Marvel Landscape. In fact, Hickman does a masterful job emphasizing the character voices of Wanda and Strange beautifully making this critic thoroughly intrigued for an eventual DOCTOR STRANGE run written by Hickman. Don’t get me wrong, Mark Waid’s run has been fantastic. However, I’d love to see more of Hickman and the arrogantly, snarky Strange together in a future comic.

Additionally, Hickman uses about a third of the pages to elevate a no-named, young, mutant, zombie-boy into the hearts and minds of X-fans and readers. Maybe Ed Brisson can find a way to incorporate Explodey Boy into the NEW MUTANTS fold? But ultimately, the biggest flaws of the issue are the sheer inconsistency with the prior issues, as well as the purpose of this being an EMPYRE tie-in. Sure, there were Cotati in the mini-series but realistically this had nothing to do with the overall event. And thus, to the few souls out there loving Al Ewing’s EMPYRE, EMPYRE: X-MEN was completely unnecessary to the event overall. However, X-MEN and Hickman fans should definitely see some value in this series after showcasing so many great characters and talented writers within the DAWN OF X landscape. Sure, it wasn’t necessary. But, it was a fun mini overall for X-fans.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Hickman is… (thanks Tom King) Yup. Just like Darkseid but better. Hickman uses EMPYRE: X-MEN as a tool to showcase many of his key players throughout the DAWN OF X, and takes the time to wrap up the clutter, and truly insane plot threads that many of his colleagues threw to the wolves. The biggest issue comic fans will probably have with this week’s concluding narrative is that it focuses more on characters that were barely in the story at all AND is rather inconsequential to the EMPYRE storyline. However, can I be real for one second? How many tie-ins throughout today’s comic landscape are truly deemed necessary or needed anymore? Not many… which is my point. So, can this issue (or series for that matter) really be docked for having little to do with EMPYRE? I think not. Readers should simply pick this up for fun, outstanding storytelling by one of the best in the business, and to get a taste as to what Hickman can do with a DOCTOR STRANGE series. That said, it’s not required reading for DAWN OF X or EMPYRE. So, if money is tight, you can go without it. However, I strongly recommend grabbing the trade for an entertaining ride.

8.8/10

If you’re interested in EMPYRE: X-MEN #4, click HERE to get a copy! If your interest has peeked towards this EMPYRE event, click HERE to get your hands on related trades, volumes, and issues. Maybe you’ve been really digging Hickman’s X-MEN run? In that case, click HERE to get your hands on the latest Dawn of X trades and comics. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.

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