Writer: Al Ewing, Dan Slott
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: September 2, 2020
Well, Empyre comes to a close, and while I haven’t hated it to this point, I haven’t loved it either. Overall, my feelings for it going into this finale is boredom. There is still a chance for Slott and Ewing to nail the landing and make it all worthwhile, right? Let’s see if they are not just writers, but miracle workers as well…
The issue opens with Tony and Reed discussing the exact thing they were discussing at the end of the last issue, and that ridiculousness is saved by Tony pointing out just how ridiculous it is. One of my problems with this story is that Reed and Tony have just been hanging out at Avengers Mountain bickering and complaining, just to wait for this finale to push some plan out of the shadows to help save the day. Ewing and Slott seem to rely on the idea that if two of the smartest guys in the MCU get together, they can find a solution to anything. It’s true, but I would have liked to see a bit of it before this final issue.
The story continues with a bit from the Fantastic Four tie-in issues making the Kree and the Skrull attack each other. It’s bad enough that the alliance is crumbling, but it also freezes anyone that has both Kree and Skrull DNA, like Teddy. Good thing they couldn’t get that inhibitor mask off of him, right?
So, how do our heroes get out of what seems like an unwinnable situation? First Johnny Storm and Carol Danvers head off to absorb the sun while the power of love and family steps up to save Earth. It does save the Kree/Skrull alliance, but if you are not reading the Fantastic Four tie-in issues, you may not get the full impact, or might even be lost. That is something that should not happen in an event book.
Things start forcing their way to an end when Black Panther suddenly is alive because of his mastery of Shadow Combat, and Reed shows up to hamper Quoi with bioacoustics. We then get our second “Avengers Assemble,” and the book finally feels big. I have wanted to see more heroes in what should be an all-hands-on-deck situation, and here they come!
While I love the scope widening, Ewing and Slott make everything small again by continuing to end every threat in such a laughably forced way that I was left wondering if it all was a bit overblown in the first place. The Pyre is over with some teamwork, and Tony talking about Reed’s outfit. Hulkling gets his inhibitor mask punched off his face so he can put it on his grandmother. Thor finally comes back to take out the Cotati wizards immediately. Black Panther then seems to destroy the Death Blossom while attacking the Swordsman. Luckily he had Hulkling’s Star Sword, right?!? Ewing and Slott tie it all up in a bow by mentioning the X-Men took care of the Cotati on the moon and leading an unrepenting Quoi off as he vows revenge.
So, we end up with a Kree/Skrull alliance led by Hulkling, which is significant, but did we need 30+ issues to get there? I don’t think so. This story could have been an arc in the Fantastic Four book and accomplished everything except fleecing people of all the money they spent on an “Event” that was boring and forgettable. I loved the art in this main book, but having everyone do nothing more than yell at each other for five issues only to force an ending (on so many fronts) is just awful. I know multiple tie-ins got canceled, but that doesn’t excuse the main title being this bad.
Al Ewing and Dan Slott finish their “Event” by forcing an end to every threat, sometimes off-panel. Because of that, this finale makes the whole story feel smaller, and that’s not sticking the landing. The art was great, but did we need 30+ issues to get a Kree/Skrull Alliance? If you think so, then you might be less angry than me at the moment.