This past week saw the release of Empyre #1, Marvel’s big summer comic extravaganza. And considering what the world is going through right now, we need some blockbuster stories to keep us entertained.
Writers: Al Ewing and Dan Slott
Artist: Valerio Schiti
After a few months of lead-up, where Hulking has become the leader of the now-aligned Kree and Skrull races, Empyre kicks into high gear, setting up a potential conflict between the Fantastic Four, who are returning to Earth with the Kree-Skrull contingency, and the Avengers, who are aligned with the Cotati, alien inhabitants of the Blue Area of the Moon who fear their extinction at the hands of the Kree-Skrull. Of course, not all alliances are as they seem.
Let’s leave it at that, shall we?
As I mentioned off the top, we are in serious need of summer blockbusters right now and Empyre does the trick nicely. We’ve got space battles, team-ups, and deception, oh my. Ewing and Slott keep the action moving nicely, and Valerio Schiti’s artwork is gorgeous and evocative. I also didn’t quite see the ending of issue #1 going as it did, and it left me eager to see where the story goes from here. Issue #2 arrives this week, along with a host of tie-ins to let this massive story play out in grandiose fashion.
Giant-Size X-Men #1: Magneto
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ramon Perez
Because Marvel (and the rest of the comic industry) had to put itself on hold when Covid-19 first hit hard in the winter, there was a loss of momentum when it came to the company’s so-far solid revamp of its X-Men line. It’s actually nice to get back into the world with a standalone story featuring the Master of Magnetism doing a solid for the White Queen. One of the most interesting aspects of Magneto’s character right now, and specifically in the book, is just how content he seems to be with his place in the world. In many ways, with Krakoa and the new status quo, he’s finally got everything he’s ever wanted.
This undersea adventure story is one and done, even as it sets-up long-term storytelling for Hickman and the X-line. If you’re as enamoured as I am with what’s going on with the mutants in the 2020s, you’ll enjoy reading what may ultimately become an essential issue for the future.