Empyre: Aftermath: Avengers #1 Review

by Charles Martin on September 09, 2020

Empyre: Aftermath: Avengers #1 Review
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colourist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Emperor Hulkling and Wiccan are celebrating the end of the event by throwing a space-wedding with a massive superhero guest list. Despite shipping with "Avengers" on the cover, this epilogue doesn't have too much to do with them. It's more about tying up the loose ends in the new emperor's court.

The first order of business before the ceremony is for Hulking to have some harsh words with his imprisoned grandma who was the eminence grise behind the Kree-Skrull unification. 

This conversation, and grandma's ominous portents of doom, will come back at the end of the issue. The effect is to put a dark undercurrent beneath the joyous celebration.

The hints of darkness are helped along by Abigail Brand, who chews out Captain Marvel for leaving Alpha Flight out of the loop during this whole cosmic crisis. She's got a fair point: Dealing with Big Space Stuff is this incarnation of the team's whole job.

Reed Richards piles on with a guilty note that superheroes need to act less unilaterally. It's a nice nod to the sins of the Illuminati during the Incursion Crisis. Cap and Tony round out the nods to past events by doing a few panels of Civil War callbacks.

The final plot developments are conveyed smoothly and Al Ewing's script has a nice, brisk pace. There's not a room for a lot of characterization, and what attention there is goes to Hulkling. I don't fault Mr. Ewing for the underlying simplicity of Hulkling's character -- I believe that's a preexisting condition. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but there's just not a lot going on with him besides bravery, open-mindedness, and a big ole heart.

The basic developments are helped along by some spectacular character art by Valerio Schiti. He has a really good handle on keeping his characters consistent and distinctive at all ranges from close-up to background. The big roster allows him plenty of opportunities to exercise that talent, and there are some excellent crowd shots.

Marte Gracia concentrates most of the colouring attention on the characters. This produces impressive, vibrant results for the people, but it leaves the backgrounds looking a little drab in comparison.

The Avenger's Empyre epilogue concentrates more on Emperor Hulkling and his court than the titular team. This actually works out well, tying a solid bow on the event while leaving a few promising plot threads loose for continuation. Great character art helps make the reading experience a satisfying one.

Our Score:


A Look Inside