(W) Stefan Petrucha, Dan Slott, Mary Bierbaum, Tom Bierbaum (A) Various (CA) Rob Liefeld In Shops: Sep 23, 2020 SRP: $19.99
The Power Rangers arrive in New York City to find their missing teammate Tommy Oliver, AKA The Mighty Morphin Green Ranger, but soon discover he’s joined forces with the villainous Shredder and the Foot Clan! But the Rangers must also deal with another unexpected (fr)enemy – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Can these heroes find a way to work together to defeat the bad guys and save the world from total destruction?!
Written by Ryan Parrott (Power Rangers: Necessary Evil) and illustrated by Simone di Meo (Power Rangers: Beyond The Grid), the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fight – and maybe team up with – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the first time ever.
(W) Dan Slott (A) Sean Izaakse (CA) R. B. Silva Rated T+ In Shops: Sep 09, 2020 SRP: $3.99
• The fate of all future Kree/Skrull Wars is placed in the hands of… Reed Richards and his family, the Fantastic Four. • This is NO standard issue of a Marvel Comic, True Believer. Two MAJOR TURNING POINTS for THE ENTIRE MARVEL UNIVERSE will take place here! • Also in this issue… The Profiteer returns, but is she here for revenge… or justice? And a special appearance by the most ominous cosmic character of them all, The Unseen!
After a condensed number of issues and tie-ins, Empyre #6 wraps up the main story for Marvel’s 2020 comic event. It’s hard to say how it might have read if all of its issues had been released but as is, the comic feels not so much as an event as it’s a way to put focus on the neglected Marvel cosmic universe.
With a story by Al Ewing and Dan Slott with script by Ewing, Empyre #6 isn’t bad in any ways but it also feels a bit rushed. It suffers from Marvel’s propensity to focus more on what comes next when it comes to events before really cementing the end of what’s being read. The issue also feels like it knows things are off the rails a bit with far too much being used to recap and getting new readers up to speed. It’s an odd use of panels and pages as Reed Richards and Tony Stark measure where they’re at and what needs to be resolved in one issue.
The details of everything are condensed again and again as the at times thoughtful event continues to pivot towards splashy images of heroes swooping in to save the day. It’s grand motions and moves that conveniently resolve issues with punching being the general solution. Twists and turns from the series feel a bit too much Soap Opera, not fleshed out, and rather predictable. This is a series that started with thoughtful debates but as it progressed slid to the lowest common denominator of storytelling.
What’s interesting about the comic is the art continues to be condensed. Valerio Schiti keeps the moments that pop to single pages mostly and even at times single panels. Double page spreads feel rare. The art almost reflects the condensed nature of the event. Schiti is joined by Marte Gracia on color and lettering by Joe Caramagna. The images absolutely pop but it’s just an interesting choice where recent events have relied heavily on jaw-dropping images to sell the scale and scope.
Empyre #6 feels like a throwback event in many ways. This is more akin to Avengers events of the 80s and 90s than more recent Marvel stories. It also feels like it’s entire point is to condense shaking up the Marvel Cosmic status quo. There’s numerous references of how things have changed and that it means big things and challenges to come. It expands the playground through which future stories can be told. It’s an event with a goal and the goal isn’t so much the story as to get from point A to point C for future stories.
Empyre #6 wraps things up generally nicely but as far as recent Marvel events, things as a whole feel a bit of a letdown. It’s a story that isn’t exactly memorable and while setting up potentially a lot it also doesn’t feel like an event that’ll have folks talking for years to come. It’s not bad but in evoking a classic feel, it doesn’t become one itself.
Story: Al Ewing, Dan Slott Script: Al Ewing Art: Valerio Schiti Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Joe Caramagna Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Dan Slott (A) Paco Medina (CA) Nick Bradshaw Rated T In Shops: Sep 02, 2020 SRP: $3.99
• The ultimate Omni-Wave Projector – built by Valeria Richards, powered Franklin Richards. In their hands, it could lay waste to the Empyre… • …but what if it fell into the hands of the Celestial Assassins? A tipping point in the Empyre saga! A fight that Spider-Man and Wolverine can’t afford to lose! And two lives that that will be forever changed!
(W) Al Ewing, Dan Slott (A) Valerio Schiti (CA) Jim Cheung Rated T+ In Shops: Sep 02, 2020 SRP: $5.99
Who will rule the EMPYRE? • There can be only one King of Space-and it’s the last liege standing! But as combat rages on, the clock ticks down to catastrophe! • Will the ultimate interstellar weapon fry planet Earth before or after all sentient life on the planet is wiped out? • The Avengers and the Fantastic Four are tested as never before-as EMPYRE comes to a pulse-pounding finish!
(W) Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (A/CA) Pete Woods Rated T+ In Shops: Aug 26, 2020 SRP: $4.99
Throw out the rest of your stupid, worthless flesh-bag calendars. 2020 is over, man! The moment Arno Stark has been preparing for is here: the end of all human and artificial life as we know it! All this time you thought he was just some egomaniacal jerk; well, who’s laughing now? Well…no one really. We’re all about to die.
Empyre as an event has been a bit deeper than your usual summer popcorn. There’s been debates on war and what is an acceptable loss and sacrifice. Both sides have experienced this and the philosophies are pretty bleak and far too similar. Empyre #5 though takes the series into soapy drama as the truth about Hulkling is revealed and it’s exactly as expected.
Al Ewing and Dan Slott deliver the story, with Ewing on script in a chapter that is full of reveals but none of them are really all that surprising. The big one is utterly head scratching in the logistics make little sense. Empyre #5 is that expected battle as the Kree/Skrull empire turn on their human allies putting Earth in the middle with no one to help.
Empyre #5 isn’t a bad chapter to the epic. It’s just rather predictable. There’s an almost trope-ish Bond-like villain aspect to it as the timer begins ticking in multiple ways. It’s the moment and issue where the story walks back some of the smarts and depth shown in previous issues. It shifts to a more expected event focus of battles and action.
And that shift is interesting as artist Valerio Schiti continues to forgo splash pages. Instead the art is more at the page and panel level. We don’t get two page spreads with images leaping from it. There is a more interesting use of panels in some parts of the comic. The layouts are more interesting than they’ve been but again, the art isn’t as splashy as one might expect for a bit event. Schiti’s art is enhanced by Marte Gracia’s colors and Joe Caramagna’s lettering. It all comes together to create visuals that are interesting and engaging but at the same time sort of conservative and muted in a way. It’s not over the top where the art becomes the most interesting aspect of the story.
Empyre #5 is a bit of a letdown in that it brings the event down to the level that was expected. It’s an issue that’s about the over the top action in some ways betraying the more insightful previous issues. It is a lowest common denominator in some ways walking back what was an interesting event. Hopefully, as the event wraps up, we’re treated to more of what was and not just more of this issue.
Story: Al Ewing, Dan Slott Script: Al Ewing Art: Valerio Schiti Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Joe Caramagna Story: 7.0 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
(W) Al Ewing, Dan Slott (A) Valerio Schiti (CA) Jim Cheung Rated T+ In Shops: Aug 12, 2020 SRP: $4.99
• Love and war – in the midst of cosmic cataclysm! • One fan-favorite Marvel hero reveals their secret – as another faces the ultimate showdown with a monstrous foe! • Meanwhile, an outer-space jailbreak leads to a trial by combat you’ll have to see to believe… • …but is it all too late to save Earth from two world-ending threats at once?
The war between the Kree/Skrull alliance and the vengeful Cotati escalated greatly in Empyre #4, but fans were delighted to see that amidst the conflict, love prevailed! Yesterday’s issue ended with a shocking twist when it was revealed that Hulkling and Wiccan married prior to the start of the intergalactic war. This landmark issue has already sold out, and Marvel has announced that it will be returning to comic shops for a second printing!
The pulse-pounding cosmic epic continues next week in Empyre #5, AND Hulkling and Wiccan’s marriage will be celebrated Marvel style in September’s Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1. With second printings of Empyre #1-3 now available, don’t miss your chance to witness history in the making as the cosmic landscape of the Marvel Universe is reshaped forever! Stay tuned for more news about Empyre, including the reveal of the Empyre #4 second printing variant cover!
Empyre #4 features a story by Al Ewing and Dan Slott with art by Valerio Schiti.
Despite a rough first issue, Empyre has turned into one of the most intriguing events from Marvel in some time. Empyre #4 cements that with a further exploration of horrors of war and some reveals that’ll shock and excite.
Al Ewing and Dan Slott have been crafting the story with Ewing handling scripts and the team has really nailed this event. Despite its rather obscure origins, the series has really just used Marvel’s cosmic side of its universe to explore interesting philosophical topics and shake things up.
Things aren’t going all that great on the battlefront which puts Emperor Hulkling in an awkward decision-making spot. Does he sacrifice Earth and its 8 billion residents to save trillions? The issue hints at an answer and raises questions if this is really the Hulkling we know. The question feels a little groan-inducing with Secret Invasion within memory and the idea of “evil replacements” feeling a bit soap opera for an event that has raised some really interesting questions.
That questioning of Hulkling leads to so much though. It’s Ewing and Slott’s focus on the characters in the main story instead of the overall battle that makes the main series stand out and keep getting better. That focus extends to Tony who is having a crisis of confidence which might feel sudden but makes sense concerning his experiences in the first issue. The confident man has been knocked down quite a few pegs leaving himself questioning his decisions and abilities. This isn’t a series of confident brash characters saving the day but one of tough decisions and moments of doubt.
Slott and Ewing also use the issue for some major revelations that will have readers buzzing. Not only is a marriage revealed but another has been revealed to have died on the moon which immediately sets up a new series spinning out of Empyre when it’s over. Both are the shocking highlights within an issue full of contemplative moments and hard decisions.
Valerio Schiti’s art feels like it has gotten to be consistent from the inconsistent first issue. Characters have gotten their design down and there’s a focus on scenes using panels instead of splash pages delivering a big picture. A battle in Wakanda is depicted in chaotic panels instead of a two-page spread which would have worked. Schiti is joined by Marte Gracia and lettering by Joe Caramagna. The trio realize this is a character driven drama as a opposed to a summer visual blockbuster. It doesn’t mean there’s not moments to shine. The lack of splash pages works as a group of heroes confronts the Cotati leader in hopes of talking sense into him which morphs into a big reveal and action sequence.
Empyre #4 continues to improve the series which has decided to shift the big visuals to other series and instead, so far, focus more on the individual impacts of war and the difficult decisions that have to be made. There’s been twists and turns as things have become more complicated. What began as a stereotypical eye-roll of an event has evolved into something far more deep.
Story: Al Ewing, Dan Slott Script: Al Ewing Art: Valerio Schiti Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Joe Caramagna Story: 8.10 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation:Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review