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Review: Empyre: Fantastic Four

Empyre: Fantastic Four

Marvel’s anticipated, and delayed event, Empyre draws nearer. Empyre: Fantastic Four is the prelude comic introducing the Fantastic Four into what’s to come. Much like its Avengers counterpart, the comic feels like a nice walk through the history of the key players and teases the upcoming event and its impact.

Stranded in space, the Fantastic Four are given a lift to a gambling planet where they learn of a gladiatorial combat that relives the Kree/Skrull War but the wording indicates the war is officially over. The galactic credit system has collapsed as well leading to a bartering system. It’s all tied together but the Fantastic Four must put the pieces of the puzzle together as well as figure out a way to pay for their ship repair to get home.

Written by Dan Slott, Empyre: Fantastic Four is a decent transition for the team into the event. You get a good sense of the history of the Kree/Skrull War as well as the Fantastic Four’s involvement with both. We’re also introduced to new concepts in Marvel’s cosmic landscape that fit right in and feel at home.

Slott mixes in some comedic elements and action within the pages keeping a nice pace throughout the issue. While it’s not quite as good as the Avengers lead in issue, it does a decent job overall of catching readers up and leaves them on a “what the hell is that?” cliffhanger, though without the dread like the Avengers issue.

Where things get a bit weird is the revelation of who’ battling in the arena. SPOILER: It’s two children who the Fantastic Four liberate from their oppressor. While this is overall a good thing, this, along with the Future Foundation, is making the team feel like they’re collecting wards quicker than Batman. They’re also as questionable when it comes to the kids’ safety. Still that detail provides some humorous and cute moments of interactions between the kids, the Human Torch, and the Thing.

The art by R.B. Silva and Sean Izaakse is solid work. Along with color by Marte Gracia and Marcio Menyz and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the art is really interesting with a lot of small details to tell the story. The art really plays well into the gambling world as we get a sense of the wonder and alien nature of it all but it also feels familiar. There’s a sense of excess without it being over the top and exploitation without it feeling too grimy. It feels like Vegas. Despite some of the weightier aspects of the story, the art helps keep it light too befitting the tone of the Fantastic Four.

While Empyre: Fantastic Four doesn’t quite have the excitement of Empyre: The Avengers, it does add in some more details about the current state of the cosmic Marvel Universe and how things are shifted. It’s a transition to get the team into the action without using up an issue of their main series. But, as is, this is a prelude issue that’s more interesting to read than a must get.

Story: Dan Slott Art: R.B. Silva, Sean Izaakse
Color: Marte Gracia, Marcio Menyz Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comixologyKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ash & Thorn #2

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Ash & Thorn #2 (AHOY Comics) – The first issue introduced us to an unlikely champion of Earth. The series seems to be having fun with expectations and tropes from that genre with a nice mix of humor to it.

DCeased: Dead Planet #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been doing some top-notch work when it comes to this pocket of stories and this return to the world is full of dread and heartbreak… and that’s just the first issue!

Eat and Love Yourself (BOOM! Studios) – Magic chocolate allows a young woman to revisit her past. The concept sounds really intriguing and creative.

Eight-Lane Runaways (Fantagraphics) – A new graphic novel about the world of running with a magical twist. We’re still not quite sure what this one’s about but the cover and description text has us wanting to find out more.

Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 (Marvel) – The first zero issue to come out of this anticipated event was solid and we’re excited to see what else is to come. What went from a shrug is now very intriguing.

Ginseng Roots #5 (Uncivilized Books) – One of the best comics out right now, Craig Thompson explores growing up in the world of ginseng.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics (Ten Speed Press) – Tom Scioli’s biography of the great Jack Kirby.

Join the Future #3 (AfterShock) – This future western explores the idea of modernization and the exploitation that comes with it.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The twist of the first issue was predictable but we really want to see where this noir/mystery goes.

Quantum & Woody #4 (Valiant) – The first three issues have been a whole lot of fun and we’re expecting the same from this finale.

Strange Academy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a lot of fun and we’ve been looking forward to seeing more of the series. Think young magic users at a school set in the Marvel universe.

The Avengers and Fantastic Four Pave the Way to Empyre

When Empyre #1 hits stores in April, it will be a culmination of decades worth of Marvel storytelling in an epic sci-fi tapestry that will delight both longtime comic fans and newcomers! Before the debut issue lands, two all-new essential one-shots will pave the way to this grand event: Empyre #0: Avengers and Empyre #0: Fantastic Four! This pair of stories will be written by the architects of Empyre themselves, Al Ewing and Dan Slott with art by Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva! Fresh off their work on House of X and Powers of X, these two superstar artists will once again complement each other’s skills in mirroring stories!

In Ewing and Larraz’s Empyre #0: Avengers, old allies have returned and the Avengers are called to the new Green Area of the Moon to help face a terrible enemy. And in Slott and Silva’s Empyre #0: Fantastic Four, the Fantastic Four will witness the final conflict of the Kree/Skrull War and meet a long-hidden Elder of the Universe… the mysterious Profiteer! Both one-shots will lay the cosmic groundwork for Marvel’s next incredible saga and feature first appearances of major new players in the Marvel Universe!

Check out the glorious connecting covers by iconic artist Jim Cheung below, and don’t miss the pivotal start to this legendary event this April!