Zero comics are always interesting in that they’ve really become recap comics in so many ways. Their goal is to get us introduced to whatever event is coming. It’s also to catch up new readers so that they have an idea as to what’s going on. So, it’s clear they have a goal in mind and something to achieve. Empyre is an event steeped in Marvel history and it wears that on its sleeve. Empyre: Avengers #0 catches readers up with an almost bullet-point coverage of what they really need to know.
Written by Al Ewing, Empyre: Avengers #0 sets up what’s to come in the cosmic event. The Kree and Skrull empires have united and are on a mission of genocide. The Avengers are tasked with standing in the way and stopping a cosmic juggernaut from ravaging and terrorizing others. While the comic itself does a good job catching readers up, those who have read Marvel for decades, especially the cosmic side of things, will absolutely appreciate what’s within more. There’s talks of the history of the Skrulls and Kree and Celestial Madonnas, all referencing past stories and history that hasn’t really felt completely relevant for some time. Ewing though, makes it feel relevant. His writing almost takes the idea that these concepts were put to the side and makes them relevant again much like an empire rising.
Ewing also gives us an interesting perspective in the comic. It’s told mostly from Tony Stark’s perspective. A clearly resurrected Tony Stark which is happening in the “2020” event that’s going on. A case of bad timing for releases. But, what Ewing does is take the characters to the moon where a garden has formed and delivers Tony a religious experience. This is a man stuck in the world of science and we see him for the first time recently really let that go and let faith come in. A man of metal is struck by the beauty of green.
There’s also lots of small details of personality that are touched upon, especially between Tony and Carol Danvers. Marvel has made it a dance of personalities between these two well before Civil War 2 and well after. There’s a new direction for Tony here potentially and where the story takes him might be the most interesting aspect.
The art by Pepe Larraz, colorist Marte Gracia, and letterer Joe Caramagna is fantastic. The team has the task of delivering organic beauty in a space we’d normally consider desolate and cold. And they do so by playing those two aspects off of each other. There’s also some fantastic sequences of action and even the more contemplative quiet moments are engaging. While there’s aspects that could have gone overboard in the visuals, the team holds back and in many ways it’s preferred. It has more of a fin of the shark before seeing the full shark feel to it all. The scale of what’s about to happen is hinted at but the full weight not felt.
Empyre: Avengers #0 has a goal and it achieves that. New readers should be able to understand what’s going on and longtime readers should be reminded as to what stories they should reflect upon. It sets up what’s to come delivering entertaining moments while looking ahead. If you are at all interested in this event, this is a comic to absolutely get.
Story: Al Ewing Art: Pepe Larraz
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review