Writer: Al Ewing / Artist: Valerio Schiti / Marvel Comics

Well, Empyre certainly escalated quickly and hasn’t seemed to slow down at all. The premise was set up pretty quickly and executed with an action heavy approach. Though Issue #4 can’t lay claim to the “action heavy” part as much as those before it, but the intensity is still there.

The Avengers and the Fantastic Four are managing the chaos from different sides of the war. It’s not quite as accessible as earlier issues, and it’s very clear that there are moments that are specifically tasked with compelling you to buy the tie-ins. And the script is more likely to give you a mention of a tie-in event than a teaser via flashback panel, so there’s a little more telling than showing….something this event has excelled at up to this point. However, #4 still does a pretty good job of keeping the story moving while still offering some “Holy Sh**” revelations.

One of the particularly interesting moments is the dynamic between Reed Richards and Tony Stark. Ewing does a pretty effective job of contrasting their drastically different thought processes and approaches to science while highlighting Iron Man feeling betrayed and outsmarted. Valerio Schiti’s artwork is meant to be fawned over endlessly. I’m pretty sure just about every page had a panel that I wish had been a splash page because the level of attention to detail and eye for epic moments deserved that much spotlight. The Skrull Queen’s poses and facial features were like a homage to that kooky Golden Age era of comics where the villains were just mischievous goofballs that were having the time of their lives being a wrench in the machine.

Bottom Line: Although this wasn’t quite as “jump right in” accessible as those before it, the dynamics between the characters, the reveals, and the general fun I’m having with this book are still a decent tradeoff. A solid book still absolutely worth the coin.

8 Clobbering Times out of 10

Enjoying Empyre? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.

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