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Review – Empyre #5 (Marvel Comics)

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Overall - 8.3/10
    8.3/10
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Empyre #5

Writers: Al Ewing and Dan Slott
Script: Al Ewing
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Maturity Rating: Teen 
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 12, 2020

The Cotati continue to wage war to plant their Death Blossom in Wakanda’s soil, as Emperor Hulkling has ordered the destruction of Earth’s sun to stop the Cotati. Disaster is imminent unless our heroes can save the day.

 

Put up Your Dukes in Empyre #5

What Empyre #4 may have lacked in exciting storytelling is certainly made up for in shocking revelations that we are dealing with in Empyre #5. First, Wiccan and Hulkling were secretly married! This was revealed when the Human Torch and Captain Marvel were transported to his home. We also learn that this Emperor Hulkling is not who he seems. That is not all…Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, is dead and her body has been taken over by the Cotati. With one of their most powerful members fighting against them, Emperor Hulkling calling for the destruction of Earth’s sun, and the Cotati coming closer to planting their Death Blossom in Wakanda’s soil, the penultimate issue of Empyre has our heroes on their heels.

Empyre #5 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by Alexander Lozano
Empyre #5 (Marvel Comics) variant cover by Alexander Lozano

The ever-loving, blue-eyed Thing going toe to toe with the un-dead, possessed She-Hulk. Black Panther and Wakanda making their last stand against the Cotati. Wiccan coming face to face with “Emperor Hulkling”. Reed Richards and Tony Stark plotting to save the Earth. Empyre #5 is all-out war.

Writing

I am still at a bit of a crossroads with Empyre. I don’t hate it as much as some people seem to. But I also don’t love it, either. I can see the complaints of not much happening in this main series (that is, until this issue) and that most of the action is happening elsewhere in tie-in issues. That has been the biggest plague of this event—that the main series seems to be a bunch of talking and everything else happening in other issues. 

Empyre #5 does rectify that, as a lot of craziness happens in this issue and it builds up to what should be an exciting conclusion in Empyre #6. Unless everything happens in the tie-in issues before that comes out? But this issue itself was pretty good. Glad Wiccan has finally got involved, as you would think he would be the first person everyone went to. There are some exciting build-ups throughout this issue.

Again, this isn’t the greatest thing ever, but it does feel like a bombastic summer blockbuster, so that is fun. Plus Empyre #5 has a great hero moment for Ben Grimm, one that every time I look at and read I just smile and get goosebumps. So, just for that scene alone it was worth it, for me.

I do think there is just a bit too much going on in Empyre #5. We jump from scene to scene and story to story; it all feels a bit too disjointed and disconnected from each other. From the battle in Wakanda to Emperor Hulkling, the Kree/Skrull alliance, and Reed and Stark off on their own, everything feels too separated and just too much going on at once.

Art

The art is still very good in Empyre #5. The team of Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia continue to do splendid work on this series. I love the grotesque look of the possessed She-Hulk. It is full of great body-horror type imagery and adds a little flair to the fight with Ben Grimm in the issue. 

Schiti does a fantastic job with all the characters and locations in the issue. As stated before, there is a lot going on in Empyre #5. Tons of characters and different locations, and Schiti details them all phenomenally well. The issue, plain and simple, just looks good from a visual and storytelling standpoint.

It was also teased in Empyre #4 that Tony Stark was making a Fantastic Four Iron Man armor, and we get to see that in this issue. Let me tell you, that thing looks beautiful! The coloring from Gracia matched with the detail from Schiti, it looks very cool and I want to see more of it in the next/final issue of Empyre.

Conclusion

Empyre #5 is solid, if a little bit too over-bloated. I don’t hate Empyre as an event comic but it could do a lot better, as well. A lot of the stuff happening in the tie-in issues should be happening in the main series and the storytelling in the main series could be more connected and streamlined for a better flow.

That being said, there are some exciting things happening and Empyre #5 was a fun issue to read. If you are a fan of The Thing this is a must-read, just FYI. The art is all-around solid and you couldn’t really ask much more from an artist for it. I do like that this is coming out weekly and we are just around the corner from the final issue. All in all, Empyre isn’t great but it’s not the worst thing either. There are things to like and dislike about it. I think it is one of those things that will read better in a collection and probably be looked back on more fondly in the future than it is right now.


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