Lords Of Empyre: Celestial Messiah (2020) #1 (Lords Of Empyre by Alex Paknadel

Lords Of Empyre: Celestial Messiah (2020) #1 (Lords Of Empyre (2020))Lords Of Empyre: Celestial Messiah (2020) #1 (Lords Of Empyre by Alex Paknadel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This issue serves, essentially, as a good recap of a lot of past Avengers lore…specifically in regards to Mantis and Swordsman…that I wasn’t previously familiar with. It does a good job of humanising Quoi and making him seem like a sympathetic character. However, that said, it almost does TOO good a job, ultimately giving us no real reason for his rejection of his mother and determination to kill all meat, than his devotion to his father. There needs to be more to it than that for us to accept this previously cute kid who hand made a Swordsman costume so that he could make friends, as a now villain hell bent on wiping out all flesh based life. And I really hope that there’s more to his eventual defeat than his mother showing up and convincing him to be good.

The art is excellent in places, particularly the splash page of Quoi and Cotati Swordsman walking down a flight of stairs. Sounds boring, I know, but Lins finds a way to make it visually interesting. The highs of the art make the lows more frustrating, as in places the art looks rushed. This may well be a result of Lins having to meet a deadline while inking himself.

The real highlight of this issue, however, is the absolutely gorgeous cover art by Rob Reis. Simply stunning work.

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