Empyre (2020) #4 by Al Ewing

Empyre (2020) #4 (of 6)Empyre (2020) #4 by Al Ewing

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow…there’s a lot to take in here. Well, two things, specifically, but I’m not sure how much I can say about them without completely spoiling this issue for you if you haven’t read it already.

One development I certainly hope isn’t true, and the other is very, very welcome…although I want to know exactly when it happened! Suffice it to say that my disappointment that Empyre was focusing on Teddy and neglecting Billy was definitely unfounded.

So, what happens? Well, other than the two big reveals I’ve alluded to above, Teddy wakes up from a nap and decides to deploy the Pyre, a fail safe device which, in the case of Cotati victory on Earth, will destroy the Sun and the Earth with it. Carol Danvers and Johnny Storm object to this plan and are promptly teleported to Earth by Mur-g’nn. She teleports them to the New York apartment where Billy lives, and he uses magic to view Teddy making the decision to destroy the Earth…and insists that it’s NOT Teddy.

Meanwhile, Tony Stark and Reed Richards are hanging out and, quite frankly, Tony is being adorable and having one of his patented crises of confidence and channelling all of his angst into designing and building a new suit because OF COURSE HE IS. That’s what Tony does. And Tony is so absolutely spot on in this series that it’s wonderful.

Schiti’s art is anything but (come on, I’ve resisted that pun up to this point, but it was always coming) and at no point do you find yourself disappointed that Jim Cheung is only doing the covers on this book, which is no mean feat. He illustrates the big, action oriented scenes just as expertly as the small, quiet, personal scenes and gives everything a polished, professional and very modern look. Which is exactly what you want in a big, tent pole book like this.

This is both high stakes, galaxy spanning, world ending, consequential stuff, that’s at the same time deeply rooted in the internal lives and interpersonal relationships of the characters involved, and everyone involved is to be commended for that!

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