Empyre: The Avengers #1
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Carlos Magno
Cover Art by Steve McNiven
With the threat from the stars now reaching Earth, Captain America sends out the call for heroes to meet its advance across the globe! But in the far-off Antarctic Savage Land, Ka-Zar and the Agents of Wakanda have located an enemy offensive that could change the course of the conflict! Which Avengers will answer the call to this remote area and will they be able to cope with the strangeness they find there?
While certainly my least favorite Empyre tie-in so far, Empyre: The Avengers #1 also has one of the most thrilling scenes in the serial yet. Most of the issue feels quite slow paced actually, and just as I was starting to feel it would be a total write off, the thing happens and I’m right back to 100% invested. It’s definitely a little trick to sell one more issue, and I don’t care for the idea of that, but we all know that’s at least half of comic collecting, so why bother complaining?
I will say though, that this issue is one of the weaker Empyres yet. There’s a lot more talking than fighting, and the various oddities of speech from all the different characters makes almost every line awkward. Sure, it’s just accents and eccentricities, but there’s a lot of them, so much so that it’s the normal speech patterns that start to stand out. It feels overwritten, which adds to the feeling that most of this issue could have happened in any other book, saving me from having to shell out for one more series. I don’t mind doing it when the content is there, but when things feel this stretched out, it starts to get to me.
And I think I wouldn’t have minded as much as I do if I had enjoyed the rest of the issue as much as I’m used to. But there’s just something about the art that won’t let me get into it. Everything is kind of… ugly. The colors are more subdued. The heroes have worry lines and age lines all over their faces. The backgrounds aren’t as detailed as other series have been. Again, it all adds up to bring me down. It’s not BAD, but it’s not as fun as the others, which makes it feel even further removed from the series I’m trying to love.
With so many books following one story, there’s bound to be ups and downs. And those downs don’t make things wrong or bad, they just make me wish for more of the ups, which I’ll very likely have next month. I’m looking forward to that, and I’m looking forward to how the big revelation here will effect everything else, but I’m not really looking forward to more of this series yet. If I were asked to name the most skippable Empyre issue yet, I wouldn’t have to think long.
Maybe the Slowest Empyre so far, But What a Pay Off!
At once a perfect example of why endless issues revolving around the same story is such a bad idea, and why they are still a thing, Empyre: The Avengers #1 is mostly a slow read, going over one more point of view, with a game-changing revelation in the last few pages.