Story: Al Ewing & Dan Slott
Script: Al Ewing
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
The Black Panther has fallen! The Cotati stand triumphant on earth. They have planted a Death Blossom in the heart of the Wakandan Vibramium mound and once it blossoms it will kill every non plant lifeform on earth. From here they will launch an attack against all lifeforms in the galaxy that are not plant based. In reaction to this the Kree-Skrull alliance, under the false leadership of the Skrull R’klll posing as her grandson Hulkling, has launched the Pyre into Earths Sun. Once it detonates the Pyre will force the sun to go supernova and will destroy the Cotati but also the galaxy. Standing between these warring Empires are Earth’s heroes, led by the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.
Empyre #6 puts a nice bow on what has been an enjoyable Marvel event. Like many classic tales this event has been divided amongst multiple locales with dozens of major characters and plot points. It can be difficult to handle such a wide array of action but writers Dan Slott and Al Ewing have done a tremendous job of giving each locale their time and due and it all flows together flawlessly. While the finale of Empyre #5 left the reader shocked (but they shouldn’t be as do you really think Marvel is going to kill off one of their flagship MCU characters) Empyre #6 does an excellent job of concluding this galactic event. Tony and Reed finally act, as it seems like they have been sitting around thinking out loud since issue #1. Reed’s armor was a stroke of genius and one that I hope we see again. Tony’s plan for the Pyre is a great callback to classic Fantastic Four comics and specifically their attire (I kid you not). The real Hulkling has returned to claim his throne and he has words for his grandmother and her evil machinations while the Kree and Skrull finally put aside their differences for not only their defense but the defense of mankind as well. My favorite trio of the story is Captain Marvel, the Human Torch, and Wiccan as they are the ‘Avengers’ on scene to stop the Pyre (Yes True Believers, Human Torch was a member of the Unity Squad). The Thing, Mantis, and the Invisible Woman still have to deal with the Cotati monster that was once the She-Hulk but true to the core of his character the Thing refuses to give up on his friend and family member even if it kills him. These are a lot of balls in the air but under the capable hands of Ewing, Slott, and Schiti the reader never feels lost.
Empyre #6 is dense but under the capable hands of Al Ewing’s script the book has a great flow to it that gives each storyline its due and is a satisfying conclusion. Dan Slott and Ewing concocted a great story that was wonderfully modern but with great callbacks to longtime fans and as someone who has been reading Marvel comics for over forty years it was a pleasure to read Empyre. Valerio Schiti’s cartoony style really fit this tale and it is in the same vein of Marvel’s other two rising stars Pepe Larraz & RB Silva. The Covid shutdown may have delayed the release of this event but with its rapid-fire release it hit a perfect time when readers were hopefully looking for something fun and Empyre was fun. It may not go down as the greatest Marvel event but it was an enjoyable read that hit all the right story beats to entertain both new and longtime readers and Empyre #6 was a perfect wrap to the tale.
Verdict: Empyre #6 was a fitting and enjoyable conclusion to the Empyre event. Al Ewing and Dan Slott crafted a wonderfully fun story and Valerio Schiti delivered on the artwork and it is a Buy.