Fantastic Four: Empyre Fallout
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Sean Izaakse
Colors: Marcio Manyz
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Avengers: Empyre Aftermath
Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Ariana Maher
Empyre has ended. Marvel’s latest cosmic world-shattering event has shuttered its doors as the earth and the universe have been saved. The unified Empire of the Skrull and Kree, along with the heroes of earth have overcome the life ending threat of the Cotati. Now it’s time for some epilogues and as Marvel is prone to do some set up for storylines and events to come, since the Marvel event train seems to be unending.
Fantastic Four: Empyre Fallout begins the two epilogues and picks up in the wake of the Empyre Event as the heroes regroup in the Blue Area of the moon, where the first skirmish of Empyre kicked off. Empyre Fallout is just that, with the heroes dealing with the fallout of the event as there are things that must be dealt with. With such a large gathering of heroes and royalty there must be a chronicle of the event so the Unseen (formally known as Nick Fury) watches from his perch on the moon. First and foremost, the surviving Cotati and their Celestial Messiah Quoi must be dealt with. Luckily Thor, the God of Thunder and son of the Earth goddess Gaea has a plan that will hopefully satisfy all parties. There is also the mystery of where the powerful and ancient Cotati weapons came from and for that question Reed Richards has called in the Profiteer, the elder of the universe who has supplied the weapons of war to both the Kree and the Skrull for generations. There’s also the issue of the Kree and Skrull children (Jo-Venn & N’Kalla) who are the embodiments of the history of their people and were forced to combat in the Profiteer’s gambling arena. While the Profiteer wants them returned the assembled heroes aren’t about to return children to a gladiatorial arena. While the conclusion to this issue has been apparent since the beginning of this event it still brought a smile to my face and is fitting to what Dan Slott has been doing with Marvel’s first family since it was relaunched 2 years ago. With some wonderful scenes, a great moment for Johnny Storm and Peter Parker to catch up, and a somewhat shocking return of an old family friend Fantastic Four: Empyre Fallout is a fun follow up for what was an enjoyable event.
While Fallout was the immediate epilogue Avengers: Empyre Aftermath takes place several days after the end of Empyre as the heroes have had a chance to catch their collective breaths. The focus of Aftermath is the galactic marriage of Emperor Hulkling and his longtime boyfriend (and husband) Wiccan. While the two were married in Vegas prior to the war this ceremony allows for the entirety of their friends and family to attend as well as serves a purpose for the court of the unified Kree-Skrull Empire as Wiccan will not only be the Emperor’s spouse but will be the resident magician and advisor to the court. The issue also serves as a reunion for the Young Avengers (A book Marvel must bring back) who have been with the happy couple since the beginning. There is a glorious confrontation between Abigail Brand, acting director of Alpha Flight, and Captain Marvel, the former head of Alpha Flight over the Avengers ignoring protocol, again, and not informing Alpha Flight of the Cotati presence on the Blue Area of the Moon and the threat they posed. The book also allows Emperor Hulking to deal with some issues of his court as he must decide what to do with his grandmother who usurped his rule and posed as him. Hulkling also must decide the fates of the Super Skrull and Captain Victory, two of his greatest soldiers but each have harmed his rule in one way or another. Just like Fallout, Aftermath ends in a potential cliffhanger as it sets up what is to come in the future, but when and what book that future will take place in is still unknown, but whatever book that is I will be there, as I want more of this Empire and this galactic intrigue.
Both Fantastic Four: Empyre Fallout and Avengers: Empyre Aftermath are excellent follow ups to the Empyre event. With the principle creators (Al Ewing, Dan Slott, and Valerio Schiti) as the core creators here these two books felt like a continuation and natural conclusion to Empyre. Sean Izaakse was a wise choice for the Fallout book as he has a history with Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four as his style is similar to Schiti’s and both are in line with what is quickly becoming Marvel’s house style with a melding of magna with realism that is also a style used by Pepe Larraz and RB Silva, two of Marvel’s rising stars. With the two prequal books (Avengers: Empyre #0 & Fantastic Four: Empyre #0), then the six issues of the main Empyre series, and then these two epilogues Empyre is a really well-done event with great execution in both story and art.
Verdict: Buy! Fantastic Four: Empyre Fallout and Avengers: Empyre Aftermath are two worthy epilogues to the recently finished Empyre. With the bulk of the core creative team intact both stories are excellent follow ups to the main series with some great character work, wonderful art, and some great set up for what is to come in the Marvel Universe.