Mild Spoilers Ahead
We meet G’Iah, aka Gloria Warner, a Skrull general implanted on Earth as a spy. She is the mother of Madison, Ivy, and Alice, who are also Skrull spies. She is the widowed wife of Colonel Klrr, aka Carl Warner. The family has been investigating Project Blossom, a new technology intended to reveal all Skrulls hidden on Earth. Klrr was killed during that investigation and Ivy was captured. The family house was bombed, but they were able to find and recover Ivy soon after. Since then, they’ve been on the run and still investigating Project Blossom. They find an artifact in their searches that leads their family to reflect on the origins of the Kree-Skrull War, Earth’s part in the war, the birth of the Celestial Messiah, and the rise of Hulkling.
Road to Empyre: The Kree-Skrull War #1 serves a roadmap of stories as a prelude to Empyre. It also introduces us to the Warner Family, a small cluster of Skrull spies implanted on Earth who have been through a lot in their service to the Skrull Empire.
The Warner Family is made up of pretty diverse personalities. Gloria is a true believer to their cause and her daughters follow her for the most part. They also pick at one another like a traditional family. However, Ivy, despite her time in captivity, has come around to being against the Kree-Skrull War. She wants peace between the peoples. It makes for pretty engaging family drama.
Of course, much of the comic is also spent recapping past Marvel stories that are relevant to Empyre.
As a dedicated Marvel reader, I am also inclined to point out the story inconsistencies like an obnoxious nerd. I thought the Kree-Skrull War was over, brought about by various cosmic cataclysms such as the Annihilation saga, the Builders War, and the John Byrne Fantastic Four story (that this comic admittedly references). The Kree and Skrull have actually worked together a lot in recent years. Also, Secret Invasion said that Skrulls could only be hidden from detection if they never shifted back to their true forms and the Warner Family is in their Skrull forms throughout the comic.
Of course, these are just continuity complaints and they don’t have much bearing on the quality of this comic–which is actually pretty good.
Mattia De Iulis brings a stunning treatment to the story. The work is immaculately detailed, textured, and downright gorgeous. The color work is deep and dynamic. Javier Rodríguez and Álvaro López cover the flashback scenes and Rodríguez’s artwork emulates the classic Kirby-esque style excellently. It looks fantastic.
Road to Empyre: The Kree-Skrull War #1 puts us back into the millennia-long Kree-Skrull War and into the minds of those committed to it. It brings back the Warner Family of Meet the Skrulls and shows us their perception of Marvel Universe history. It’s an enjoyable read and hopefully is a good omen for what’s to come in Empyre. This one gets a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Road to Empyre: The Kree-Skrull War #1 comes to us from writer Robbie Thompson, artists Mattie de Iulis and Javier Rodríguez with Álvaro López, letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, cover artist Phil Noto, and variant cover artist Ron Lim with Israel Silva.
Final Score: 7.5/10