Who’d have thought that while the hero’s of Earth battle the threat of vegetable overlords rom space, all along this underwhelming series was a homage to Alexander Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask. But, in this issue the links are very clear as we learn the fate of the one true Teddy Altman – The Hulkling – who has been kept hidden away in, well, an iron mask. It’s a nice touch. And, finally, after four and a half issues, we get a break from the endless cutaway scenes of fighting in New York, Wakanda and space. Although, when Captain Marvel, the new Supreme Accuser of the Kree confronts the imposer posing as Emperor, a fight ensues. I still feel as though Al Ewing and Dan Slott were held at gunpoint to even agree to write this rather lack lustre series. Not when you compare it to DC Comics’ own Dark Nights: Death Metal series, which is how do do summer blockbusters right. Although, Valerio Schitti’s artwork is certainly top-draw talent, something of a must on such title-wide events, and in keeping with Marvel’s current prevailing style too.
A story is beginning to emerge and a path suggesting what the legacy of this summer superhero saga might be, is finally, emerging. Certainly if the Kree/Skrull alliance does still keep, then this alone will be a dramatic development. Although, peaceful Skrulls are more in keeping with the Marvel cinematic universes, so maybe there’s an ulterior motive at play here too. Or, am I being too cynical? Although, I’d like to think that Empyre will be remembered for something more than just the Hulkling and Wiccan’s wedding, as happy an occasion as that may be. But, one twist does not save a whole series.
One issue left to go, and with yet another increase in the threat to the world and the galaxy, can the Fantastic Four and The Avengers simply fight their way out if this?
Empyre #5 is out now from Marvel.