Advance Review: ‘Empyre’ #2 Continues To Underwhelm With Tired Tropes And Endless Exposition
by Olly MacNamee
Empyre #2 picks up exactly where last week’s debut issue left off, with the new Celestial Messiah explaining his past and why he has come to think the way he does. A way of thinking that has seen him and the Cotati declare war on all animal life on Earth. And, he doesn’t stop there. In fact, he rarely stops. Speaking that is.
Quoi offers a great deal of exposition across this second issue but that does allow any new readers to play catch-up on the background to this summer’s Marvel cross-over event. The forging of the Kree/Skrull alliance, the rise of the Hulking to the throne, and so on. But, as any experienced villain would know all to well… never allow yourself to monologue. It only allows the heroes more time to escape. So far, so predictable and by-the-numbers.
And, unfortunately, it continues in this vein for the remainder of the comic, with the narrative descending into yet another battle amongst the stars that, I fear, we’ll be seeing plenty more of before this series is over. I find it hard to believe that not one but two of my favorite Marvel writers, Dan Slott and Al Ewing, are involved with this rather lack-lustre event. You only need to read what they’re both doing on The Immortal Hulk and Fantastic Four to realise these guys are dialling this one in. Maybe a book put together by editorial edict from higher-ups in rather than anyone with any creativity? Plants taking over our world? Hardly the most original of alien threats, now is it? And one done far better in teh past in such classic as Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
What does save this book is the artwork by Valerio Schiti who’s style is very much the preferred Marvel style at the moment, and the work of color artist Marte Gracia, who uses a galaxy of cosmic colors – deep purples and sticking pinks – that allow the artwork to shine through a very moribund storyline. With DC Comics riding high on both of their TWO summer hits, DCeased: Dead Planet and Dark Nights: Death Metal, this attempt by Marvel at a big summer blockbuster has already fallen rather flat.
Empyre #2 is out from Marvel Comics on Wednesday July 22nd.