‘Empyre’ #4 Finally Gives Us An Exciting Issue Filled With More Than One Surprise

by Olly MacNamee

(++ WARNING: This review for Empyre #4 contains spoilers ++)

Things are changing. Teddy – sorry, Dorrek VII – the Emperor of the Skrull/Kree unsteady alliance is beginning to sound far too much like a tin-pot dictator at the beginning of this issue and it does not sit well with Captain Marvel and the Human Torch. Especially as Emperor Hulkling is more than willing to sacrifice Earth for the greater good, as he argues the old argument of all dictators and terrorists; there are no civilians in war. An untruth that I dare say helps such folk sleep at night. And, like past tyrants, there are more than enough people willing to back their leaders will and command. 

By now you’ve probably already heard that Billy Kaplan – Wiccan and Teddy’s boyfriend – plays a rather large part in this issue of Empyre. And while this still feels like a book that often informs readers of events happening in other tie-in books, there is no denying that the inclusion of Teddy and Billy’s wedding – albeit announced as a fait accompli  – is the main attraction, as reported very heavily yesterday, leading to Marvel to spoil their own surprise in an attempt to try and get ahead of the game. But, in this announce lies the bigger reveal, that I won’t be spoiling for you here and now.

But, are the revelations in this issue enough to save a whole series of generic in-fighting and uncommon team-ups, such as Reed and Tony, still talking it out in a lab in which we are given a satisfying glimpse of a Fantastic Four flavoured Iron Man suit of armour? Stark certainly loves those customised rides, doesn’t he?
It’s another issue that drops in on all separated parties with trips to Wakanda, but with this fourth issue we are treated to one twist after another before we even get to the wedding at the end of the issue. It makes for a very entertaining and dramatic issue all round.
Dan Slott and Al Ewing, having warmed up over the last three issues, finally bring their talents to the fore with this tag-teaming issue and, as ever, artist Valerio Schiti illustrates it all with aplomb, while colorist Marte Gracia, defines each and every separate and different scenario with distinctive and varies color palettes , making it all the more easier for readers to keep up with this fast-paced issue. 
Here’s hoping the second half of this book continues to sustain the standards of this particular issue. 
Empyre #4 is available now from Marvel Comics

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