Road To Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Robbie Thompson, with art by Mattie De Lulis, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna. The Earth-based Skrull family, the ‘Warners’ are back after their mini-series run from last year’s Meet The Skrulls.
If you didn’t happen to catch that run, fear not true believers, because The Kree/Skrull War #1 recaps the main points of the story within the first few pages of this issue. Thompson himself gives an introductory paragraph on the title page, and G’iah, alias ‘Gloria Warner’ also recaps the prior events.
Gloria, Madison, Alice, and Ivy are alone on Earth, as their transmission to Skrull High Command go unanswered. With no communications as to what their primary directive is, the Warner family revert back to the original assignment. Destroy ‘Project Blossom’ the technology responsible for exposing undercover Skrull operatives assigned to Earth.
The family discovers an abandoned laboratory that had been previously been occupied by a Kree agent. It’s there that they find clues that will uncover a sinister plot that will threaten the galaxy to its very core. The young Skrull sisters however have been slacking on their Skrull Empire history. Through the following pages, Gloria attempts to shine a light on the history of the Kree/Skrull war, the Celestial Madonna, and the origins of Hulkling.
Thompson absolutely revels in this story and it serves as a brilliant opening tale to a much larger cosmic comic arc. Having not been familiar with the Warners, I was thrilled to see that Thompson has armed the reader with plenty of backstory to use Road To Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1 as the perfect onboarding for new fans. The synopsis of the classic stories used as a family history lesson works not only to educate the readers, but also to reinforce the lessons in the stories for the Skrull daughters of the might of the Skrull empire, and the savagery of the Kree race.
The art is split between De Lulis who handles the present-day sequences of the Warner family and Rodríguez and López who handle the flashbacks. De Lulis’ contributions are absolutely stunning. The close-up panels of the Warner family are so precise and meticulous, that it’s very easy to get caught lingering on the page trying to drink in all of the details. The way De Lulis captures the facial expressions, matched with the non-verbal positioning of the character bodies really elevates the dialogue to another level.
Rodríguez and López bring some class Marvel illustrations into the fold with their flashback sequences as we retrace the events of the very beginning of the Kree/Skrull conflict and they’re a lot of fun to pour-over. I enjoyed the stylization of the illustrations as they pay homage to stories, and characters that have come before them. The panel designs are really dynamic and serve to keep you active and engaged.
Caramagna’s lettering is next level, as he shifts the style from the inner monologue of Gloria with a black background with the green font to the normalize speech bubbles when they’re talking in English. The narration is also helpful, utilizing color to denote which member of the Warner family is talking.
There may be some who find the flashback sequences to be a retreading of stories that have already been told and thus filling the pages with unoriginal ideas. The retelling of the history, however, serves as a brilliant narrative for the Skrull daughters and puts every reader squarely at the same starting point to launch what is sure to be a much larger story involving much of the Marvel comics-verse. After reading this issue, I’m encouraged to go back and read Meet The Skrulls.
Overall, I’m really excited to have read this issue. I’m astounded at how many stories they’ve been able to pack into these pages. Not only does it provide a solid history of Marvel comic events, but it finishes with such dramatic tension that will leave you gasping for the next tie-in story!
Road To Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1 is available at comic book stores now.
Road To Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1
Overall, I’m really excited to have read this issue. I’m astounded at how much story they’ve been able to pack into these pages. Not only does it provide a solid history of Marvel comic events, but it finishes with such dramatic tension that will leave you gasping for the next tie in story!