REVIEW: ‘Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1

Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott, art by Valerie Schiti, colors by Marti Gracia and letters by Joe Caramagna. As a combined Kree/Skrull armada heads toward the moon the Avengers prepare to defend the Cotati inhabitants. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four have run across the same fleet on their way home and have begun to investigate.

There is a reoccurring problem that frequently plagues stories like Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1. The unavoidable fact that the whole situation would’ve been avoided if someone had just told everyone what was going on. We’ve seen it before, and it’s always frustrating. Instead of just telling everyone the truth, statements like “you won’t understand” or “there’s no time to explain” get thrown around. It makes the party with the information look stupid as they are generally the ones most hampered by not sharing. Or in this particular instance, the perpetrators of this lapse in judgement could’ve simply phoned ahead as well.

While the above complaint does sour the experience for me, that aside, writers Ewing and Slott do a great with the rest of the story. It’s pacing is excellent. Ratcheting up the tension as it bounces between the various parties involved, giving each group ample time within the story. Though for me, the show-stealer here has to be Tony Stark.

Stark is a tricky character to handle properly. If done wrong, he is an arrogant snot. If done right he’s still an arrogant snot, but with enough charm and sharp wit to make u forgive the former shortcoming. Ewing and Slott nail this. Combine the excellent portrayal of Stark’s personality with an ingenious plan and you have some grade-A superhero writing.

While the story for Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1 has its ups and downs the art is another matter. Schiti breathes an undeniable coolness to every noteworthy moment this book contains. From sweet Wakandan tech to what happens when Ghost Rider drives the Quinjet, every opportunity to go above and beyond in the visual presentation goes for it. I hadn’t heard Schiti’s art before this issue, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it going forward.

While Schiti’s art is definitely spot on, colorwork can make or break the tone of any story. Happily, Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1‘s story is only enhanced by Gracia’s colors. As bold as the moments themselves, Gracia takes the energy begun by the lines and finishes the work with exceptional skill.

Wrapping up the visual side of our story is Caramagna’s lettering work. With a couple of different internal monologues running throughout and a lot of verbal back forth in this issue, it would be easy for the flow of the story to become confused. Caramagna does a great job of alleviating this problem with subtle skill. Colored fonts and dialogue box backgrounds are used wonderfully to keep who’s saying what straight. This leaves the reader to enjoy the high octane moments Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1 has to offer.

When all is said and done Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1 offers an explosive start to the Empyre storyline proper. With the field now set it will be interesting to see where the story goes from here. Hopefully, it will be able to follow through on the highs of this book, while avoiding its narrative pitfalls.

Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done Avengers/Fantastic Four Empyre #1 offers an explosive start to the Empyre storyline proper. With the field now set it will be interesting to see where the story goes from here. Hopefully it will be able to follow through on the highs of this book, while avoiding its narrative pitfalls.