Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Al Ewing, art by Valerio Schiti, colors by Marte Gracia, and letters by Ariana Maher. With the guns falling silent, life must move on. And what better way to celebrate the new day than with a wedding! Surrounded by their friends and comrades Emperor Hulkling and Wiccan tie the royal note. And while there are many reasons to be thankful this day, not all in attendance are joyful. And more than one grievance will be aired before the issue ends.
While Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1 is mostly a story about moving forward, it ironically begins it’s a tale by looking back. The opening pages of the issue are given to Hulkling’s interrogation of his grandmother, the former Empress of the Skrull Empire. Learning of the last days of his biological mother’s life and how his grandmother infiltrated the Kree. It is a story that writer Ewing delivers at a cold measured clip. A stark contrast to the celebration that follows.
And a striking celebration at that. What I can only imagine being Marvel’s first royal, same-sex, Jewish space wedding. Before a hall filled with their victorious friends and comrades Hulkling and Wiccan are wed. Ewing does a great job with this sequence as a wide range of interactions takes place here. Just as there is a joyous celebration there is also sadness. Not surprising, given the circumstances surrounding the event. With everything from toasts to old comrades to the airing of a few grievances occurring, Ewing delivers a social event that feels more real than idyllic. Weddings are supposed to be pure joy. But how often does it actually go that way?
Perhaps the most interesting aspect though of Ewing’s story is the addressing of the decision-making process surrounding the Cotati attack. Earth’s heroes are called out for their unilateral actions. While this concept was explored previously when Marvel introduced the Illuminati to the Marvel Universe, maybe something will actually come of the problem this time. Plus, I really appreciated how this problem gets brought up here. I won’t spoil who calls who out, but it is a moment that hits hard. Especially given who actually raises the issue to whom.
While the writing does an excellent job of addressing the many subjects it presents the artwork on Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1 keeps right up with it. Schiti’s work does a great job of capturing the harsh intro moments, the grandeur of a royal wedding, and the angst that occurs during it. Combine that with Gracia’s vibrant colorwork and you have a wonderful illustrative performance.
Lastly, we have Maher’s letter work. Maher does a fine job delivering the story in a clear, and easy to follow manner. A bit of extra emphasis is given when the script calls for it, helping some of the harder moments land with extra oomph.
When all is said and done Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1 tackles a lot and manages to stick it’s landing with skill and poise. Just as one would expect for a royal event.
Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1 is available on September 9th wherever comics are sold.
Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1
When all is said and done Avengers Empyre: Aftermath #1 tackles a lot, and manages to stick it’s landing with skill and poise. Just as one would expect for a royal event.