Summary

Slott's script is technically sound, but several marvelous images can't save this issue from its boring flashbacks.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
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Review: EMPYRE #2 Is Stuck In Neutral

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Empyre didn’t start with the “bang” you’d expect from a major event series. But the opening installment still hooked readers in by setting up a compelling conflict between Marvel’s mightiest heroes and a new deadly threat. Unfortunately, this positive momentum doesn’t continue in Empyre #2, on sale July 22, because script writer Dan Slott drags the issue down with excessive exposition. Throughout its second chapter, Empyre spins its wheels and fails to reach the next level.

Empyre #2

Story: Al Ewing & Dan Slott

Script: Al Ewing

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Artist: Valerio Schiti

Color Artist: Marte Gracia

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

In the event’s premiere, Slott presented Quoi, the Cotati’s mysterious messiah, as a sympathetic leader. But now we’re beginning to see that Quoi is a vengeful, bloodthirsty commander, and the depths of his cruelty become quite clear in Empyre #2. Through a lengthy monologue, Slott shows us that Quoi will stop at nothing to avenge his people. Parts of this speech are entertaining, and Slott’s moving dialogue is right out of a movie. “For the good of all life, they had to be purged, their grotesque sins against us redeemed…in death,” Quoi says. The Avengers’ newest villain comes off like a slightly campier version of Thanos; you can trace his logic, and though their flaws are just as obvious, Quoi’s motives are far from unreasonable. But Slott loses himself in this characterization; he slogs through several flashbacks that expand on the history lesson of the Kree, the Skrull, and the Cotati that dominated Empyre #1. As a result, this issue doesn’t move the event forward in a meaningful way; instead, it’s just a filler installment that leaves us feeling pessimistic about the series’ future.

Empyre #2 1
Quoi’s thirst for revenge is readily apparent in Empyre #2.

We’ve already compared Quoi to Thanos, and it’d be a stretch to consider Empyre an >Avengers: Endgame-like event. But Slott and the art team still provide several cinematic moments that somewhat make up for the disappointing story. First, the Avengers’ big three take center stage and fittingly look like gods when they stand up to Quoi. After they break free of the messiah’s trap, artist Valerio Schiti gives Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor a freeze-frame moment. Schiti shows Thor smirking while he wields Mjolnir and both Captain America and Iron Man looking like they’re ready to kick some Cotati behind. Just a few panels later, the trio teleport to Earth, and Schiti and color artist Marte Gracia again deliver a moment that will give Avengers fans chills. The big three stand together, partially silhouetted as they’re engulfed by the Bifrost Bridge’s brilliant rainbow. All three members of the trio have unshakable resolve written all over their faces, adding to the image’s heroic tone. Time and again, the art team makes the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes live up to their name.

Empyre #2 2
Exposition-heavy flashbacks drag down Empyre #2.

Empyre #2 is a disappointing follow-up to what had been a compelling beginning to Marvel’s latest epic event. Of course, it’s far to early to give up on this series. But after this letdown, the third installment will have a lot of work to do if it hopes to recapture the reader’s interest.

What did you think of Empyre #2? Check out your local comic shop to see if you can get it there, or consider buying the comic online. Are you enjoying the event so far?

 

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Colin Tessier
Passionate fan of Marvel/DC Comics. Freelance writer for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Bam Smack Pow, WrestleZone and other publications.

4 COMMENTS

  1. A 7.8/10 for a book the reviewer has so many problems with? You got to get these score lined up with the written review. A 3.5/4 for writing, yet keeps talking about how it’s not great???? When is an 88% not good? I guess when it’s a site that always overrated books like this one!!!

    • Tom – I want to thank you for taking the time to read the review. Your math is a little off, but I respect your passion.

      The writing of the book got a 3.5 out of 5, which translates to 70% or a C. Which is just passing in school.
      The art, colors, and letter received a 4 out of 5, which translates to 80% or a B. This is an average score.
      With a combined score of 3.9 out of 5 that translates to 78%, which is a C+. That’s not a good score for a mega-event book.

      How we review comic books:
      5.0 = A near-perfect comic; one of the year’s best. You’ll remember this issue for a long time.

      4.0-4.9 = An excellent book that’s well worth your money. Has memorable moments, stunning art, and shows a real understanding of how comics work.

      3.0-3.9 = A pretty good, middle-of-the-road comic. Maybe not worth your money unless you’re a big fan of the series/character.

      2.0-2.9 = Meh, it’s fine. Below average. Not terrible, but ultimately forgettable.

      1.0-1.9 = It’s bad. Maybe it has one or two redeeming qualities, but the bad very much outweighs the good. It’s not worth your time, let alone your money.

      0.0-0.9 = A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad comic. Not worth your time, let alone your money. If this is your score, you probably shouldn’t bother reviewing the book.

  2. I’m confused by the rating and the review. The overall rating is 3.9 out of 5 which actually looks like a positive review but overall the write-up says that the issue was disappointing. It appears like there’s a mismatch between the written review and the rating. While coloring and lettering are key elements, they don’t hold as much weight as the script and art. I’m not sure how’d the system should be altered but it feels like it needs to be addressed to avoid confusion in the reviews in the future.

    • JV – Colin gave the writing a 3.5 and art 4 out of 5 stars, that would come out to a 3.75 stars score. The score or the coloring and letters influenced the score by +.15

      No sure what the right answer is but I do appreciate your feedback.

Comments are closed.

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