Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Mattia de Iulis, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: March 25, 2020
I have not been looking forward to Empyre, even as we get closer to it, so when I saw this Road to Empyre on my review list, I wasn’t overly thrilled. Still, I went into it with an open mind and came out the other side a little more informed and even excited about the upcoming event.
This issue reminded me of a sitcom clip-show. We get our point of view characters, the Warners (from Meet the Skrulls), and as we go through the issue, they recap, remember and learn most of what will get readers up to speed for Empyre. If you don’t know much about the Kree and the Skrull, you will appreciate this issue as a crash-course lesson.
Of course, it’s not a very happy history, but it’s interesting to learn about the years of war and hate to put the upcoming team-up into a grander perspective. It’s not just that, though, as Robbie Thompson also shows the multiple times the Kree and Skrull tried to make peace and failed. There is an underlying sadness through the whole issue that might be the ticket to get readers to root for two races that are usually the bad guys in Marvel stories of the past. It also gets very personal with the Warners and what has happened to them recently. I do hope that this prequel gets some readers inspired to check out the overlooked Meet the Skrulls, which was a really good read.
The art throughout this issue was outstanding, and the three artists all kick ass. I keep changing up who my favorite artist is on this book, and that shows how good it all is.
I don’t want to go through this on page-by-page and not because of spoilers. There isn’t much spoiled until the ending since most of this issue is a lesson in Kree/Skrull comic book history, but I will leave that for you to read and discover. It’s all done well, the notable characters and events are there, and it’s all done in a way that doesn’t show you the why or what Empyre will be, but gives you the “Holy shit! The Kree and the Skrull are teaming up after all that? Empyre must be huge!” feeling, and that is how I feel now. If you are dead set against Empyre, I’m not sure this will sway you, but if you are on the fence, it just may. It did for me.
Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War sets up Empyre by getting the reader up to speed on the Kree and Skrull, but cleverly, it also sets the stakes for what’s to come as well. What can make two bitter enemies join forces? We have to wait to find that out, but this Road to Empyre already makes it so much bigger.