Marvel Comics’ EMPYRE crossover event begins in April

Marvel Studios' CAPTAIN MARVEL..Talos (Ben Mendelsohn)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2019
Marvel Studios' CAPTAIN MARVEL..Talos (Ben Mendelsohn)..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

A new year brings about a new crossover from Marvel Comics! As hinted at by Incoming, get ready for Empyre.

When 2019 came to a close, Marvel released a massive one-shot that spelled out much of their direction for 2020. It ended with the image of Hulkling from the Young Avengers rallying a coalition of Kree and Skrulls into a new army. As the son of the Kree hero Mar-Vell and Skrull princess Anelle, it seems his destiny is to possibly end one of the longest-running wars in the cosmos. This effort will involve more characters and go into more detail in Empyre.

The crossover event itself will begin in April with a one-shot written by Dan Slott (Fantastic Four, Iron Man) and Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk, Valkyrie, soon Guardians of the Galaxy). It seems as if both the Avengers and Fantastic Four will confront Hulkling’s united space-army as they near Earth. Why Hulkling would turn on the Earth is unknown, but Ewing did reveal, during his run on New Avengers from 2016, that Hulkling was able to utilize a magical space sword called the Excelsior, which proved he was a direct descendant of Skrull emperor Dorrek Supreme.

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In March, Marvel will release another one-shot called Road to Empyre: Kree-Skrull War No. 1. It will be written by Robbie Thompson and drawn by Mattia Da lulis and Javier Rodriguez. As the cover indicates, the roots of this story are going all the way back to the original “Kree-Skrull War” arc, which was featured in Avengers No. 89-97 from 1971-1972.

Written by Roy Thomas and featuring art by Sal Buscema, John Buscema, and Neal Adams, it saw the titular team caught in the middle of a war that raged between the shapeshifting Skrulls and the militaristic Kree for centuries. It saw a sequel story, of sorts, in 1992’s Operation: Galactic Storm, which pitted the Kree against the Shi’ar, during which the Skrulls played a lesser role. 2008’s Secret Invasion also spilled out of events from the original ’70’s arc, as well as the Illuminati series.

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The advertisement for the event says it will be “earth-shattering,” which is routine hyperbole for a Marvel crossover. Nor is it known why Marvel is spelling Empyre with a “y,” unless it’s due to the fact that Mark Waid and Barry Kitson created their own miniseries called Empire from 2000-2004. That series was published by their own company as well as DC Comics before settling with IDW. Hulkling’s lover, Wiccan, is currently one of the leads of Strikeforce, and it is unknown if their relationship could survive an alien invasion. Whatever the case, it looks like another Marvel space war is brewing this spring!