Empyre #4, the latest installment of the Avengers and Fantastic Four crossover event series, goes on sale today. In it, Marvel Comics reveals that two Avengers got married off-panel. These two Avengers are a longtime, fan-favorite couple and the new issue of Empyre reveals they finally tied the knot. But not everything is perfect for the newlyweds, or really any of the Avengers given that their currently caught in a war between the Cotati and the Kree-Skrull Imperial Alliance SPOILERS follow for today's Empyre #4 by writers Al Ewing and Dan Slott, artist Valerio Schiti, and color artist Marte Gracia.
In today's conclusion of Empyre #4, Marvel Comics revealed that Teddy Altman, the Kree/Skrull hybrid Young Avenger known as Hulkling, and his longtime boyfriend Billy Kaplan, the mystically-powered Young Avenger called Wiccan, got married at some point before Empyre began. Wiccan reveals their marriage when he realizes that the Hulking acting as emperor of the Kree-Skrull Alliance is not the man that he married.
"I've got a lot of love for Hulkling and Wiccan, both individually and as a couple,” Empyre writer Al Ewing says in a press release. “So it's a good feeling to be able to deliver this kind of 'shock ending' for readers, which hopefully lifts fans' spirits a little rather than bringing them down."
Earlier this year, as Marvel began walking the road towards Empyre, Hulkling, the son of a Skrull princess and the original Captain Marvel, appeared to fulfill his destiny by uniting the Kree and Skrull empires against the threat of the Cotati. As Emperor of the new Kree/Skrull alliance, the Young Avenger has been front and cent throughout the Empyre saga.
Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung created Hulkling and Wiccan as founding members of the Young Avengers when they launched the original Young Avengers comic in 2005. Since then, they have appeared through the Marvel Universe in stories such as Avengers: Children's Crusade, New Avengers, and Strikeforce.
“When I was first asked to design Wiccan and Hulkling for the Young Avengers, I had no inkling of the longevity they would have, or even their impact on the hearts and minds of the readers,” said Cheung. “Billy and Teddy really became fully fleshed people to me, thanks to Allan's incredible writing, and it's been wonderfully rewarding to follow their growth and evolution under the guidance of other creators over the years. Now that they're taking their relationship to the next level, I can’t wait to watch where their next adventure takes them!”1comments
“I’m eternally grateful to writers Al Ewing and Dan Slott, artists Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia, editor Tom Brevoort, — and of course cover artist Jim Cheung — for telling Teddy’s story so gorgeously — on such an epic scale — and with so much heart,” said Heinberg. “AND for inviting me and Jim to the wedding!”
More of Hulkling and Wiccan’s story will be revealed in Empyre #5 next week, and their story will continue in Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1 in September.