Marvel Comics just finished its big summer event series, the Avengers and Fantastic Four space opera crossover story called Empyre. The main series wrapped with its sixth issue, but two epilogue Aftermath issues followed. One focused on the Fantastic Four while the other spotlighted the Avengers, showing Hulking and Wiccan's wedding reception. Al Ewing and Valeri Schiti created Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1. The issue's final moments hint at the fall of the newly-ascendent Kree-Skrull Empire, the end of a major Marvel Universe group, and the return of another. SPOILERS for Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1 by Al Ewing and Valeri Schiti follow.
In Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1, scenes from the reception are intercut with moments of Hulking interrogating his grandmother, R'Klll, the former ruler of the Skrull empire who impersonated Hulking to bring the Kree under her control. R'Klll warns Hulking that his plans to rule a peaceful alliance will also blow up in his face and lead to his downfall and those of the people he leads.
At the wedding reception, Abigail Brand, the leader of Earth's interstellar security group Alpha Flight, makes her displeasure at being left out of the loop during the Empyre crisis be known. She steps down as Alpha Flight head, affectively dissolving the organization.
These two events collide in the flash-forward sequence that takes place in the final pages of the issue. R'Klll's warnings seem to have come true. Hulking lies battered and beaten on the floor, surrounded by his advisors. He's wallowing in his defeat when a portal opens up nearby and out steps Abigail Brand.
Brand -- backed by the mutant Manifold and several other figures seen only in silhouette -- tells Hulking that she built something better to take Alpha Flight's place. She invites him to escape with them through Manifold's portal.
She doesn't name the organization, but Brand was once the head of SWORD, Alpha Flight's predecessor in interstellar defense. Also noteworthy are the "X" symbols and designs on her and Manifold's uniforms. Could Brand bring back SWORD with the backing of the Krakoan government?
Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1 is on sale now.
Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1
(W) Al Ewing (A) Valerio Schiti (CA) Jim Cheung
• The end of EMPYRE begins a new age for the Marvel Universe!
• In the aftermath of the cosmic conflict, the forces gather one last time... but why? And at whose bidding?
• New bonds will be forged, new families will be founded, and there's a new role waiting for Earth... but new destinies bring new dangers - and new enemies!0comments
• Welcome to the new Marvel Space Age, true believer - hope you survive the experience!
In Shops: Sep 09, 2020