This week, Marvel Comics launched its 2020 summer event, Empyre. The once opposed Kree and Skrull empires have united under their new Emperor, the King of Space, Hulking. Now the combined Kree and Skrull fleets are on a course for Earth. It begins with the prologue story found in Empyre: Avengers #0, which sees the Avengers paying a visit to the moon's blue area. There they meet one of their former members reborn who may have a significant role in the event. SPOILERS for Empyre: Avengers #0 by Al Ewing, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia follow.
The issue begins with Iron Man's dream. He recalls a vision he once saw of the start of the Kree-Skrull War. At the time, the Skrulls, undisputed rulers, had set up a competition between the Kree and the Cotati, a plant-people, on Earth's moon. The Kree broke the rules and attacked the Cotati outright, beginning a war that would span galaxies and generations.
Iron Man awakens shaken from the dream. He and the Avengers receive a distress call from the moon. When they arrive, they are attacked by a creature that is a hybrid of Kree and Skrull technology, a harbinger of things to come. During their fight, an old ally joins the fray to assist them:
Swordsman joins the fight alongside the other Avengers. The issue then offers a summary of Swordsman's past for those unfamiliar. Jacques Duquesne trained Clint Barton, Hawkeye, to be a master of weapons fighting. Swordsman turned to a life of crime and only asked to join the Avengers to betray them later. But he soon became a sincere member of the group, won over by the alien Mantis.
Mantis became the center fo "The Celestial Madonna Saga." Mantis's destiny was to give birth to a messiah. Wanting to claim her for himself, Kang the Conqueror hunted Mantis. When Kang grew frustrated, he tried to kill Mantis. Swordsman threw himself in the way, sacrificing himself to save her life.
Mantis buried Swordsman. He was then reborn as the Eldest Tree of the Cotati, destined to father the Celestial Messiah. That Cotati is the version of Swordsman who lives today and is still protecting his son, Sequoia. He summoned to Avengers because he knows the Kree-Skrull Empire is coming to Earth to destroy the messiah.
What do you think of Swordsman's return to action? Let us know in the comments. Empyre: Avengers #0 is on sale now.
Empyre: Avengers #0
(W) Al Ewing (A) Pepe Larraz (CA) Jim Cheung
Tony Stark wakes from strange dreams - as old allies make a distress call to the Avengers. In the new Green Area of the Moon, the Cotati are waiting with news of a terrible enemy that could wipe out both them and humanity itself. The Celestial Messiah has returned... but are the Avengers ready to hear his message?
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.