Comics

Comic Book Reading Order: Marvel’s Empyre

Contents

Here’s the reading order for Marvel’s Empyre

Marvel united the Kree and Skrull under Emperor Hulking, and now the united empire is headed to Earth. The first event of 2020, Empyre featured the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel, and X-Men, while touching other corners of the Marvel Universe. Here’s the official synopsis from Marvel:

An intergalactic event that will reshape the Marvel Universe! Old allies make a distress call to the Avengers with news of a terrible enemy that could wipe out humanity. Meanwhile, in the most unlikely of places, the Fantastic Four witness the final conflict of the Kree/Skrull War — and a long-hidden Elder of the Universe stands revealed! With the Kree and Skrulls united under a new emperor, their war fleet charts a course — for Earth! The Avengers are ready to fight, while the FF seek a diplomatic solution. But if they can’t work together, the world may not survive. Either way, both teams will be tested as never before! The new Marvel Space Age begins here!

Books to Know:

  • Kree/Skrull War: Avengers Vol 1 #89-97 – the original Kree/Skrull War, which shows the history of the warring races.
  • The Celestial Madonna Saga: Avengers Vol 1 #124-125, 129-135; Captain Marvel Vol 1 #33; Giant-Size Avengers #2-4; Avengers Celestial Quest #1-8 – gives a lot of background on important characters, like the Mantis and Vision, along with races like the Kree, Skrull, and Cotati.
  • Fantastic Four Vol 1 Annual #18 – a good introduction to Bel-Dann and Raksor, who are important to Empyre.
  • Young Avengers Vol 1 #1-12 – the introduction of the Young Avengers, including Hulking, emperor of the Kree/Skrull empire, and Wiccan, his husband.
  • Meet The Skrulls #1-5 – the story of a sleeper agent Skrull family on Earth that give a little more context to Empyre.
  • Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four – Slott was co-writer on Empyre and the Fantastic Four play a big part in the crossover; this series will show how they show up in the event.
  • Al Ewing’s Avengers – Like Slott’s FF, Avengers will have a good bit of time in Empyre and it’s good to know what has happened coming into the event. That said, if you only read issues #3-4, you’ll get info about Hulking for the event.

Prelude Issues:

  • Incoming! #1
  • Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1
  • Empyre: Avengers #0
  • Empyre: Fantastic Four #0
  • Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1

Incoming! was an issue created to tie up 2019 books and kick off 2020 books; it ties into most of the big storylines that were upcoming that year, including Empyre.

Empyre

The Event:

  • Empyre #1
  • Fantastic Four #21
  • Lords of Empyre: Swordsman #1
  • Empyre #2
  • Empyre: X-Men #1
  • Empyre: X-Men #2
  • Empyre: X-Men #3
  • Empyre: X-Men #4
  • Empyre: Avengers #1
  • Empyre: Avengers #2
  • Captain Marvel #18
  • Captain Marvel #19
  • Captain Marvel #20
  • Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah #1
  • Empyre #3
  • Fantastic Four #22
  • Empyre: Captain America #1
  • Empyre: Captain America #2
  • Empyre: Captain America #3
  • X-Men #10
  • Empyre: Savage Avengers #1
  • Captain Marvel #21
  • Empyre #4
  • Empyre: Avengers #3
  • Empyre #5
  • Fantastic Four #23
  • Empyre #6

Note: If you read Captain Marvel #21, not that the end of the story takes place after the event finishes. Also, Empyre: Savage Avengers is not on the Marvel Unlimited App; the app does not contain any issues that feature Conan The Barbarian.

If you stick to the main Empyre series, you’ll get everything you need. All of the other books are tie in, so you can pick and choose which one are required reading based on you preferences. I did read it all; it was enjoyable, but there were some books that I could have skipped.

Aftermath Issues:

  • Empyre: Aftermath Avengers #1
  • Empyre: Fallout Fantastic Four #1
  • X-Men #11
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #6-8
  • Immortal She-Hulk #1
  • Web of Venom: Empyre’s End #1

It’s worth noting Web of Venom is used to set up the King in Black crossover.

Handbook:

  • Empyre Handbook #1

This is pretty much just explaining everyone in the crossover, giving history and how they tie into the events. It’s not required reading unless you want additional information on characters, teams, races, and more. It is available on Marvel Unlimited.

Thoughts:
It was a middle of the road crossover for me. The motives for many involved weren’t clear early on and some of the choices didn’t make much sense. Some of the tie in books were better than the main books – specifically the X-Men and Captain Marvel. I’d give it a C overall.

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