Empyre was billed as an Avengers/Fantastic Four event, but the main title felt a bit light on the latter. Now, the same week as Al Ewing wraps up the Avengers side of things with Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1, writer Dan Slott and artist Sean Izaakse team up to deliver another epilogue with Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1. While Ewing's issue focused on the Young Avengers as well as the original icons, delivering a celebratory, passing-of-the-torch issue, Slott writes an ending for Quoi and the Cotati while setting up threads for future Fantastic Four stories.
With the exception of the Thing, the Fantastic Four weren't among the most interesting characters in the main Empyre event. That trend continues with these two epilogues, which are, due to the role they play in wrapping up Emypre's threads, hard not to compare. While Ewing's Empyre Aftermath: Avengers #1 focused on character moments that balanced the weight of the war that was just fought with a celebratory tone, Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 feels oddly goofy considering what the characters just went through. There are a few moments of gravity, though, such as Thor's scene with Quoi. As the undeniable standout of the issue, that scene wrapped up a genuinely unresolved aspect of Empyre, offering the Cotati storyline a clever ending. Unfortunately, though, the dialogue overall is a chore to get through, with characters either speaking in huge chunks of exposition or running self-satisfied jokes into the ground. There's also a weird tendency for characters to be stuffed into a panel, with every single one of them, one-by-one, reacting verbally that something happened in the previous panel as if this is a skit happening on stage. There are parts that are entertaining, such as the Spider-Man and Human Torch scene, which feels like real, genuine conversation between friends. More of that and scenes like Thor's exile of Quoi, which seemed to be written with more thought and restraint than the rest of the issue, would have made this a good comic. Instead, we have a bit too much of the Profiteer going full Karen on the moon, and a lot too much of everyone reacting, one-by-one, to her sudden by inevitable betrayal.
While the writing is hard to get through in places in Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1, artist Sean Izaakse, colorist Marcio Menyz, and letterer VC's Joe Caramagna handle this issue beautifully, filling each panel with more characters than needed to be there in almost every scene. It's a genuinely beautifully drawn, skillfully (and patiently) lettered comic with art that makes up for a tedious script.