There has been much mock, none more so from Bleeding Cool's own Jude Terror over the upcoming Empyre event comic from Marvel. Mostly around the spelling. Despite a bump in post-shutdown orders, numbers on Empyre are relatively low as, it seems, some folk are just not sure what's going down, and if they'll like it. So here are ten teasers that Bleeding Cool has learned about Empyre, which get more spoiler the further they go down. Your call how much you choose to read. Some is supposition after careful reading of published comics and previews – but not all. You can decide what you believe and how much salt one might need to take.
1. What's With The Y in Empyre?
Empire is spelt with an I. And the Kree and Skrull Empires are heading to Earth for a big dust up. So why the Y? Well it doesn't refer to the Skrull or the Kree at all, but to the Empyrean concept.
In ancient cosmologies, the Empyrean Heaven, or simply the Empyrean, was the place in the highest heaven, which was supposed to be occupied by the element of fire (or aether in Aristotle's natural philosophy). The Empyrean was thus used as a name for the firmament, and in Christian literature for the dwelling-place of God, the blessed, celestial beings so divine they are made of pure light, and the source of light and creation. At the very end of Dante's Paradiso, Dante visits God in the Empyrean. Do note that the Cotati on the Moon, seemingly the subject of Kree and Skrull wrath, have the Celestial Messiah amongst their number. This is a religious battle.
2. Burn, Baby, Burn
The scientific words empyreuma and empyreumatic also refer to the characteristic smell of the burning or charring of vegetable or animal matter. The Cotati are plant matter. The Kree and Skrull – and humans – are animal matter. Something, or someone, is going to burn.
3. War Of The Worlds
I put it to you that Al Ewing always begins his DJ sets with the opening to the Jeff Wayne rock opera War Of The Worlds album. It is his signature tune. He knows his War Of The Worlds inside out, and knows that as well in the HG Wells novel in which aliens attacked Earth, as well as ships and machines, the Martians also brought the Red Weed. The weed infects the world, terraforming it and choking out humanity. It is this plant that supposedly gives Mars its dull red colour. When it is exposed to water, it grows and reproduces explosively, flooding the neighbouring countryside as it clogs streams and rivers.
Note in the previews, the language about a 'creeping doom' spreading 'across the planet.
While Central Park totally looks like it is being clogged by overgrown plants.
And just how this would relate to the Cotati. The plant creatures that the Kree wiped out in an attempt to appeal to the Skrulls, all those many years ago, and who previously have been portrayed as the weak victim, unable to fight back. Well…
4. Hammer Time.
In issue #2 of Empyre, we understand that Captain Marvel replaces Kreee warrior Ronan and is renamed Danvers The Accuser. In previews of Captain Marvel #18, we see her carrying out her services. But why would she do such a thing if the Kree Empire were the bad guys here? Sorting out problems from the inside? Brainwashed? Resigned to her lot? Or discovering it is fitting with her new moral code? And do notice that the ships she destroys appear to be made out of wood. They… splinter.
5. What's With The Big Speech?
Bleeding Cool looked at Empyre #0: Avengers and warned of big, impassioned speeches and their ability to carry people along, even those who should know better. So when Tony Stark makes a stand against the Kree and Skrull Empires, to defend the Cotati, based on very little evidence. That seems to be the kind of thing Avengers do – and that's the problem. The Cotati don't need defending. The Cotati are the problem and they live on the Moon, in direct proximity to Earth,
We have seen plant matter enveloping the Earth and superheroes fighting against it. Is the Empyrean approach to burn away the animal matter from the Earth – and beyond? They appear to have warriors…
And activist botanists and self-appointed saviours of humanity, the Hordeculture, seem to be taking sides in X-Men: Empyre as well.