|Empyre #1 will hit comic book stores tomorrow (Wednesday)|
Empyre, Marvel's latest epic crossover "event" is just gearing up, and to promote it they kindly produced a free sampler magazine.
As well as interviews with creators, and gorgeous-looking, tantalising, story excerpts, the magazine included this checklist of all the comics tied in to this storyline.
From prelude to epilogue, admittedly across four months (just not the four months shown, for obvious, health-related, reasons), there are 52 original titles here, of which only seven, I think, are issues of on-going titles.
That makes about 45 new comics a reader needs to add to their pull-list through the four months of this storyline, on top of their regular comics (providing they are already reading Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel, and X-Men) if they want to keep abreast of the whole Empyre saga.
Marvel Comics are roughly $3.99 an issue these days, so that's a whopping $207 increase in your comic spend to follow everything (about $179 if you're already getting the three on-going titles mentioned above) .
Just like last year's Absolute Carnage, and DC's current Death Metal event, with its many spin-offs, I guess the idea is to make reading the story so expensive that you have to choose to go either Marvel or DC.
Or, do like I do these days, and skip these massive crossovers entirely.
They always claim to "impact every corner" of your chosen comic book universe (that's a quote from Tom Brevoort's introduction to the Empyre sampler), but they never really do.
Certainly not in any lasting manner, because comic book readers, ultimately, like their status quo.
As ever, this sprawling event stinks of commercial justification trumping story ideas, which is why the publishers may talk a big game, but ultimately are just creating a new landscape for the next big money-draining crossover event.
Pretty much every "big" change these two publishers have introduced in their comic book universes in recent decades have been walked back or undone within a few years.
If these stories had any noticeable impact in the first place.
Didn't one, or both, of The Big Two say a couple of years ago that they were drawing a line under these ridiculous, sprawling "events"? Guess, that didn't last!
Instead we just get an endless succession of "universe-shattering" events, almost overlapping in their regularity, and making a mockery of any sense of lasting importance in the plot twists and character changes that are scattered before readers like golden coins.
By throwing in so many cash-grab spin-offs to each "event storyline", Marvel and DC are actually diluting the impact of their main storyline.
To my simple mind, these efforts would be far better handled with a single mini/maxi-series telling the spine of the story and a handful of tie-in issues in on-going titles.
That way, everyone would be more able to afford to follow these supposed "universe-altering" events, and care enough to show their support for earned, lasting change.
However, as things stand, with Empyre having been delayed by the pandemic, it now segues straight into Marvel's next "affecting every corner of the Marvel Universe" event: December's King In Black (itself a sequel to Absolute Carnage):
This December, the entire Marvel Universe braces itself for King in Black, the latest instalment in writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman’s revolutionary take on the Venom mythos.
Knull is coming, and when he arrives, everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men will learn just how unprepared they are to face off against the God of the Symbiotes.
Everything in Cates and Stegman’s landmark run on Venom has led up to this monumental story, and readers will finally witness Eddie Brock’s climatic standoff with one of Marvel’s most terrifying villains.
With each mind-bending twist and turn, the stakes will be raised like never before as King in Black flips everything you thought you knew about Venom and the world of the symbiotes upside down and inside out.