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Empyre: Avengers #1: Review

Jul 2020
Jim Zubkavich, Carlos Magno

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Empyre: Avengers #1 Review by (July 25, 2020)
The Cotati have definitely changed since their earlier apps. Initially (historical flashback in Av#133) they were peaceful humanoid plants. By the modern era they had given up the ability to walk and become more plant-like. But now in the Empyre event they've become ambulatory again, and much more humanoid, and definitely no longer peaceful. Maybe we'll learn more about the transformation in the Lords Of Empyre: Celestial Messiah or LOE: Swordsman 1-shots.

Despite being composed of vegetation, Man-Thing wouldn't necessarily be an ally of the Cotati (unlike DC's Swamp Thing who is the representative of the Green).

Shanna was killed in Savage Wolverine #3 and resurrected in #4 using the blood of a Man-Thing local to the Savage Land. So that would be why she has a connection to plants and Man-Things. And maybe the Man-Thing here is the Savage Land local.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Empyre: Avengers #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
OK, as of Empyre #2 the Cotati have been revealed to be the villains of the piece because they intend to wipe out all non-plants in the Universe, starting with Earth. Meanwhile the Kree/Skrull Alliance are the lesser villains intent on stopping the Cotati by exterminating *them*. And now it's Battleground Earth with our population caught in the middle.

Some Avengers (Black Panther, Captain America and holographic Iron Man) have convened with some allies (Black Knight, Dr Voodoo, Scarlet Witch and holographic Vision) and some Agents Of Wakanda (Ka-Zar and Okoye with holographic Mockingbird) in the Garden briefing area in the Wakandan helicarrier. Tony Stark reports that he's working on an anti-Cotati weapon. Director Okoye reports that her Agents and the Avengers are working together to minimise the fallout of the war.

Vision is actually with Agent (and X-Person) Dr Nemesis flying to Central Park to meet Luke Cage to investigate a mass of 'roots' choking the Reservoir. Nemesis diagnoses the stuff as a fungus. Vision phases through the vegetation, detects a common 'heartbeat' and discovers a being at the centre of it all connected to the roots. (But that's all we'll see of this scenario this issue.)

Mockingbird is driving a fast car in the Mexican desert. Her passenger is Wonder Man, and they're racing Quicksilver towards a village which is the site of a battle. Pietro Maximoff gets there 1st and saves a young boy while punching both sides. But 2 Cotati wizards stop him with some large spores and then he's hit by a spear in the shoulder. Bobbi Morse slams the car into some Cotati, and then Simon Williams' ionic strength and her guns non-lethally take some more down. The Kree/Skrull troops rally and the Cotati are defeated.

Quicksilver pulls the spear out and the Avengers see the soldiers killing downed Cotati. They try to stop them but the aliens turn on *them* with electro-zappers. Bobbi and Pietro fall but Wonder Man's ionic body doesn't feel it. However the pacifist hero just disarms them rather than hitting them. And in return the soldiers just threaten semi-conscious Mockingbird with swords unless he lets them finish their job.

Back on the helicarrier the non-holographic heroes study a holographic globe displaying data from the Wakandan satellite system enhanced by the magic of Dr Strange and Odin. As T'Challa explains that it's hard to distinguish Cotati from terrestrial plant-life but they have mapped major incursions, Captain America has a side-word to welcome Black Knight who has recently been hunting Giants and Elves left over from War Of The Realms (in the Punisher Kill Krew mini-series).

Suddenly the globe shows a flare-up in the Antarctic Savage Land. They try to contact Ka-Zar's wife Shanna Plunder (and their son Matt) but can't get through. Voodoo teleports Ka-Zar and his Smilodon Zabu there along with Black Knight and Scarlet Witch (leaving just Panther and Okoye behind). They are immediately attacked from all sides by Cotati. Dr Voodoo deflects their mages' flung spores, and the usual teamwork is winning the day when Man-Thing erupts from the ground and scatters our team. And accompanying him is Shanna, now with green skin and definitely working with the Cotati.

Carlos Magno
Carlos Magno
Espen Grundetjern
Steve McNiven (Cover Penciler)
Steve McNiven (Cover Inker)
Morry Hollowell (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Knight
Black Knight

(Dane Whitman)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Doctor Nemesis (Michael Stockton), Okoye, Shanna (Shanna the She-Devil).

> Empyre: Avengers: Book info and issue index

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