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Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War #1
April 2nd, 2020

Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War aims to give readers context for the upcoming Empyre crossover event. It summarizes several stories from the past within the frame of a new story involving the Warners from last year's Meet the Skrulls. Roughly one-third of the book tells a new story, with the rest being retellings of stories past.

Meet the Skrulls. Avengers: The Kree--Skrull War. The Celestial Madonna. Celestial Quest. Young Avengers volume 1. Fantastic Four Annual #18. Stop me if you've read all of this before. They're very clearly the bullet points that form the outline of this story, with Thompson doing his best to naturally connect them in conversation. His success is varied, as some speech bubbles sound more like an omniscient narrator than a character in the story. It makes the new elements of the story uninteresting, even excluding its unlikely conclusion. The history lessons also have varied success, with the intended audience shifting between those who have never heard these stories, to those that are very familiar with them.

The two art teams in this book create an interesting contrast. The new elements are very clearly done on a computer and make little attempt to mask it. The retellings, however, while probably still assisted with computers, look more traditional in their style. Now, this could be by artistic design. Aside from the objective intention to separate the pages with new elements from those with the retellings, it could illustrate how long the Kree/Skrull War has been part of the Marvel Universe, first appearing nearly 50 years ago. Or it could just be a rough transition between the stories that disrupts the flow almost as much as the expositional dialogue.

Does this book make me more excited for Empyre? Not really. Do I feel more prepared for Empyre? A little. As I mentioned, there are moments that are informative to fresh readers and others that seem like they require advance knowledge and serve solely as a reminder to long-time readers that something happened. I feel more inclined to read the trade paperbacks solicited at the end of the book that give the full story behind the vague snippets within this book. So at the very least this book serves as a bit of a reading guide for those who wish to have context for Marvel's upcoiming event. With plenty of those available online for free, however, I'd mostly recommend this book to event completionists and fans of the Warners or the art teams. Otherwise, just do your own research and save a few dollars. You'll probably get far more context that way, anyway.

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