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Lords Of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1
July 30th, 2020

Ultimately the main thing I want to say about this comic is that it's probably my favourite single issue that Marvel has released this year. I'm almost confused by that, since I have very mixed feelings towards a lot of the writing here. First off, the visuals in this issue are gorgeous - the greens and purples of the opening pages have this very old school alien aesthetic without feeling outdated, and the rainbows of the club are significant without being too overwhelming. There's a couple of lovely full page splashes, like Teddy lying in bed with his switch, left over pizza and Lila Cheney t-shirt (especially in contrast to the first pages), and the image of Teddy and Billy holding each other under the moon. In the end, its Billy and Teddy's relationship that really sells this comic. Throughout they're so in love, they're so unapologetically romantic and so unapologetically gay, which is why I loved the characters in the beginning, and here that relationship is allowed to mature. It's also so wonderful to see Teddy take the centre stage in one of Marvel's major crossover events, while keeping his relationship with Billy as an important part of his story. I will admit that there a few points where it's very clear that at least one of the writers is a little too aware of how the internet talks about their favourite gay couples - I cringed just a little bit - but that crime can be forgiven because there is a lot of genuine emotion and intimacy throughout the comic. That same strength in emotion is present throughout, as seen in the way Teddy talks about his parents, and when Princess Anelle talks about her son. The writers clearly struggle a little more with writing action scenes, because the one brief fight lacks any kind of tension, but it is brief, and clearly not the point of the comic. And that's the key thing here - in the middle of a war, Emperor Hulkling is a look into Teddy Altman's emotional life, and it does that very, very well.

Loved It


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