An entire issue devoted to game-night at Captain Marvel’s’ house may sound a bit silly, but making superheroes feel normal and relatable is my cup of tea. It’s also an opportune time for the issue since we know Carol plays a big part in Empyre. Knowing this crew though –Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Spectrum, Hazmat, Spider-Woman — you know poker is going to turn deadly fast. And it does, but maybe not how you think.
I got to give it to writer Kelly Thompson, sticking these heroes into an Escape Room is a clever idea. Bonus points for why they end their poker game to try a different game entirely. It’s all very natural and of course, Thompson continues to have a great handle on the voices of each character. Francesco Manna has a great handle on each character’s body language which helps convey how eclectic this bunch is and how infectious the energy (or lack thereof) is in each character. It’s also nice to know these characters respect each other and want to spend time not punching things.
Thompson introduces a new character here and I’m delighted to see it. Star is already an interesting character to be used in the future, and while the villain in this issue is a bit of a doofus you can see the beginning of a realistic take on a character who wants to be noticed. Now, after this issue will we see him better and stronger than ever? Only time will tell.
Anyone not feeling the need to read Empyre and its major tie-in implications should dive right into this issue. Not only does it have good vibes, an easy-going plot, and some great character writing, but it’s a nice slice-of-life story that feels like it could really happen. That is, if superheroes were real.