It was only a matter of time before Marvel started their next big event now we know it is happening in April 2020. As the first big event of the decade Empyre looks to bring the big conflict between the Kree and Skrull Empires to a new level. Along with that Marvel is bringing some big developments for the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men that could shake-up their status quo for the rest of the year. What other notable things does Marvel have planned in April 2020? Find out with our analysis of Marvel’s April 2020 solicitations.
NEW EMPYRE RISES IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
After establishing how they will be revisiting the Kree/Skrull War with their new event back during the Marvel Incoming comic book we now know that April is when that story will begin. The new Kree/Skrull War will be taking shape in the form of Empyre.
A big change for this story will be the fact that Hukling has united the Kree and Skrull in part because of his heritage with tying together both races. Now with the Kree and Skrull Empires united under the new Emperor Hulkling there may not be a place that is safe in the Marvel Universe. That will especially be the case on Earth where the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men are all going to be dealing with the newly united Kree and Skrull Empires.
Though I did not read the set-up for Empyre the reason I am interested in this event is the fact that Al Ewing is one of the writers of the event. Ewing is co-writing the event along with Dan Slott. Ewing’s work on Immortal Hulk has made him one of Marvel’s standout writers. Going more into the Marvel Universe with this galactic war is something I’m intrigued as to how Ewing and Slott handle. If all turns out well Empyre can set the stage for a greater story down the line as to how the entire Marvel Universe beyond Earth is shaped.
SPIDER-MAN AND WOLVERINE JOIN THE FANTASTIC FOUR
While Empyre isn’t fully taking over Marvel’s ongoing titles just yet one comic book that will be dealing with the event on the month that it is starting is Fantastic Four. What makes the tie-in to Empyre in Fantastic Four #21 stand out is the fact that Spider-Man and Wolverine will be joining the team. The cover alone is something that sells Fantastic Four by itself.
That is a big thing considering Fantastic Four is a title that while selling well enough it doesn’t get a lot of attention. It is a title that is doing its own thing. But with the Empyre event Slott has a chance to draw more readers to the Fantastic Four. Having Spider-Man and Wolverine on the cover of Fantastic Four #21 will certainly draw some casual Marvel fans to at least that issue.
MS. MARVEL TO REVEAL IDENTITY IN OUTLAWED
Empyre will most certainly dominate a lot of Marvel fans attention. Something that Marvel fans should likely also be keeping an eye out for is what is going on with the whole Outlawed direction for the next generation of heroes. Specifically, it looks as though the world will find out that Kamala Khan is Ms. Marvel. That is something that is heavily teased with the cover Magnificent Ms. Marvel #14 having the words “Kamala’s Law” is written on a poster. That seems to imply that Kamala will do something during Outlawed that will shake-up the Marvel Universe in a way Peter Parker’s original reveal back in the original Civil War did.
How far Marvel goes with this direction is anyone’s guess. It could be exactly like Peter Parker’s Spider-Man reveal and just last a few months. But given how the new generation of heroes led by Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales’ Spider-Man have done a lot of things different from their predecessors this could be the first step in bigger developments. Having the younger heroes all have their identities out in the open would definitely grab a lot of headlines for Marvel.
KELLY THOMPSON WRITES NEW BLACK WIDOW SERIES
Given Marvel’s April 2020 solicitations it looks like they are learning their lesson and actually releasing a number of Black Widow series a month before the movie. In the recent past, we’ve seen Marvel do this after the fact for their MCU movies. It is good for Marvel to plan ahead and have a brand new Black Widow #1 on the stands along with titles for Yelena Belova, Red Guardian and Taskmaster hitting shelves. That will at least get fans looking to get into a new series something other than Web of Black Widow to pick up on May 1st.
Tapping Kelly Thompson as the new writer for the ongoing Black Widow series is a great move. Thompson has shown to be one of Marvel’s rising talents through her work on Captain Marvel, Jessica Jones and Mr. & Mrs. X. Adding Black Widow to her library of titles is another sign of how confident Marvel is in Thompson’s writing. Black Widow will also be a good chance for Thompson to dive into the espionage corner of the Marvel Universe. That is a corner that is not being developed at the moment so there will be a lot of room to explore it.
X-MEN RAISE CHILDREN OF THE ATOM
Marvel is not slowing down in how far they will go now that the X-Men have returned to being their hottest franchise. The new Children of the Atom series is further proof of that. This new series will have the hook of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Nightcrawler, Gambit and Storm taking on proteges. Each of the sidekicks for these X-Men appear to have some direction relation to each of their power set.
The X-Men actually having sidekicks has only briefly been touched on, mostly through Wolverine’s relationship with Shadowcat, Jubilee and X-23. Going all in on this by having the core members taking an active interest in developing the next generation of X-Men will be interesting to see how it is handled.
Especially given how much these new Children of the Atom look so much like their mentors. This relation could go deeper than mentor-protege as we know Mr. Sinister has continued his experiments into creating the perfect mutant by now focusing purely on Omega Mutants. These new mutants shown on Children of the Atom #1 may be these Omega Mutant creations from Mr. Sinister, like we saw in Powers of X.
X-MEN/FANTASTIC FOUR ENDING SETS FUTURE FOR MARVEL
With so much going on by April 2020 it is easy to forget that that the X-Men/Fantastic Four are in the middle of their own crossover. While that could be excused I would not look past how important X-Men/Fantastic Four #4 will be coming out in April. Given that both teams will be playing an active role in Empyre, X-Men/Fantastic Four could very well tie-in to what happens in that event.
More importantly, X-Men/Fantastic Four’s ending will likely lead into the bigger conflict that Jonathan Hickman and Marvel have been setting up for the X-Men. Where the relationship between the X-Men and Fantastic Four will be very telling when it comes to this. Will they be allies or enemies? And what will Franklin Richards decides to do with his two families fighting over him? Hopefully X-Men/Fantastic Four #4 clears all that up.
PAST SINS HAUNT SPIDER-MAN
Though I am not the biggest fan of the Sin-Eater I can’t help but wonder where Nick Spencer is going to go with the return of this character. That interest in Sin-Eater is all thanks to Spencer finally starting to pick up steam on the whole Kindred story arc. Now is the time for the Kindred storyline to finally move to where all the build up has been leading to. Sin-Eater could prove to the final catalyst for all that to happen in Amazing Spider-Man. That is at least what I am hoping for because or else Spencer risks losing the momentum he has created for Kindred since the Absolute Carnage tie-in issues in Amazing Spider-Man.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can also catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.