Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre Reading Order Checklist

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre Reading Order Checklist

Two of Marvel’s greatest alien races, the shape-shifting Skrulls and the scientifically advanced Kree, have been a war with one each other for decades. It’s a conflict that has covered galaxies and made its way to Earth on many occasions. In Marvel’s big event for 2020, Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre, these alien powerhouses are returning to Earth, not as enemies but, as an alliance. And it’s an alliance that will be detrimental to The Avengers and Fantastic Four.

With so many tie-ins and comics involved, comic book events like this can be confusing. Luckily, the Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre Reading Order Checklist is here to make sense of Marvel’s biggest story of 2020. It has everything you need to know from the recommended reading order, creative teams, release dates, background reading, and loads more.

Read on to find out everything you need to know to start reading Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre.

Do I need to read all of the tie-ins?

The short answer is no.

As you’ll see below, Marvel has created A LOT of tie-ins to Empyre. It would be unreasonable for readers to read them all. You’ll get a full story if you read Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #1-6.

The tie-ins are made more for expanding that story out and fleshing out concepts, telling side stories, and getting perspective from other characters. If you want to expand your reading experience then pick the tie-ins that appeal to you.

How do I use this reading order?

You can use this reading order in a few different ways. If you’re reading everything Empyre then this list will help you put everything in order. If you’re not reading everything then use this list to put the comics you chose to read in context with one another.

Secret Invasion #1 cover by Gabriele Dell'Otto.
Secret Invasion #1 cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto.

Background Reading

Looking to read some of the stories that build up to Empyre? Take a look at the below stories.

Fantastic Four #2
Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby.

This Fantastic Four issue contains the first ever story of the shape-shifting Skrulls.

Fantastic Four #65
Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby.

This issues features the first appearance of the Kree.

Kree-Skrull War
Written by Roy Thomas. Art by Sal Buscema and Neal Adams.

Told through Avengers #89-97, this epic story is our first taste of the Kree and Skrull conflict when the Avengers are thrown into the middle of it. Find out more about this story in this review.

The Celestial Madonna Saga
Written by Steve Englehart. Art by Don Heck, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Dave Cockrum, and George Tuska.

Told in Avengers #123-125, #129-135 and Giant-Size Avengers #2-4, this trippy space saga introduces readers to the Celestial Messiah.

The Celestial Madonna Saga also had a sequel in the form of Avengers: Celestial Quest #1-8.

Fantastic Four Annual #18
Written by Mark Gruenwald and John Byrne. Art by Mark Bright.

More tensions with the Kree and Skrulls. This time it brought the Fantastic Four and Inhumans into the mix.

Fantastic Four #257
Written and art by John Bryne.

In the process of saving Galactus’ life the Fantastic Four inadvertantly allow Galactus to destroys the Skrull’s Throneworld. This displaces the surviving Skrull population and creates further hostilities towards Earth.

The War To End All Skrulls!
Written by John Bryne and Roger Stern. Art by John Bryne.

This mini-crossover between Fantastic Four Annual #19 and Avengers Annual #14 in which the Skrulls lose their ability to shape-change. This generates further hostilities towrds the Fantastic Four and Avengers.

Avengers #347
Written by Bob Harris. Art by Steve Epting.

The final chapter in the Operation Galactic Storm crossover, this issue sees the Avengers failing to prevent the Nega-Bomb from detonating. This leads to billions of deaths throughout the Kree Empire and generates a lot of animosity against Earth.

Young Avengers (2005 series)
Written by Allan Heinberg. Art by Jim Cheung.

The first series of Young Avengers introduces Hulkling, who is half-Kree/half-Skrull, and will be a major player in Empyre.

Secret Invasion
Written by Brian Michael Bendis. Art by Lenil Francis Yu.

This is the last major story involving the Skrulls and ended with some major ramifications for shape-shifting aliens. Find out more about Secret Invasion in the Secret Invasion Reading Order.

War of Kings
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Art by Paul Pelletier.

Spinning out of Secret Invasion, this story showed major upheaval for the Kree empire.

The Black Vortex
Written and art by various.

This cosmic/X-Men crossover has major ramifications for the Kree, especially in Chapter 7. Find out more in The Black Vortex Reading Order.

Meet The Skrulls
Written by Robbie Thompson. Art by Niko Henrichon.

This five-part miniseries tells the story of a Skrull family living on Earth. I have included it in this list because the family will be returning in The Road To Empyre: Kree-Skrull War.

Emypre Handbook

As a name suggests, this is a guidebook which is focused on the characters and concepts of Empyre. Learn more about the Skrulls, the Kree, Hulkling, Fantastic Four, and heaps more.

The Road To Empyre: Kree-Skrull War cover by Phil Noto.
The Road To Empyre: Kree-Skrull War cover by Phil Noto.

Lead-Up To Empyre

The below are the comics that directly build up to Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre and their recommended reading order.

Incoming!
Written and art by Various.
Available December 26th, 2019.

The Road To Empyre: Kree-Skrull War
Written by Robbie Thompson. Art by Mattia De Iulis and Javier Rodriguez.
Available March 25th.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #1 by Jim Cheung.
Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #1 by Jim Cheung.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre Reading Order

Here is the recommended reading order for Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre.

Empyre #0: Avengers
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Pepe Larraz.
Available June 24th.

Empyre #0: Fantastic Four
Written by Dan Slott. Art by R.B Silva.
Available July 8th.

Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling (one-shot)
Written by Chip Zdarsky and Anthony Oliveira. Art by Manuel Garcia.
Available July 22nd.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #1 (of 6)
Written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available July 15th.

Fantastic Four #21 (Tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Paco Medina.
Available July 15th.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #2 (of 6)
Written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available July 22nd.

Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah (Tie-in)
Written by Alex Paknadel. Art by Alex Lins.
Available August 5th.

Empyre: Avengers #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Carlos Magno.
Available July 22nd.

Empyre: X-Men #1 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Jonathan Hickman and Tini Howard. Art by Matteo Buffagni.
Available July 22nd.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #3 (of 6)
Written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available July 29th.

Captain Marvel #18 (Tie-in)
Written by Kelly Smith. Art by Cory Smith.
Available July 29th.

Empyre: Captain America #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by Ariel Olivetti.
Available July 29th.

Empyre: Savage Avengers #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Greg Smallwood.
Available July 29th.

X-Men #10 (Tie-in)
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
Available July 29th.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #4 (of 6)
Written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available August 5th.

Fantastic Four #22 (Tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Paco Medina.
Available August 5th.

Empyre: X-Men #2 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, and Leah Williams. Art by Lucas Werneck.
Available August 5th.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #5 (of 6)
Written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available August 12th.

Empyre: Avengers #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Carlos Magno.
Available August 12th.

Empyre: Captain America #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by Ariel Olivetti.
Available August 12th.

Empyre: X-Men #3 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Vita Ayala, Ed Brisson, and Zeb Wells. Art by Andrea Broccardo.
Available August 12th.

Captain Marvel #19 (Tie-in)
Written by Kelly Smith. Art by Cory Smith.
Available August 12th.

Captain Marvel #20 (Tie-in)
Written by Kelly Smith. Art by Cory Smith.
Available August 19th.

Lords Of Empyre: Swordsman (Tie-in)
Written by Alex Paknadel. Art by Thomas Nachlik.
Available August 19th.

Empyre: X-Men #4 (of 4) (Tie-in)
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Jorge Molina.
Available August 19th.

Empyre: Avengers #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Carlos Magno.
Available August 26th.

Empyre: Captain America #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by Ariel Olivetti.
Available August 26th.

X-Men #11 (Tie-in)
Written by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
Available August 26th.

Fantastic Four #23 (Tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Sean Izaaske.
Available September 2nd.

Avengers/Fantastic Four: Empyre #6 (of 6)
Written by Al Ewing and Dan Slott. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available September 2nd.

Captain Marvel #21 (Tie-in)
Written by Kelly Smith. Art by Cory Smith.
Available September 9th.

Empire Fallout: Fantastic Four (Aftermath)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Sean Izaakse.
Available September 9th.

Empire Aftermath: Avengers (Aftermath)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Valerio Schiti.
Available September 9th.

Immortal She-Hulk (Aftermath)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Jon Davis-Hunt.
Available September 9th.

Cancelled Tie-Ins

Due to COVID-19, all of Emypre was significantly delayed. While the above comics have been put back on the schedule, a lot of previously announced tie-ins will no longer be released.

See below the list of cancelled tie-ins.

Empyre: Spider-Man #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Taran Killam. Art by Diego Orlotegui.

Empyre: Spider-Man #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Taran Killam. Art by Diego Orlotegui.

Empyre: Spider-Man #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Taran Killam. Art by Diego Orlotegui.

Empyre: Ghost Rider (Tie-in)
Written by Ed Brisson. Art by Jefte Palo.

Empyre: Squadron Supreme #1 (of 2) (Tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Dio Neves.

Empyre: Squadron Supreme #2 (of 2) (Tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Dio Neves.

Empyre: Stormranger #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Steven Cummings.

Empyre: Stormranger #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Steven Cummings.

Empyre: Stormranger #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Steven Cummings.

Empyre: Thor #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Ram V. Art by Pasqual Ferry.

Empyre: Thor #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Ram V. Art by Pasqual Ferry.

Empyre: Thor #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Ram V. Art by Pasqual Ferry.

The Union #1 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.

The Union #2 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.

The Union #3 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.

The Union #4 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.

The Union #5 (of 5) (Tie-in)
Written by Paul Grist. Art by Andrea Di Vito.

After Empyre

What will come after Empyre? We’ll have to wait to find out. I’ll update this section when Marvel announces what is coming.

Web of Venom: Empyre’s End
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Art by Guiu Villanova.
Available October 14th.

Web of Venom: Empyre’s End is a one-shot that connects what happened in Empyre with Marvel’s next comic book event, the Venom-centric King In Black.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Marcio Takara.
Available October 21st

The conclusion of Empyre will see a political landscape of the galaxy changed. Guardians of the Galaxy will explore a lot of this from issue #7 onwards.

S.W.O.R.D. #1
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Valerio Schitti.
Avaiable December.

S.W.O.R.D. picks up on threads from the end of Empyre as well as X of Swords.

Collected Editions

Prefer to read in collected formats? These are the collections you will want to track down.

Empyre Omnibus
Collects:
Incoming #1, Road To Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War, Empyre #0: Avengers, Empyre #0: Fantastic Four, Empyre #1-6, Empyre Aftermath: Avengers, Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four, Empyre: X-Men #1-4, Lords Of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling, Celestial Messiah And Swordsman, Empyre: Savage Avengers, Empyre: Captain America #1-3, Empyre: Avengers #1-3, X-Men (2019) #10-11, Fantastic Four (2018) #21-23, Captain Marvel (2019) #18-21, Immortal She-Hulk #1, Web Of Venom: Empyre’s End, Black Panther and the Agents Of Wakanda #7-8, and Empyre Handbook.

If the omnibus is too big for you, there’s also the smaller collections too:

Road to Empyre
Collects: Incoming!, Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War, and Empyre Handbook.

Empyre
Collects: Empyre #0: Avengers, Empyre #0: Fantastic Four, Empyre #1-6, Empyre Aftermath: Avengers, and Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four.

Emypre: X-Men
Collects:
Empyre: X-Men #1-4.

Empyre: Lords of Empyre
Collects:
Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling, Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah, Lords of Empyre: Swordsman, and Empyre: Savage Avengers.

Empyre: Captain America and The Avengers
Collects:
Empyre: Captain America #1-3 and Empyre: Avengers #1-3.

X-Men By Jonathan Hickman Volume 2
Collects:
X-Men #7-11.

Captain Marvel Volume 4: Accused
Collects: Captain Marvel #17-21.

Fantastic Four Volume 6: Empyre
Collects: Fantastic Four #21-24, Empyre #0: Fantastic Four, and Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four.

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Comments (3)

  • Hello! I am currently reading the Empyre series. I believe the Emperor Hulkling issue should come just before Empyre #1. I also believe Celestial Messiah should follow Empyre #2. (This is stated at the end of the issue.) Let me know what you think.