Update: Marvel has unveiled the secret story behind its previously announced Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1 one-shot (and its blacked-out cover), revealing that it will tell the story of the wedding of Hulkling and Wiccan, revealed in this week's Empyre #4.
"In the aftermath of the cosmic conflict known as Empyre, heroes will gather to celebrate the marriage of two of Marvel's most beloved Avengers. Revealed at the end of Empyre #4, Teddy Altman, the Kree/Skrull hybrid Hulkling, and his longtime boyfriend Billy Kaplan, the powerful magic-wielding Wiccan, were married just before Hulkling took to the stars to fulfill his destiny of uniting the Kree and Skrull empires against the universal threat of the Cotati," reads Marvel's official description of the one-shot.
"With plenty of twists and turns still to come in this earth-shattering epic, be there when the dust settles to celebrate this joyous union when Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1 hits stands in September!"
Empyre: Avengers Aftermath #1 is due out September 9.
Original story follows.
After the fourth issue of Marvel's upcoming limited series Empyre, co-writer Al Ewing will write a one-shot titled Empyre: Aftermath – Avengers #1 that will divulge a host of secrets – some of which so secret most of its cover is actually censored.
"Following the cataclysmic events of Empyre #4, all will be revealed," reads the marketing copy attached to the image of Hulking, emperor of the combined Kree/Skrull empire that is invading Earth as part of Empyre, embracing … someone … in silhouette.
Of course, the most logical choice would be Hulkling's longtime paramour Wiccan – and the fact that original Young Avengers artist Jim Cheung drew the image may lend some credence to this idea.
Though there's little to go on, the solicitation for Empyre #4 may offer some clues as to what's up – and signs there also point to Wiccan joining the cause of Hulking and the Kree/Skrull empire.
"Tensions mount as the action heats up!," reads the original solicitation for Empyre #4. "As the attack on Wakanda intensifies, the heroes find themselves under attack from their enemies — and their allies! In a war where nobody can be fully trusted, betrayal cuts deep — as the alien invasion claims its first casualty!" reads the solicitation. "In this issue: The shock ending you never expected! You'll want to frame it for your wall, True Believer!"
Though releasing teasers with limited information in this way is somewhat unique to Marvel as a marketing strategy among major publishers, the publisher often likes to generate speculation and conversation among fans and the press with the idea that readers will try to suss out what future storyline or event is being teased.
If Marvel's somewhat standard practice plays out as usual, look for more related teaser images in the upcoming days and likely an official reveal of the project before the release of their next round of solicitations – which would presumably be for September 2020.
In the meantime, got any ideas what this one is all about? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.