Last week, we saw the beginning of the next big crossover event in the Marvel Comics universe when “Empyre #1” was released. Today that series continued with the release of the second issue, as well as several tie-ins. Amongst those tie-ins, was a closer look at how the newly-formed Kree/Skrull alliance found its leader and exactly what he’s been going through.

Teddy Altman, better known as the Young Avenger named Hulkling, sits on the throne of the new Kree/Skrull Empire, but how did he get there? “Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1” gives us some insight as to how this young hero found himself in the middle of an intergalactic war.

With the major crossover story already well underway, it’s easy for an issue like this one to get lost in the fray. “Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1” serves as another prequel of sorts and likely should have been released before the start of Empyre. Still, having seen the beginning of the story from a few different perspectives, it is nice to go back and see a different one.

Teddy Altman, while a member of a young superhero team, is not feeling completely fulfilled with his life on Earth. With his fiance off helping some of the more well-respected heroes and knowing his own alien lineage, he can’t help but feel that he is destined for more. Of course, that doesn’t prepare him for when that destiny comes knocking on his door.

Suddenly thrust onto a throne and tasked with uniting two alien races that have been at war for millennia, Hulkling is wondering if he bit off a little more than he can chew. Especially, if he can’t be with the one he loves. Still, this Young Avengers is about to become so much more.

“Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1” is somehow simultaneously a typical comic book and an anti-comic book. It’s typical in the sense that it follows the familiar story of a seemingly normal (at least relative to the Marvel Universe) young person and throws them into the middle of a cosmic war, the likes of which they never even could have imagined.

On the other hand, it’s not your typical comic book because it’s not really about super-powered fights. Sure, there are a couple of scuffles between aliens and enhanced teenagers and whatnot, but that’s not the focus of the story. Instead, the focus is on a young man trying to decide if he is willing to give up everything he knows and loves to answer a higher calling. Is he willing to give up his life to potentially save the lives of countless others?

On its own, this issue probably does not hold much value. If you’re just now jumping into the world of Marvel Comics and just meeting these characters, You probably haven’t spent enough time with Teddy Altman or the rest of the cast to really develop an emotional attachment. Nor are you interested in whether or not he takes the throne because you’re not familiar with what’s going on in Empyre.

If you have been reading Empyre though, “Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1” provides some great insight as to just what is on the mind and the shoulders of this Young Avenger. While you may have gone into the first issue of the series looking at him as a villain of sorts, this issue will certainly have you feeling otherwise. Again though, it might have been nice to read this prior to reading last week’s “Empyre #1.”

“Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulkling #1” is available now.