Quoi is the son of Mantis and a reanimated Swordsman and he is destined to become the Celestial Messiah. He has the power to start a war or to save many lives among multitudes of species. What will he do in Celestial Messiah #1 by Marvel Comics!


Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Alex Lins
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 5th, 2020

Previously on Empyre: The Kree/Skrull empire is on the way to Earth to exterminate the Cotati. Now the Cotati needs a leader and it falls to Sequoia, the Celestial Messiah. Sequoia, sometimes called Quoi, is destined to become the leader of the Cotati and lead them into battle against all non-plant based lifeforms. Will he ascend to his place among the Cotati or will he be convinced to stand down?


Quoi must go through purification rites on the eve of battle. He drinks a concoction that will help him become the leader of this cosmic crusade. But as he suffers through this trial, it allows Mantis to astral project herself to talk to him. They engage in a fight and argument and Mantis reveals her memories including when she and The Swordsman joined the Avengers. Mantis tries to show Quoi the man the Swordsman was before he became Cotati.

When this fails to convince Quoi, she then shows him memories of their life in Connecticut and how they were able to overcome their problems. Quoi comes to a different conclusion then the acts of love Mantis was trying to show him. He sees her mother as a manipulator using her empath abilities to control situations. This solidifies his position and finishes his trials. Mantis, who is on a shuttle far away, contacts the Avengers and tells them to come to the aid of Earth’s Moon. 


Man, superheroes generally don’t have good childhoods. A child is taken from his mother because of his plant heritage. Rough life man. I think it is interesting to see how a villain becomes a villain and developing this character is going to increase the quality of the event as a whole. For me, I think that this villain is more interesting than many of the other players in the event because he is relatable. He is a man who sees his mother whose first action is to punch him in the face. This takes a cosmic event and makes one of the main players suffer from family issues.

The art styles were amazing as well. It switches from flashback older comic book art style to a more modern style seamlessly. I was surprised that there weren’t two art teams assigned to this book. I think the standout image was this panel with Mantis and Quoi fighting each other. It has splashes of orange that contrasts with the green figures of both characters. The image is riveting and reminds us that the fight is just as important as the flashback sequences going on.


Normally, comics like these don’t really interest me at all. In writing, many people caution the use of the flashback because it assumes the past is more interesting than the present. In this case, the creative team did a really good job keeping the flashback relevant to what was going on. And the book as a whole has made me more invested in the current event, which is always a plus. 4.5 out of 5 stars for Celestial Messiah #1. 

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Lords of Empyre: Celestial Messiah #1

I enjoyed it!

Sequoia is an interesting villain because the Celestial Messiah seems almost secondary to the Cotati people as a whole. Now in this issue, we get to the root of the character and his motivations.

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Pittsburgh. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Recently, he has completed his Master's degree with a focus on collaborative storytelling. Find out more at https://rondeaucreator.com

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