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Secret Empire #2: Review

May 2017
Nick Spencer, Andrea Sorrentino

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Empire #2 Review by (May 20, 2017)
Review: The story now takes on the contours of a quest epic with three parties working on an immediate goal, Black Widow and her team on their mission to kill Cap, and the respective parties of Hawkeye and Zemo searching for the fragments of the Cosmic Cube. This will make the plot move along a lot faster (and have a few tie-ins along the way). Otherwise the issue just hops along until we get to the big reveal—that there is another Steve Rogers, complicating matters quite a bit—but also perhaps making things easier to resolve once this is all over. At least it should silence those calling the idea of a bad Cap blasphemy. For a little while anyway.

Comments: Art is credited to “Andrea Sorrentino with Rod Reis.” Dr. Strange and Daredevil are shown prominently on the cover but do not appear inside.

A note from Rob:-

Who is this man who claims to be Steve Rogers?

Remember that nearly everybody in the Marvel Universe actually died when the multiverse was destroyed before Secret Wars III. Only a few people from Earth-616 like Dr Doom and the female Thor lived on via Doom's Battleworld. (And Loki hid Asgard away, and presumably restored it afterwards.) Captain America and Iron Man for instance were among the casualties.

So the Cap who's been turned Hydra isn't the 'real' 1. He's just a copy that Molecule Man and Franklin Richards dreamed up. (But then so is the Iron Man who's now in a coma.) The past that Kobik changed didn't exist until some months ago.

So *maybe* the Rogers on the last page is the 1 from the earlier Universe who's somehow survived. And maybe it's a sign that they'll *all* come back.

(And don't get me started on Mr Fantastic taking his family on a jaunt round the new multiverse. They aren't *his* family. They're some other Sue, Franklin and Valeria that Doom rescued from another Earth.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Empire #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

In the wake of Hydra's destruction of Las Vegas in retaliation for the Underground's resistance, Black Widow sees the devastation they caused and decides that Captain America has to die....

In New York, trapped in the Darkforce Dimension, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist fight their way through hordes of monsters to find needed medical supplies. Meanwhile, Dagger is the sole source of light for the city and she is losing strength and energy the longer this goes on. A pair of hoods trying to hijack a church's medical delivery are confronted by the Kingpin and his gang who kill the thugs and Kingpin places the church under his protection, asking to be remembered for this....

At the resistance HQ, Black Widow gathers the Avengers and asks for volunteers to join her mission to kill Captain America. The Tony Stark AI plays the message sent them by the late Rick Jones (last issue, SECEMP-1); in it Rick explains how Captain America was able to turn bad, describing the use of Kobik by the Red Skull and all the other stuff we've seen. Rick also reveals that Kobik was destroyed and the fragments scattered. Hawkeye and Tony AI want to try to regather the fragments and use the reformed Cosmic Cube to fix everything. Natasha is skeptical and insists on killing Cap....

Elsewhere, Cap is having second thoughts about the destruction of Las Vegas, and dispatches Baron Zemo on a mission to regather the scattered fragments of the Cosmic Cube....

In the desert, Black Widow kisses Hawkeye goodbye and sets out on her mission to assassinate Cap. Hawkeye then joins Tony AI and their team—Hercules, Ant-Man, Mockingbird, and Quicksilver—on their search for the fragments....

In Colorado, Black Widow is intercepted by Spider-Man (Miles Morales) who reminds her of Ulysses' prophecy that he (Miles) would kill Captain America (in CIVIL WAR 2) and Ironheart, Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Wasp (Nadia Pym), Falcon (J. Torres), and Viv Vision also join the team....

In Montana, Hawkeye's team meets up with a contact who can get them into Canada: former Captain America Sam Wilson...

In an undisclosed location, a woman is pursued and beaten by a quartet of snake-costumed thugs. A mystery man appears out of the darkness and easily beats the bad guys. When the woman asks her rescuer who he is, the reply comes: “My name is Steve Rogers. I'm just trying to get home.”

Also in this story: Claire Temple, Viv Vision, Giant-Man (Raz Malhotra).

RobFJ with tie-ins related to this issue:-

Champions #11
A modified version of the team including the new Patriot help survivors of the attack on Las Vegas.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #22
Shows Sam setting up an underground with Misty Knight and D-Man to smuggle fugitive Inhumans to Canada. He also helps Scott Lang get daughter Cassie to safety. Which all leads up to Scott bringing his Avengers group to him in this issue.

SE: Brave New World #4 (Misty Knight story)
Misty finds refuge for hunted Inhumans with various under-the-radar communities. Probably before Sam Wilson left with AI Tony Stark's group in SE#3.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #17
Cap gives a TV interview to Sally Floyd after the attack on Las Vegas last issue justifying Hydra's takeover.

Dr Strange #21
After 2 weeks trapped in New York depowered Dr Strange tries to dispel the Darkforce Dome while Daredevil, Spider-Woman and Ben Urich break into his Sanctum to confront Baron Mordo, who captures DD and sets a demon on SW/BU/DS. Kingpin saves them (after his other 'altruistic' deeds in SE#2).

Dr Strange #22
Mordo is working for Hydra. DrS, Ben Urich and Spider-Woman ally with Kingpin who leads them to a horde of black magic items guarded by his (not so) tame witch.

Dr Strange #23
An evil item gets Kingpin possessed by a smoke demon, but Ben Urich in the Light Knight's armour can keep that in check as an ally. Spider-Woman gets to fly the spirit of Phantom Eagle's biplane. They head off to confront Baron Mordo who has added Luke Cage and Iron Fist to the captive Daredevil and imprisoned Cloak in a book.

Dr Strange #24
DrS and his allies defeat Baron Mordo, but he still has to figure out how to take the Darkforce Dome down. (I don't know what happens to KP's demon but he doesn't seem to have it later in the Event.)

Mighty Captain Marvel #6
CM sends the GotG on their mission for help (before SE#3) and her team repair the Alpha Flight Station in time for the next Chitauri assault.

SE: Brave New World #3 (Starbrand story)
Starbrand wonders how he can protect Earth while being trapped outside it.

SE: United #1
Arnim Zola and Dr Faustus secretly foment trouble between Hydra and the mutants in New Tian (California) leading to the capture of Sunfire, but X-Men rescue him. Steve Rogers sorts it out with Emma Frost, the secret power behind the throne of King Xian. But he doesn't know she has 1 of the Kobik Cosmic Cube fragments (stolen from Shang-Chi in a fb in SE#5). The previously page says only that this is after the bombing of Las Vegas in #1.

Avengers #10
Hydra's Avengers including Deadpool go on a mission to protect the Planetary Shield.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Andrea Sorrentino
Mark Brooks (Cover Penciler)
Mark Brooks (Cover Inker)
Mark Brooks (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Scott Lang)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Sam Wilson)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Joaquin Torres)

(Clint Barton)

(Amadeus Cho)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)

(Wilson Fisk)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)

(Pietro Maximoff)

(Miles Morales)

(Nadia Pym)

Plus: Dagger, Ironheart (Riri Williams), Tony Stark AI.

> Secret Empire: Book info and issue index

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