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Secret Empire #2

May 2017
Nick Spencer, Andrea Sorrentino

Story Name:

(No title given)

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

By Peter on 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

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 (so far) related to this issue:-

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.

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.

Secret Warriors #2
The team are looking for someone important who they believe is with the X-Men. But along the way Hydra sends the monster Howling Commandos after them.

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.

Secret Warriors #3
The Inhuman team enter the X-Men's New Tian to a hostile reception because of Inhumans Vs X-Men. They learn that their target Leer has been taken by Hydra so they leave, to be attacked by Hydra forces led by Quake's father Mr Hyde.
The presence of Sunfire (and Boom-Boom and Strong Guy) in Tian suggests this occurs before SE: United. The presence of Deadpool among the Hydra Avengers says this is before he turns against Hydra, which may happen in DP#33.

SE: United #1
Dr Faustus secretly foments trouble between Hydra and the mutants in New Tian leading to the capture of Sunfire. 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. The previously page says only that this is after the bombing of Las Vegas in #1.

Deadpool #32
DP is working for Hydra because he trusts Steve Rogers and his daughter gets a good life. He hunts down resistors, in this issue specially Speedball. But he gradually becomes less sure he's doing the right thing. The app of Quicksilver suggests this is before Pietro leaves on the Cosmic Cube hunt in SE#2.

Elektra


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

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Avengers
Avengers
Black Widow
Black Widow
Captain America
Captain America
Captain America
Captain America
Hawkeye
Hawkeye
Hercules
Hercules
Hulk
Hulk
Hydra
Hydra
Quicksilver
Quicksilver
Rick Jones
Rick Jones
Steve Rogers
Steve Rogers

Plus: Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Baron Zemo, Dagger, Falcon (Joaquin Torres), Iron Fist (Danny Rand), Ironheart, Jessica Jones, Kingpin, Luke Cage ((Power Man), Mockingbird, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Tony Stark AI, Viv Vision, Wasp (Nadia Pym).