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Secret Empire #4

June 2017
Nick Spencer, Leinil Francis Yu

Story Name:

(No title given)

Reviews & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

By Peter on June 18, 2017

Comments: Additional art by Rod Reis, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg for the “other Steve Rogers” segment.

Review: Another exciting installment gives us the low-down on Ultron and has the best use of Hank Pym in years and years. I hope he's satisfied (after he whines about being overshadowed in the issue itself).


 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The mysterious second Steve Rogers continues to make his way through dangerous territory on his forgotten quest. He is joined by two other confused travelers who resemble Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson. They join forces for safety and friendship....

Captain America appears to the Punisher via hologram and reminds him of his mission to find would-be assassin Black Widow. Meanwhile, Natasha is torturing a captive young Hydra agent to learn of an opportunity to kill Captain America. Her charges object to her grisly methods and insist that wiping his mind will be better than killing him. They free the young agent—and he leaps at them with a knife. Natasha shoots him down before the horrified Champions....

Alaska: Ultron has returned from space and built a stronghold in the North filled with an army of Ultrons, waiting for...what? He has in his possession a fragment of the Cosmic Cube—and now parties led by both the Iron Man AI and Captain America are there to retrieve it, warning their teams that Ultron may look like he's part Hank Pym, he is not their old friend. Tony's team enters Ultron's stronghold, with Ant-Man seeking to invade the mainframe—and Scott runs into the villainous Black Ant. Mockingbird finds herself confronting Taskmaster; Sam Wilson is seized by a virus-infected Vision; Quicksilver meets his sister the demon-possessed Scarlet Witch; Hercules encounters Thor Odinson. A massive battle ensues and Cap faces Tony—but Hank/Ultron overwhelms them all....

They awaken to find themselves prisoners around a dinner table in a replica of Avengers Mansion. Hank/Ultron presides over the party wanting them all to get together as they once did but the two teams keep sniping at each other. So Ultron reveals the reason he waits in Alaska is that he knew the two sides would destroy one another. Cap protests that Hydra will make everything right but Hank is skeptical, seeing as how the Avengers' efforts to make life better resulted in two Civil Wars, the House of M, and the Dark Reign. As the bickering continues, Hank finally loses it and demands to be respected as a founding Avenger—and this is how Tony knows they are dealing with the real Hank Pym. AI Tony mocks Hank's inferiority complex and confronts him with the real reason the Avengers ended the family-style dinners: it was Hank hitting Jan. Hank flies into a rage, complaining how all the good he did has been forgotten in the wake of that one act while Tony Stark has made multiple errors of judgment and outright crimes, yet is still regarded as a hero. It's Scott Lang, the current Ant-Man who talks him down, showing that they have both made mistakes they are trying to live down but they can manage, advising Hank to do what Jan would do....

Moments later, the Avengers team is leaving with the Cosmic Cube fragment. Steve Rogers confronts Hank about this and Hank reveals that he gave them the fragment to even up the odds in this nation-wide conflict. On the way back, the Avengers team hears from the media that Captain America has received Prince Namor of Atlantis as a guest and was presented with a fragment of the Cosmic Cube. The Avengers determine to keep fighting—unaware that they have a traitor in their midst....



RobFJ with tie-ins to this issue:-

CA: Steve Rogers #18
Mainly flashback leading up to #4 before Namor hands over his Cube fragment. We see Hydra in other parts of the world eg Wakanda.

SE: Underground #1
Between #4 and #5 AI Tony Stark's team get another Cube fragment from the Savage Land.

Elektra


Nick Spencer
Leinil Francis Yu
Gerry Alanguilan
Sunny Gho
Mark Brooks (Cover Penciler)
Mark Brooks (Cover Inker)
Mark Brooks (Cover Colorist)