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Secret Empire #5: Review

Jun 2017
Nick Spencer, Andrea Sorrentino

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Secret Empire #5 Review by (July 2, 2017)
Comments: Additional art by Rod Reis, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg for the “other Steve Rogers” segment. The cover looks like it should be on the next issue, what with the “mystery weapon” from the last page reveal defeating the Underground.

Review: A very intriguing issue: Cap at his most sinister threatening divine retribution on the X-Men, Viper now plotting against Cap. Scott Lang narration giving this a different feel from the others, Thor's quandary over whether he can trust Steve Rogers in spite of what he sees. And how is the Red Skull still alive? Not to mention Bruce Banner? Oh yeah, who is that old guy rescued at the beginning of the tale? And there's still the question of this other Steve Rogers.... Enjoyable story matched with suitably grim visuals. Can't wait to see what's next.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Empire #5 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Black Widow is a prisoner of Hydra and is being interrogated by Viper. She freely reveals her plan to assassinate Captain America. She also reveals that she is telling Viper all of this because the latter is running a drug ring that Steve Rogers would not approve of, suggesting that Viper should join their plot with the opportunity to seize control once Rogers is dead. With Viper's cooperation, Natasha's teen follower rescue a sick old man from custody....

The other Steve Rogers and his companions (Sam and Bucky?) have formed a friendship on their journey. Suddenly they are captured by someone who claims to be their salvation: the Red Skull....

The Underground team goes to Wakanda, where Tony Stark AI requests the next Cosmic Cube fragment from Black Panther. T'Challa refuses, not trusting the heroes' judgment in how to use it. So Wakanda shall defend its own territory. The team then heads to the locations of the next fragments and fights enemies only to come up empty every time. Finally Hercules is seriously injured fighting Gorgon and they rescue his prisoner Shang-Chi only to find his shard has already been taken from him (by Emma Frost, but he doesn't say that). The others, discouraged by their lack of success, insist on giving up and going home with the two fragments they have; the Stark AI demurs but goes along....

Captain America meets with Beast, ambassador of the mutant population in New Tian, at the site of Thor's fallen hammer. He's chosen the place to darkly threaten New Tian with godlike retribution should they fail to cooperate with Hydra. Rogers gets and update from Madame Hydra on their team: Scarlet Witch still possessed by a demon, the Vision still infected by a virus, and Thor Odinson—well, Thor joined up because Steve Rogers was worthy but now he is questioning Rogers' actions and is in a difficult quandary....

The heroes searching for the Cosmic Cube fragments return to their Las Vegas base and reveal the failure of the mission. Giant-Man (Raz Malhotra) shows the Tony AI what he has been working on: a time capsule that could contact future Avengers so that they could go back and prevent Hydra's victory. It is also revealed that Stark's tracking device for the Cube fragments was a hoax, designed to give them hope when they were just following the late Rick Jones' leads. And then their base is attacked by Hydra Helicarriers, tipped off by the traitor (who seems to be) Mockingbird. Aboard the lead ship, Captain America goes to check on their secret weapon...Bruce Banner....

RobFJ's tie-ins added here because #5 doesn't have any of its own:-

SE: Brave New World #4 (Emma Frost story)
Emma discovers the existence of the youthful underground resistance to New Tian featured in X-Men Blue #7.

X-Men Blue #7-9
Magneto sends the young original X-Men to rescue imprisoned rebels in New Tian. But the team are captured and taken to Emma Frost. Some are temporarily captured and EF tries to turn young Cyclops into her dead lover older Cyclops. Her control of King Xorn is slipping, and we learn that she and Havok are in league with Miss Sinister and Bastion.

SE: Brave New World #5 (Blade story)
Under the Darkforce Dome Blade tracks a vampire to a school where she is the Principal. He's losing the fight when a schoolboy stakes her. He too is a vampire but he survives on blood from blood banks and Blade lets him live.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Gorgon (Tomi Shishido), Tony Stark AI, Viper (Madame Hydra).

> Secret Empire: Book info and issue index

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