Secret Empire: the shocking conclusion to Nick Spencer’s Captain America run…


One of Marvel’s most controversial storylines in history comes to a shocking conclusion as Nick Spencer brings his Captain America run to a close. Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty, has been living a lie! The world’s greatest hero is secretly a true believer in the cause of Hydra, brought up since childhood to pursue their mission of progress through authority and unity through adversity! Using the trust and respect he is accorded by the great powers of the Marvel Universe, Steve Rogers has worked his way into a position where he can make Hydra’s ideals a reality -and change the landscape of the world dramatically! Now, all the dominos of Steve’s plan have been laid out – and it will take only the slightest push to set them into action! But when his former allies discover that this has all been brought about by the Red Skull’s manipulation of the Cosmic Cube’s human form known as Kobik, their new mission becomes not only overthrowing the Hydra regime, but to also save and restore their leader and friend.

To call this storyline controversial would be an understatement. From the moment Captain America uttered the words “Hail Hydra,” the internet was thrown into chaos. Fans were livid that a comic/American icon had joined up with the very evil he was created to combat and the implication that he had been affiliated with them all along. Spencer creates a tense and at times uncomfortable atmosphere that always has the reader questioning what reality is the altered one with the scenes depicting a world where the Allied Forces lost World War II and subsequently used the Cosmic Cube to alter reality to the state most are familiar with is particularly unsettling. These are offset though by the segments scattered through the story depicting a lost Steve Rogers struggling to find his way through the crumbling mindscape of Kobik within the Cosmic Cube which bring some moments of hope in an otherwise bleak series of events.

The main strength of the story is the great job Nick Spencer does at showing what would happen if someone with the principals and abilities of Steve Rogers went by a considerably more warped ideology. It is made all the more disturbing as this Steve Rogers still values his friendships with his fellow Avengers and his fruitless attempts to get Sharon Carter and Rick Jones to see his line of thinking are particularly disconcerting. Nevertheless, it does make it all the more satisfying when the original Captain America is eventually restored and we get an amazing battle between him and his twisted Hydra counterpart (with dependably stunning Steve McNiven artwork). Spencer also has a strong handle on the supporting cast regarding their reactions to Cap’s betrayal with Iron Man willing to believe that something has altered his friend whilst Black Widow is less easy to convince. This all ably aided by Andrea Sorrentino’s strong gritty artwork throughout which does a fantastic job at setting the tone for this twisted version of the Marvel Universe and is bookended with some of Steve McNiven’s best Marvel work yet.

Whilst the idea of Captain America joining Hydra may be off-putting, Spencer manages to create a gripping storyline which will have readers fearful but enthralled at the lengths he goes to fit this twisted version of Steve Rogers into Marvel history at the same time as taking a new twist on the superhero event. A definite must-read to prepare for the next stage of the Marvel Universe!

Secret Empire is out now from Marvel and Panini

9780785194521 – H/B £49.99

9781846538353 – P/B £22.99

Post by Leo


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