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Reviewed: Marvel’s Secret Empire #0

By Alex Wiggan

Comic book fans and Marvelites, a new event series has arrived – Marvel’s Secret Empire. The first issue – issue #0 – arrived in stores this week and brought with it another big step forward in the ongoing Captain America/’Hail Hydra’ storyline.

For those of you unfamiliar with what’s been going on in the Captain America books, here’s a recap lifted from Secret Empire’s prologue.

“Captain America’s reality has been secretly rewritten by Kobik, a sentient Cosmic Cube acting under the influence of the Red Skull. In Roger’s new history, a Hydra agent recruited Steve to the villainous organisation as a child and he was raised to believe in their ideology: The strong ruling the weak, for the good of all. He’ll stop at nothing to bring Hydra the good of all. He’ll stop at nothing to bring Hydra into power. And after taking over from Maria Hill as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., he’s finally ready to make his move…”

Using the above as a starting point, this first issue is effectively the set-up for Marvel’s new event series – establishing Cap’s new role within the wider Marvel Universe, while at the same time putting his plans into motion. These plans of course involve a plot to remove and disable the superhero community.

Of course, we won’t tell you what happens – that would spoil things – but just know that this first offering ticks all the right boxes. Not only does Secret Empire #0 provide plenty of action, as well as a good selection of heroes, it also makes us interested to see where this storyline is going to go next.

There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the ‘Hail Hydra’ storyline and whether or not Cap should be working with Hydra, but from reading this first issue, we feel that this story will now pay off. And pay off big style.

Let’s just presume for one moment that this is the case and Secret Empire does successfully build upon ‘Hail Hydra’ to create new ideas and new dynamics for the Marvel Universe. If this happens, then all the hard work of making Cap a bad guy could result in one of Marvel’s best stories in years – perhaps a true Marvel milestone.

Of course, if Secret Empire doesn’t do this and the remaining books in this series simply circle around the idea that Cap is the bad guy and the good guys simply need to take him down, then this will be a massive missed opportunity for Marvel. After all, creating a storyline like this, especially during the Trump era of America, really should be used to speak out about the divisions currently going on in the US (and the wider world).

But back to Secret Empire #0 – as an opening act, this book gets the big thumbs up. Marvel have something good on their hands and so long as they don’t fumble the book like they ultimately did with Civil War II, we’re hopeful they can see this story through to an epic conclusion.





About the author: Alex Wiggan has written blog posts for Honcho-SFX blog since October 2014. He likes writing, eating pizza and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes in that order.


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