First off, let’s get everyone up to speed with what’s going on.
Red Skull has rewritten Captain America’s origin using, the sentient Cosmic Cube, Kubik. That being said, as far as the current Marvel Universe is concerned, Steve Rogers has always been a Hydra loyalist. So Steve Rogers isn’t a turncoat, he’s just been thrust into a new reality wherein the Cap we once knew never actually existed.. Trippy… Right?
Ok, Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get into this issue.
Secret Empire #0 kicks this epic event into action by bringing some of Cap’s meticulously laid out plans to neutralize some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to fruition. The issue sets the stage by resolving some behind the scene setups, which I’m thankful for. Might just be me, but I feel like a few of Marvels more recent events have felt super slow due to too much being set up over the first handful of issues, causing the story itself to drag, then once everything is set up the rest of the issues seem to really rushed dumping an ending onto our laps…. (cough) *Spider-Verse* (cough).
Personally, I’ve been loving “Hydra Cap”, he’s everything I love about Captain America but wrapped in all that epic Hydra imagery. If you haven’t already, I HIGHLY recommend reading as much of the Captain America: Steve Rogers series as you can before diving into Secret Empire, especially if you’re a Hydra Cap hater. The series breaks down perfectly who our current Steve Rogers is, why he is, and how he came to be.
Things have escalated,and are apparently still escalating quickly.
The “New Order” is seemingly already well established, but hasn’t yet hit the intended heights that Hydra has planned.
We’re briefly introduced to a new Inhuman who has the most bizarre power ever… From what I understand, once he sees a photo of something he wants, he is able to vomit it into existence… and yes, it’s just as gnarly as it sounds.
Cap is still leading a team of “Avengers”, but we aren’t provided any explanation as to why this group is still following Hydra Cap when most other heroes have either gone rouge or banded against him. Odinson especially… Wanda I kind of get.. But Hydra and the Asgardian way have never really seemed to mesh in the past.
We lose a big name in the Marvel pantheon in this issue, a character I’m always happy when he pops up, even if it is only for a few panels…. His choice of dying words cuts deep if you know your Avenger’s history, and this character’s past relationship with Cap in regard to the Avengers.
Clint and Natasha have fallen into old habits, and can I be honest? I’m still not completely sold on the Champions, maybe I’m just a sucker for nostalgia or it could be that I’m just not into kid teams, even if I do like most of the characters individually. I really hope they tell us what the deal is with Tony Stark… This Star Wars hologram thing is pretty confusing.
It always comes back to a Cosmic Cube… And why wouldn’t it?
More importantly, Black Widow is pissed and apparently has no reservations in her pursuits to bust a cap on Cap, regardless of how Hawkeye feels about it. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) is pretty sure he’ll be the one taking out Cap, as foretold by Ulysses Cain in the Marvel Universe’s second Civil War, and has now joined up with Natasha and her Red Room with the other Champions tagging along for the ride.
However, the most interesting aspect of this issue isn’t all the Cap killing talk, it’s the reveal at the end.. An unnamed blonde woman is attacked by the Serpent Society, and ultimately saved by a buff bearded brute claiming to be someone who has already been accounted for… and a MAJOR player at that. What?!
Everyone in the galaxy hates earth… Not a real big surprise..
I’m going to say it, and it might be an unpopular opinion, but I’m not confident in Captain Marvel‘s ability to lead earth’s extra terrestrial defense team. Why in the hell would you send Star Lord and Rocket to negotiate assistance from external galactic powerhouses?! Sure, they’re “Guardians of the Galaxy“.. but I’d think their reputation would precede them, and that’s assuming they hadn’t already burned personal bridges with these other planetary leaders.
More importantly, we get a little more time with the character who was revealed at the end of issue 2! This character’s reveal not only blows the roof off of this event but Captain America’s latest solo title since it’s first issue. If that isn’t enough, this issue also reveals 2 more unidentified, yet familiar, faces, and introduces a new level of “Punishment” at the end.