Again and again, Marvel sinks its teeth into our wallets, churning out “Earth Shattering”, “Mind Blowing”, or even “Status-Quo Shaking” event books (That was a small bit of sarcasm). This time around, we might actually be in for a story that feels planned out, doesn’t have an obvious conclusion, and won’t drag itself out for 6 extra months. If you are looking to prepare yourself for Secret Empire, I recommend reading Steve Rogers: Captain America 2016 as it’s the bare essentials you’ll need to start off this event. You could also look at my reviews of Issue 1 and Issue 4 if you don’t want to read the last 16 issues of the Captain America. I’ll avoid spoilers for this issue, as I’ve seen a few people posting major ones online i just want to talk about the story in a broader sense rather than just showing you what happens. But be prepared for me to talk about some events during the StandOff event and the Captain America Series’.
If you been reading Captain America, you know that Steve Rogers isn’t a good guy anymore. He’s secretly been a Hydra double agent since everybody’s favorite cosmic cube turned little girl, Kobik, was convinced to alter Steve Rogers’ past by Red Skull. The way the story starts to unfold, is that possibly this wasn’t the case. Compared to some of the Events lately, it doesn’t use previous events as a template, AvX & IvX, Civil War I & II, Secret Wars & all the rest of them. The closest event this shares some similarities with could be Secret Invasion, where the Skrull’s replaced a number of Super Heroes in an effort to take over Earth. This time around, Captain America has a plan to take over the United States of America for Hydra and this issue his three-phase plan comes to fruition. A lot of this has been built up in the Captain America series, as well as the Thunderbolts series with hints in the epilogue to Civil War II, The Oath. The event is planned to be a 9 issue main arc with a number of other tie-ins to feature different perspectives and who knows if they’ll setup anything else later on.
This issue tells its story from an outside perspective looking at the fall of who they knew Captain America to be. Told from the perspective of being through the event already, like a passage from a romanticized history book. Overall I’m liking the setup and potential for this event. It already has more gravity than IvX and not nearly as redundant as Civil War II. I think this is due to the fact that this conflict has been on the horizon since StandOff and since we first found out that Captain America is a bad guy. It felt like they rushed into Civil War II right after Secret Wars and IvX felt pointless and didn’t really amount to anything but the Death of Scott Summers, the old one that is, the young one is still kicking about. All in all, it may be the event that we look back on and say, I wish they had something as cool as Secret Empire again.
While the art is magnificent and vibrant, few of the faces come off as jarring or straight up dopey. The whole issue being tackled by one artist is impressive; aside from the art in the prologue by Rod Reis, which is fantastic and reminiscent of Alex Ross. Daniel Acuna takes on the insane task of illustrating this 40 page issue, including an enormous amount of heroes, villains, Chitauri, and helicarriers both in grand epic struggle and dark creeping suspense.
Whether you’re like me and would like them to take a step back from having something catastrophic happen every 3-6 months, or want a grand story including all your favourite heroes, Secret Empire #0 has started off with a bang. I can’t promise this will turn everything on its head, or really change a thing after the event runs its course, this issue has started what looks to be a fun ride.