Secret Empire 0 pulls together threads from several different books which constitute the prologue. They are conveniently laid out here:

I only read the Steve Rogers issue and didn’t really feel like I needed to read the rest to follow what was going on in Secret Empire 0. In Steve Rogers 16 we see Cap’s secret plan start to coalesce as Hydra seeks to reassemble the Cosmic Cube without reawakening Kobik and Zemo appears to kill Bucky.


This brings us to Secret Empire 0 wherein it is outlined that the Cosmic Cube was apparently created by American scientists during the World War II era and used to create the reality that we know as the original Marvel Universe.  Hyrdra’s plan is to use Cap to “undo” that “fake” reality and restore the “true” reality in which Hydra conquers the world.  So they appear to be telling us that the entire Marvel Universe is all just one big EYKIW.

On the other hand, we are still getting the intro text page telling us that Kobik has rewritten reality.  In which case this whole Captain Hydra saga is just one big bad dream that can be Bobby Ewinged out of existence at any time.

In the meantime Nick Spencer has started knocking down the dominos that he has nicely put into place over the last year or so.  This isn’t just a bunch of random stuff thrown together to sell a summer crossover. There appears to have actually been a lot of planning that went into this.

Here’s the way it will unfold going forward:

It doesn't appear that there are too many tie-ins or spin-offs, although I suppose that could change but so far I'm on board for the main series and probably Uprising as well.

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Mark S. Ogilvie said:

How is that a difference?

Detective 445 said:

I won't argue about the Hydra/Nazi connection. Clearly, there's a ton of overlap. However, I do think Spencer has been trying to establish them as a separate fascist entity that predates the nazis and then sort of absorbed the nazi ideology.


Well...for example, Stevil and Madame Hydra have not been shown to be anti-semites as far as I know but anti -semitism does appear to exist within Hydra because the Red Skull was a part of it before Stevil killed him.

I;ve seen them. They are way out of my budget for just a simple keychain-sized display. And I'm not paying for the keychain-version either. I think getting just the gaming-stones will be far more aesthetically (& financially) better for me.

Captain Comics said:

There is an Infinity Gauntlet for sale. I've seen it, but never bought it.

Yeppers.

Richard Willis said:

Horn'd One said:

The only thing out of 'Secret Empire' I picked up was the plastic promotional glow-in-the-dark Cosmic Cube.
Now that I have the 9 Lantern Rings from the Blackest Night event, two of the glow-in-the-dark Watcher's Eyes promotionals from the Original Sin event, I should get something that represents the Inifnity Gems. I'll probably use generic gaming-stones in the right colors.

All of that ordnance would make you the 800-pound gorilla just about anywhere!

Hey, ‘Tec! Where ya at?

I read issue #9 last night. I don’t want to get ahead of the discussion, but I don’t have anything to say about the specific plot, just an overall impression. I was of two distinct minds while reading #9. First of all, I think it’s very well-written, but I found myself wondering why I was bothering to read it at all. (As Don Thompson used to say, “If this is the kind of thing you like, then you’ll enjoy this.”) I find myself thinking about what Howard Chaykin and Harlan Ellison and others have said in the past about this kind of story. I think I’m suffering from mega-crossover event burn-out. Or I should say I’m still suffering from it. I’m a big proponent of the “if you don’t like it don’t read it” school of thought, but this probably the first such crossover I bought in the past ten years or more. I didn’t follow the first Civil War (or the second), or Secret Invasion or House of M or Secret Wars or any other of Marvels now-more-frequent-than-annual crossover series. There are so many “events” yet so few regular series I truly enjoy. (Thank Dan Slott and Mike Allred for Silver Surfer.)

Issue #9 is probably the best issue of the main series so far, and although the plot is intrinsically different from every crossover event of the last 10 or so years, I couldn’t help but feel I’ve read it all before. It seems to me that Marvel goes from one line-wide crossover series to another to another to another… I don’t even read them. This has been the norm for 30 years now, and it’s only getting worse. Maybe they should limit themselves to one every five years or so. (Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.) I would probably enjoy this series more if I read fewer comics than I do.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Hey, ‘Tec! Where ya at?

I'm a little behind this week (dropping my son off at college) but finally got a chance to read it so...



Spoilers to follow
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Secret Empire #9
This time around we get some hints as to how the toothpaste will be put back in the tube.

  • We start off in the dreamworld with Bearded Steve and Kobik.  We find out that Kobik is upset and she’s been hiding out in this realm because she “messed everything up.” Now she wants Bearded Steve to remember who he is.
  • Back in Washington DC, Stevil and Zemo discuss war plans and argue with a shackled Black Panther.
  • Next we see several pages of heroes battling Hydra hordes.  The mutants also join the fray as Magneto spearheads an attack on Stevil.  The battle still isn’t going very well for the heroes until Odinson decides he’s had enough and switches sides.   Stevil still has some tricks up his sleeve though, including the Cosmic Cube fragments and “The Army That Sleeps”
  • As Zemo prepares to wake the sleeping army (basically some more villains), Bucky arrives to help the Panther take down Zemo.
  • Cut to Sharon Carter who seems to be under the control of Dr Faustus until she suddenly reveals that she was just playing possum. She punches him out and then takes control of the Hydra fleet.
  • It looks like things are started to swing the right way but wait… Arnim Zola is outfitting Stevil with a new Cube-powered armor.  The Black Panther watches from the shadows.
  • Meanwhile back in Kobik’s dreamworld, Bearded Steve is having his memories restored. He remembers everything about himself pre-Stevil. Then he learns the harsh truth. He’s not really Steve Rogers. He’s just Kobik’s memory of the pre-Stevil Steve Rogers.  He asks her to make him “real again” but she runs off.
  • Finally, back in the real world, the heroes appear to be on the cusp of victory until a suped up, Cube charged “Super Stevil” arrives on the scene.

So I think we’ve basically been shown how Spencer plans to reboot Steve back to his original self.  Will Kobik also reboot us back to pre-Secret Empire continuity? Stay tuned…

 

The problem is not so much switching Steve back, that's easy and he has an out (as does Wanda now that Dr. Strange did some work), the problem is everyone who went along with him.  The oppression, the camps... it wasn't a one man operation.  

Of the heroes that seemed to be voluntarily helping Hydra, Odinson seems to be the most problematic. Deadpool and the Punisher have never been paradigms of heroism but they've never been shown to be mass murderers either.  Stevil destroyed an entire city though, so anyone who sided with him is complicit in that act. It's tough to see how Marvel can reconcile that fact going forward.  Unless they present a mind control explanation for those characters, I don't see what they could do to salvage them.  Even if there is a complete continuity reboot, the reader will still know that those characters voluntarily participated in genocide.

With a Cosmic Cube, a lot can be un-done.

Captain Comics said:

With a Cosmic Cube, a lot can be un-done.

The Cube can make it so none of it ever happened. Like it was an imaginary story or elseworld. If none of it happened, no one committed any of the crimes.



Richard Willis said:

Captain Comics said:

With a Cosmic Cube, a lot can be un-done.

The Cube can make it so none of it ever happened. Like it was an imaginary story or elseworld. If none of it happened, no one committed any of the crimes.

It's true but still, unless they say the Cube forced Odinson to participate, the reader will always know that he did it voluntarily, even if it is wiped from continuity.

If Marvel's continuity is reset at the end, isn't this parallel to House of M, or Dan Jurgens's Thor, Lord of Asgard storyline, where Thor took over the world?



Luke Blanchard said:

If Marvel's continuity is reset at the end, isn't this parallel to House of M, or Dan Jurgens's Thor, Lord of Asgard storyline, where Thor took over the world?

I haven't read the Thor story but I would say that it doesn't parallel House of M because that story took place in an alternate reality created by the Scarlet Witch. Secret Empire occurs in mainstream Marvel continuity.

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