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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I couldn't have found that one! Thanks for digging it up. Whether it's the cover I was semi-recollecting I'm not sure. The Death of Captain Marvel cover might be based on it, as the GCD seems to indicate it was a new cover done for the reprint of the graphic novel in 1992.

If the Uncanny Avengers #22's cover is a homage the foreground and background might have different sources, as I can imagine a cover with just the figure on the gurney and the three figures around it. In that case the positioning of the background figures might be drawn from the cover of Justice League #1.

The angle and manacled figure remind me of Green Lantern #143, but the figures around the gurney don't match.

Big time spoiler space for the finale.

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Secret Empire #10
Well I guess this played out about like we thought it would with a few minor exceptions and a clever twist that I didn’t see coming.  And it actually came out on time!

  • We start off by picking up exactly where the last issue left off. Super Stevil has arrived on the scene and is commanding the heroes to stand down.  He tries to convince them that fascism is the way to go and that they’re the ones who have ruined everything. That goes over like a lead balloon and the heroes converge on Stevil en masse.  Stevil quickly defeats them via the power of the Cosmic Cube.
  • Next we see Stevil use the almost-complete Cube to rewrite reality. He believes he is restoring the true reality in which Hydra has always dominated the world.  Suddenly Sam Wilson, Bucky and Ant Man arrive on the scene. They don’t appear to have been affected by the reality rewrite, possibly because they have the final cube shard.
  • Sam surprisingly surrenders the Cube fragment to Stevil who is unaware that a microscopic Ant Man and Bucky are hitching a ride on it.  Stevil allows the fragment to merge with his own fragments at which time Bucky gains access to the Cube. Stevil briefly becomes supercharged by the completed Cube before fizzling out.
  • We then learn that Bucky formulated this plan a few days earlier so that he could engage with Kobik and convince her to restore the real Steve Rogers. How he knew this would work is not clear but I thought it was a clever twist.
  • Spencer goes back a few seconds in time to show us how Bucky pulls Kobik and Bearded Steve out of the dream world.  Then we fast forward back to the present as Bucky and Kobik arrive on the scene and Kobik reverses Stevil’s reality rewrite.  She then deposits a very pissed of looking non-evil Captain America (formerly Bearded Steve )into the mix.
  • The two Steves trade a couple of barbs and then go at it.  After the battle has raged for a while, Stevil decides to go for the easy win and grab Mjolnir (how did it get there?) Unfortunately he is unable to lift it and we learn that he was only able to lift it previously because Madame Hydra secretly used a Cube fragment to make it happen.  The “real” Captain America is, however, able to lift it and commences to deliver an epic beatdown.  He then turns the hammer over to Jane Foster (how did she get there?)
  • Kobik then proceeds to “restore the history that had been corrupted and taken from us”  I’m not sure what that means but it apparently does not include restoring Las Vegas or resurrecting Black Widow and Rick Jones.  At the same time she sends some of the heroes on a journey to the “Vanishing Point” thus explaining how the Generations team-ups came about.  
  • Finally we get a two page spread of all the heroes standing triumphantly. No one seems too mad at Odinson.  No one seems too weirded out that this new Captain America is artificially created from Kobik’s memories.
  • We also get an epilogue that shows us what happened to the Inhuman Barf as he returns home to find that the world is rebuilding and people now accept him.  This makes me wonder: If Barf created a duplicate Cube fragment, doesn’t that mean the original fragment is still out there?



All in all I thought this was wrapped up as well as could be expected.  I think there are a still a lot of unanswered questions but maybe some of those will be addressed in Secret Empire Omega #1.  (Yep, you heard right.)

Um. Well, Omega, give me a live Black Widow and I'll just ignore the rest.

Wow, that was quick!

But I must avert mine eyes until the morrow.

At least it's over.  Still at 4.99 an issue it'll be a long time before I ever buy a marvel comic, even if they are all good guys again.

So, when's Civil War III coming out?

2018.

  More importantly who is going to be the villain?  Haven't they run out of good guys to be the bad guy?

The Baron said:

So, when's Civil War III coming out?

The surprise twist will be that a villain is the bad guy!

Judging by the cover of Omega #1 it looks like there may be an attempt to merge Captain Hydra and Captain America into one character. A fascist patriot if you will. Sort of a Captain Breitbart. 

I'm just just kidding of course. I think it's actually a way of taking Stevil off the table and at least giving our Captain America his real body back.

Hmm. They haven't pooped on Spider-Man yet--at least, not in that way.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  More importantly who is going to be the villain?  Haven't they run out of good guys to be the bad guy?

The Baron said:

So, when's Civil War III coming out?



Detective 445 said:

Judging by the cover of Omega #1 it looks like there may be an attempt to merge Captain Hydra and Captain America into one character. A fascist patriot if you will. Sort of a Captain Breitbart. 

I'm just just kidding of course. I think it's actually a way of taking Stevil off the table and at least giving our Captain America his real body back.

They can do what they like, the below is still "my" Captain America:

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