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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Spin, lies and talking points.

I can sympathize with the readers, I went through the same thing with cw1, luckily I don't really care as much as I used to, but while I don't think marvel is endorsing fascism I do think that marvel has found that fascism sells, at least when the heroes of the mu are behind it.  I mean if it were Dr. Doom or the Red Skull or one of the other has-been villains this storyline wouldn't be as eye catching as it is, but having Captain America come out in favor of fascism does get a lot of attention.  Even if a lot of it is negative.

Detective 445 said:



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Hydra might try to spin it that way.

It's still "Might Makes Right" AFAIAC.


We kind of live in a culture of spin these days don't we?



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Spin, lies and talking points.


"Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Dallas Vegas with all that stuff."

I sympathize with the readers too...the ones who are waiting impatiently for each issue. I just can't afford to go all-in on this Big Marvel Crossover, and so I'll have to wait even longer -- 6 or 8 more months -- to read it on Unlimited. But yeah, a story where fascism isn't wearing the easily recognizable face of the Red Skull, but instead wraps itself in the flag? That seems like a story worth telling. 

I don't know if Marvel thinks fascism sells. But they definitely think that controversy sells. And having controversy that has ties to current events is a pretty good sales gimmick.

Well, Marvel has been using fascists to sell comics since Captain America #1, if not before. Fascism sells because we love to see people fight it. And that's what Secret Empire will be about. 

They're approaching this anti-fascist story from another angle...but it's still going to be an anti-fascist story. 

THANK YOU, Common Sense Rob!* I'm choosing not to read it right now, and plan to read it through the app in a few months. But there is no way in hell I would ever believe that this is supposed to be a pro-fascist story, or that Captain America isn't going to make one giant, triumphant turnaround. I can't imagine too many people would keep reading if the brand new, ongoing status quo was that Captain America is a Nazi. I doubt the end of this story is going to be that Captain decides that being a Nazi (or a fascist; please don't play the semantics game) is the way to go, and Marvel press conferences will then say that this is just something that we are going to have to get used to. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

*I often choose to call my students by "Common Sense _________" when they make a very common sense statement or reaction to something that other kids have blown out of proportion.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Well, Marvel has been using fascists to sell comics since Captain America #1, if not before. Fascism sells because we love to see people fight it. And that's what Secret Empire will be about. 

They're approaching this anti-fascist story from another angle...but it's still going to be an anti-fascist story. 

"Common Sense Rob"?

Now THERE'S a twist no one could've seen coming!!

Common sense is in short supply, and yet still in excess of the demand.

Hopeful Philip: "How long will this story arc last?"

Cynical Philip: "Until Cap has to show up in a new movie!"

Wandering Sensei said:

But there is no way in hell I would ever believe that this is supposed to be a pro-fascist story, or that Captain America isn't going to make one giant, triumphant turnaround.

We had the same kerfuffle when Marvel "unpatriotically" killed Captain America back in the day (the first time?).



Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

I can't imagine too many people would keep reading if the brand new, ongoing status quo was that Captain America is a Nazi. I doubt the end of this story is going to be that Captain decides that being a Nazi (or a fascist; please don't play the semantics game) is the way to go, and Marvel press conferences will then say that this is just something that we are going to have to get used to. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.


I think, in the context of this story, Marvel does want to make a distinction between the Red Skull's nazism (which has to include anti-semitism and genocide) and Hydra's brand of fascism which (Steve believes) is about elevating all people to power within a totalitarian system.

But even if they had Captain America permanently become Captain Hydra, I still don't see how that would constitute an endorsement of fascism. It constitutes a story about a character who endorses fascism. Not an endorsement of fascism itself.

***additional spoiler warning for this post***

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Secret Empire #1

Some time has passed since the events of Secret Empire #0.  It’s not clear how much time, but a lot has happened. Maybe some of it has happened in tie-in books or maybe not.

In any case, America now exists as a police state run by Hydra. School curriculums have been rewritten to present an alternate history (alternative facts?). Inhumans (and mutants as well?) have to be registered (or vetted?) with the government.  The X-Men have established some sort of sovereign state. 

Captain Marvel and some of the other heroes are shown stranded in space and being attacked by the Chitauri. It’s not clear how they are all surviving in space for so long. Maybe we’ll find out that the Shi’ar or someone came by and scooped them up.  

Hawkeye and the Black Widow lead a rebel group that has avoided capture thus far. They have mounted some attacks on Captain Hydra believing he may be a clone or under mind control, but have concluded it really is Cap.  Iron Man wallows in self pity and tries to help the rebels out.  He receives a flash drive made by Rick Jones that is supposed to be the key to victory but ignores it.

We see Cap engaged in an internal power struggle with other members of the Hydra council who want to be more brutal than he is comfortable with.  We also see him lead a group of Avengers against some kind of other dimensional monster. He warns the monster to leave and then has the Avengers kill it quickly and efficiently saying that the old ways of doing things are over.

After struggling with his conscience and consulting with Madame Hydra Steve decides to execute Rick Jones and apparently to destroy Las Vegas because of rebel activity that has been going on there.

I think we’ve already gone far enough down the rabbit hole that the only way to end this story will be with a complete reboot.

Books for May:



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