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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Detective 445 said:

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.

A lot of people think Shakespeare said "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." He didn't. One of his characters said it as a means of destroying the rule of law.

I stopped reading yesterday after ‘Tec posted additional spoiler space for issue #1 and I’m glad I did. (It seems to me there was more than one response beyond that yesterday afternoon though. Hmm…) The execution of Rick Jones is a potentially huge development were it not for the Age of Apocalypse/House of M vibe I’m getting, meaning the entire “event” can safely be skipped because as soon as the “reset button” is pushed, none of it is going to matter, anyway.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

... the entire “event” can safely be skipped because as soon as the “reset button” is pushed, none of it is going to matter, anyway.


It's looking more and more like the upcoming Legacy (I think that's what it's called) is going to be Marvel's version of Rebirth.

Maybe we'll see Reed Richards in the role of Doc Manhattan as he decides to just start messing with people and move their continuities around.

Haven't had a chance to pick up the Free Comic Book Day issue yet but I did come across some spoilers for it online.

Once again I'm mystified as to why some readers are so outraged over the whole thing. I won't go into the spoilers until I've read the whole issue but this whole story arises from a reality that's being manipulated by the cosmic cube. There's no reason to think that anything we're seeing is intended to be definitive or canon in any way.

  Given the current political climate people are a lot more sensitive than they used to be.  There is a lot of anger boiling beneath the surface in this country, even more than is apparent in the media and I think marvel has tapped into it without meaning too.  There are a lot of people out there on both sides looking for an excuse to fight, any excuse to fight and a HYDRA appearing to win and America so easily turning into what it is turning into in the issues is going to get people angry.  'Just a comic' or no, it's going to get people angry.  Hopefully that anger won't go anyplace.

Detective 445 said:

Haven't had a chance to pick up the Free Comic Book Day issue yet but I did come across some spoilers for it online.

Once again I'm mystified as to why some readers are so outraged over the whole thing. I won't go into the spoilers until I've read the whole issue but this whole story arises from a reality that's being manipulated by the cosmic cube. There's no reason to think that anything we're seeing is intended to be definitive or canon in any way.

“Some time has passed since the events of Secret Empire #0. It’s not clear how much time, but a lot has happened.”

I was going to say the FCBD issues helps to fill the gap, but…

“Haven't had a chance to pick up the Free Comic Book Day issue yet but I did come across some spoilers for it online.”

…there’s one big honkin’ spoiler that casts the whole thing in an entirely new light!

Ok, this post will include some details about the FCBD issue:

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The issue starts off with some narration that I think would please a lot of readers who complain about heroes fighting heroes.  It identifies the heroes tendency to fight amongst themselves as the weakness that leads to their downfall. 

Then we get a cliffs notes version of the Hydra conquest of Earth as the heroes learn that they have been outmaneuvered on all fronts by the man they trusted the most.

Finally, in the scene that seems to be upsetting some readers Captain Hydra is shown lifting Mjolnir beneath a caption indicating that he is "worthy."

So what exactly is Spencer doing here? It's not really clear. But I think the readers who are so upset are probably jumping the gun a little bit. It's probably better wait and see what the explanation is before we react.

Also I'm wondering if this scene from Civil War II might be pointing towards a possible outcome of Secret Empire:

These people seriously need to find another issue to deal with. This is like the moms who want to ban all violence in comic books, or the return of Fredrick Wertham-freakouts. At least it's vaguely entertaining to watch these people. These people are the Westboro Baptist Church of comic books.

Unbelievable. (Well, no, not really.) I’m glad that those who post here use complete sentences and proper grammar. At least some of those who posted seem to get it. If you read far enough down there’s a comment from Nick Spencer himself, who said, “When you burn books you're not taking a stand against fascism, you're taking a stand against irony.”

These people are scary. As in, it's terrifying that these people walk the streets with normal people.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Unbelievable. (Well, no, not really.) I’m glad that those who post here use complete sentences and proper grammar. At least some of those who posted seem to get it. If you read far enough down there’s a comment from Nick Spencer himself, who said, “When you burn books you're not taking a stand against fascism, you're taking a stand against irony.”

Secret Empire #2

Well I don't want to spoil anything just yet but there is a pretty strange plot development at the end of this issue. I'll check back in with details later.

Ok, spoilers for issue #2:
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This issue mostly deals with what the heroes on earth are up to. Black Widow and Hawkeye’s rebel band tries to help with recently destroyed Las Vegas, while the Defenders and others remain trapped inside the Darkforce bubble in New York.

The heroes learn, via Rick Jones’ flash drive, that Cap has been altered by the Cosmic Cube.  This news doesn’t sway Black Widow who decides that she needs to kill him no matter what. This causes a split among the rebels.

The flash drive provides a nice neat summary to any Secret Empire readers who might not have a handle on events leading up to this point.

Cap reveals that he didn’t order the destruction of Las Vegas but he authorized Madame Hydra to make the call. Don’t know why that matters. It’s not like he wanted to launder money through a foreign country and needed plausible deniability.

Cap sends Zemo to reassemble the cosmic cube so he can reset everything back to the “real” reality where Hydra controls the world after WWII.  The rebels send their own group after the cube fragments.

Black Widow forms a hit squad with the Champions.  I guess this will lead into Uprising.

The final pages are drawn by another artist. All the previous scenes specified a location where they were occurring.  This one doesn’t. A women is being chased through the woods by the Serpent Squad. Suddenly a stranger appears and rescues her. The stranger steps forward and reveals himself as… Steve Rogers???  He’s dressed in what looks to be a tattered WWII soldiers’ uniform.  My guess is that this scene is occurring inside Captain Hydra’s mind, but who knows?

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