Secret Empire recap: The X-Men are here, but who cares?


The X-Men patrol Manhattan while Thor struggles to escape an alien dimension. But it’s all pretty boring except for Kraven’s latest hunt.

X-Men Gold #7

Cover by Ken Lashley & David Curiel

What happened? The X-Men send teams into Manhattan under the Darkforce bubble. Old Man Logan loves gutting demons, but Nightcrawler finds yet another angry mob. Meanwhile, the new X-Cutioner stalks the halls of the X-Mansion killing mutants as revenge for the son he lost to Magneto in Morrison’s run.

Was it good? It was fine. This book has been standard superheroics since issue one, never terrible but never all that good, either.

Recommendation: It’s not adding to the crossover, but it does push X-Men Gold‘s story forward. Read it, if you’re an X-Men fan, but I bet there will be better ways to get your mutant fix this summer. I’m keeping Dr. Strange as my sole recommendation for the Under The Dome part of this event.

Secret Empire: Brave New World #3

Cover by Paulo Siqueira & Andy Troy

What happened? In the first story, Kraven the Hunter searches Manhattan for Spider-Man. He puts the pressure on J. Jonah Jameson for information, but Spider-Woman rescues him, and the famous newsman heads back to the Daily Bugle to give New York a little inspiration.

Next, Starbrand tries to break the shield around Earth but fails. This has awkward parallels to him maybe having Asperger’s.

And back in Atlantis, Namor and Namora use the Human Torch and Toro in their civil war. the Torch tries to fix things but releases a sea monster, and stopping it puts Namora in Namor’s clutches. She refuses imprisonment and demands a formal public execution – what will Namor do?

Was it good? The first story was great, full of tension and heroics. And the Namor story still seethes with political tension. But the Starbrand story was dull and pointless, like most of the space opera subplot this summer.

Recommendation: Pick it up, but skip that middle section.

Champions #10

Cover by Humberto Ramos & Edgar Delgado

What happened? The Champions, looking for Ms. Marvel, liberate an Inhuman internment camp. She’s not there, and the prisoners are scared of Hydra punishment if they escape, so the Champions turn the camp invisible for a while until the prisoners can agree on what to do for themselves.

Was it good? Well, I love the way Hulk points out how specifically uncomfortable an Asian American will be with American camps, and I love the continuity that Ms. Marvel is actually on the run with the Secret Warriors. But the resolution doesn’t make sense to me yet, and the moral issue of internment feels rushed in this one-part story.

Recommendation: You can let this one go, but Champions is a great series in general, so look up the other issues.

Cover by Alex Ross

What happened? Thor has been teleported to an alien dimension. A local tries to help her find her way home, but she decides to stay and help lead a local uprising against an interdimensional tyrant.

Was it good? Umm, Mike del Mundo’s work is glorious. This alien world has all the fun of his Weirdworld series. But the story is so boring. And I like the new Thor, but I haven’t noticed she was even missing from this crossover, so I didn’t need to check in with her.

Recommendation: Nope, hold out until next month, when Avengers promises to explain the evil Hydra Avengers.

Next: Catch up with last week's recaps!

The crossover is still going well, but this was a weak Wednesday for it. We didn’t need the X-Men’s perspective on the Manhattan crisis or Thor’s perspective on Captain America’s plot. It’s a good week to take a rest.