Secret Empire #8 review: We get back up together


The Resistance finally comes together against Hydra, but will it be too late? Nick Spencer hits hard with this perfectly-paced issue.

Secret Empire #8 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Daniel Acuna with Rod Reis, Sean Izaakse & Java Tartaglia
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover by Mark Brooks

Secret Empire has gotten a lot of mileage out of splitting its heroes. The powerful cosmic ones got locked out of their own planet. The popular Netflix ones can’t get out of Manhattan. But it’s always been a matter of time for the story to find a way to bring everyone together for the final push against Steve Rogers’s fascist empire. And that lands this week.

With last issue’s return of Sam Wilson in the red, white, and blue, Nick Spencer has the leader he needs. Sam’s able to get messages past the various barriers to coordinate an attack – when he says, “It’s time to assemble,” I felt chills. The heroes are on board, grateful for the rallying leadership. But of course, two issues from the end, it’s not that easy.

This is a beautifully-paced book, with clever victories and crushing defeats taking turns in surprising ways. The team doesn’t have to shock the reader – we’ve read about the heroes losing over and over, and we know it’s going to get better. So instead, they thrill to make that predicted story beat into something inspiring.

And throughout his run on both Captain America books, Nick Spencer has deftly and clearly linked his subject matter to the important fights Americans face today. Racism. Xenophobia. Even liberal ideas taken so far to the extreme as to lose their power. Sam Wilson hasn’t been in much of the Secret Empire story thus far, but as much as this book is about fear and control against hope and compassion, Sam has represented the better side.

So again, this liberal reads Secret Empire and feels sad for how believable the fascist takeover is. And then hopeful. Because we’re still out there. We don’t win every time. But when we do, we win together. Let’s assemble. I hear it’s time.

Next: Catch up with last issue!

Bottom Line:

Whether as an outstanding example of the Turning Tables part of the standard event story or as an inspiring call to action for those of us who lost last fall’s election, this book is winning.