Secret Empire recap: Everyone hates Emma Frost


Emma Frost creeps everyone out this week, manipulating her ex-boyfriend and even ending up on Domino’s hit list! Hydra brings out the worst!

Secret Empire: Brave New World #5

Cover by Paulo Siqueira & Rachelle Rosenberg

What happened? In Manhattan’s permanent night, Blade follows a lead to an undercover assignment as the Kindergarden Cop of vampire hunters. In the mutant nation of New Tian, Domino prepares a hit on Emma Frost that fails to go as planned. And in Atlantis, Winter Soldier comes out of hiding to help stop the uprising against Namor. The king keeps Namora around as a co-ruler, and the Human Torch and Toro stay on as royal advisors.

Was it good? Si Spurrier’s take on Blade was funny and efficient, but the Domino story was befuddling – the author can’t seem to make clear in four pages who Domino’s real target is or why Emma Frost spontaneously went into diamond form at the perfect moment. And the Atlantis story had built such great political intrigue only to be scattered with a  few quick words.

Recommendation: The Blade story was cute, but not worth buying the whole issue for. Maybe this was supposed to be the shocking reveal that Bucky’s been alive in Atlantis the whole time, but really, characters never mentioned him, the book that “killed” him was awful, and I don’t believe readers ever cared.

U. S. Avengers #9

Cover by Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, & Jesus Aburtov

What happened? Sunspot and Toni Ho free Red Hulk from Hydra control and bust out of prison. Meanwhile, Squirrel Girl leads a team of European heroes to liberate Paris from the latest wave of fascists.

Was it good? It’s a straightforward story beat of the heroes saving the day in the final act. Nothing especially inspiring, but solid in the way this title has been since they were New Avengers.

Recommendation: If you haven’t been reading this international viewpoint on America’s Hydra problem, you don’t need to start now.

X-Men Blue #9

Cover by Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald

What happened? Polaris and Danger help the teen heroes to rescue Cyclops from Emma Frost’s castle in New Tian. Emma had been using her Cosmic Cube to turn teenage Cyclops into the adult she lost, and when the kids rescue him, he comes back to normal but retains the psychic link he shared with Jean Grey back in the 90s. Steve Rogers tells Magneto he’s not holding up his end of their bargain, and Magneto threatens him right back.

Was it good? I enjoyed Emma’s creepy remodeling of her ex-boyfriend, but the big mutant fights felt tame, and we never answered why Toad has a stupid fire tongue now. Last issue was good, this one… not so much. But it gets points for the homage to the iconic Steranko X-Men #50 cover:

Cover by Jim Steranko

Recommendation: If you’re going to read something from the mutant side of Secret Empire… well, there are some good issues of Secret Warriors I can recommend. But this was fine if you need more mutants.

Next: Catch up on last week's action here!

After a week where pretty much everything worked, this was a let-down, but it doesn’t change that this event on the whole has been a dramatic success. I’m looking forward to next week’s big Secret Empire issue!