Secret Empire recap: Steve Rogers vs Steve Rogers


Steve Rogers has the heroes down, and their only hope is… Steve Rogers? It’s a winning finale to a great event. Even the tie-ins look better this week!

Secret Empire #10

Cover by Mark Brooks

What happened? Steve Rogers, juiced up on most of a Cosmic Cube, rewrites the world to match Hydra’s ideals. But Sam Wilson, Ant-Man, and Winter Soldier hatch a plan to reunite Kobik but with Winter Soldier’s guidance. So she undoes most of what Steve’s done. And she creates a Steve Rogers based on her memory of the hero.

The fight scene is epic, full of inspiring quotes about resisting evil. We see that Madame Hydra had temporarily overwritten Thor’s hammer to read “if he be strongest,” but when Kobik swaps that back to the original “if he be worthy,” the good Steve lifts it and smashes his doppelganger.

Kobik sends some legacy heroes through a one-panel “Vanishing Point” (and thus into the Generations one-shots) to inspire them for the work ahead.

But she wisely leaves the scars of what we did to each other standing. Black Widow is still lost to violence. Homes still have racist graffiti on them. So the book ends with a community, inspired by Sam Wilson, coming together to wash all that graffiti off for each other.

Was it good? I cried. I loved this book. This was the perfect ending to an excellent event series.

Recommendation: Get it. And then read all ten issues again. This was an amazing trip.

Mighty Captain Marvel #8

Cover by Elizabeth Torque

What happened? Captain Marvel prepares her crew for one final push. The Guardians of the Galaxy destroy the Alpha Flight base launching a huge bomb at the planetary shield, but it fails until Quasar rises from her coma to give her life widening a crack in the shield. The space heroes are finally back home in time for the finale.

Was it good? Actually, yes. I’ve really disliked this book up until now, and the recent focus on the new cadets has wasted the creative team’s talent. But given an issue to make inspiring speeches and actually do something a couple of times, they pulled it out.

Recommendation: I don’t recommend getting all of the Mighty Captain Marvel tie-ins, but if you enjoyed the space parts of Secret Empire, this is actually a good addition.

Deadpool #35

Cover by David Lopez

What happened? Maria Hill tries to take Deadpool in for killing SHIELD agents Coulson and Preston, but he lets her in on his plans to save the day by killing Blackout and dropping Manhattan’s Darkforce bubble. She can’t trust him, so she leaves him trapped in a burning parking garage while she makes good use of his intel.

Was it good? Better than the last couple, mostly because it holds the emotional truth of the first part of this arc: Deadpool wants to be the man Steve Rogers told him he could be, but he’s not able to put things together to do that.

Recommendation: I don’t recommend it, but it’s a cool margin story for the Manhattan subplot.

Next: Catch up with last week's recap!

Secret Empire ended with one of its strongest single issues, and two lackluster tie-in books saw their own high points this week. Well done, Marvel.