Secret Empire #9
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Leinil Francis Yu, Joe Bennett, Gerry Alanguilan, Joe Pimentel
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
The action packed penultimate issue with cameos by all of your favorites (yes, even the X-Men) as the heroes finally start to turn the tide against the Supreme Commander of Hydra, Captain America.
What you need to know:
The rebellion against Captain Hydra, Steve Rogers, have broken through his obstructions (the global force field surrounding the earth, the dark force bubble surrounding Manhattan, etc.) and have gathered against the odds to resist Hydra in a thinly veiled political FU to Donald Trump.
And in the dreamscape, a mysterious second Steve Rogers has been tormented by memories of his past until he has come face to face with Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube who caused the entire rewrite of Steve Rogers’ history.
What you’ll find out:
Okay, this issue is not the best written, and it can fall flat if you let it, but if you dispend belief and allow yourself to be swept away in the excitement and big screen popcorn blockbustery-ness of it all? It’s a lot of fun to see the heroes band together.
You get to see all of your favorites team up to kick Hydra ass. I’m talking Storm, Spider-Man, the other Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Wasp, the other Wasp, Luke Cage, Iron Man, Iron Heart, Cloak & Dagger, Rogue, Star Lord, Star Brand, Beast, Luke Cage, Captain Marvel, the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing!
EVEN THE FREAKIN’ BRADDOCKS ARE HERE!!!
Well, Meggan isn’t… but Tigra, Hawkeye, the Defenders, the X-Men Gold Team, the Champions, the Guardians of the Galaxy but, mostly, all of the Avengers… there is just a lot to geek out at. And it’s all drawn by Leinil Francis Yu, so it’s gorgeous!
I mean, you get to see at least one or one dozen of your all-time favorites, and Squirrel Girl (who’s still a thing apparently), come together as heroes to fight the bad guys instead of each other! Which would be a VERY powerful statement… if the big bad wasn’t Captain America, a… good… guy?
ANYWAY, there are some BIG scene stealing moments from Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Magneto, Sharon Carter and Sam Wilson’s Captain America.
But, the two big scene stealers are, IMOHO, Thor (Odinson, but poor Jane Foster makes an appearance, as well) and Emma Frost. They really do both of these characters justice here, particularly Emma. Marvel seemed so hell bent on turning her into a one dimensional caricature of a villain that this about face truly is a refreshing about face.
Don’t mess with the Odinson, baby.
Taskmaster and Black Ant have a hilarious sidebar when they realize that Hydra are about to get their collective Nazi asses handed to them, so they try to save face by freeing those tween voices of social justice, the New Warr… Champions! I was going to say The Champions. Miles Morales gets a pretty funny comeback, too.
As for the enslaved members of Captain Hydra’s Avengers, Viv Vision works to free her father, Vision, from the virus installed by Hydra while Dr. Strange struggles to free the Scarlet Witch from the demonic entity, Chthon, possessing her body.
T’Challa gets his revenge on Helmut Zemo, and it isn’t quite as satisfying as it could be.
Also, poor Jane Foster is treated kind of poorly here.
We finally learn the secret of Kobik and the mysterious other Steve… he is a compilation of her memories of him. Steve begs her to restore him, but she panics and runs away, frightened by an unknown monster.
But, as our heroes finally start to get on top, they find themselves confronted by a Cosmic Cube imbued Steve Rogers dressed in Hydra green. And, just as quick as they were on top? They’re right back down on the ground, with their “friend” looming over them ominously.
I may hate politics, but I love Emma Frost.
No mutant will kneel to Hydra,” indeed.
Rating: a generous 6/10