Secret Empire #10
Writer: Nick Spencer
Art: Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Matthew Wilson, Rod Reis, Dave Marquez, Paco Medina and Ron Lim
Marvel takes a sloppy, wet, Trump sized crap on the chests of their fans in the final issue of this politically driven yet flat falling event. The only thing to “RESIST” here is your gag reflex.
What You Need to Know:
Finally free of all of the convenient plot devices that removed them from the fray and led by Captain America (Sam Wilson), the entirety of the Marvel U come together to overthrow the oppressive Hydra Administration, led by Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. A Cosmic Cube named Kobik has rewritten history so that the Nazis won and Steve is now a huge, Nazi fascist jerkoff who hangs out with other Nazi fascist jerkoffs like Viper, Madame Hydra, Kraken, Doctor Faust and Arnim Zola.
As they finally turn the tides against Hydra, the heroes come face to face with their former friend and leader, Steve Rogers, who is wearing a Cosmic Cube imbued, Hydra green and yellow suit of armor that gives him the power of a god.
In a dream-like world, an amnesiac creature resembling Steve Rogers has learned that he is nothing more than the memories of Steve Rogers kept by the sentient Cosmic Cube, Kobik. He is trapped in her memory. Her guilt in destroying the country haunts her. She made the wrong decision and now she must face her culpability in the destruction of the United States.
What Just Happened?
This story flops towards its finish like a drunken dwarf on top of a local brothel whore, leaving us as unimpressed and bored as said whore. (Sorry, I’ve been binge watching Game of Thrones this week.)
When confronted, Steve Rogers basically wills the combined heroes of the Marvel U to the cornfields, using the godlike power of the nearly completed Cosmic Cube once known as Kobik. He then rewrites history, changing it so that EVERYTHING in Marvel history is altered to serve Hydra. All the heroes have vanished from the scene except for Sam Wilson, who instead of resisting, bends to his knee in front of Steve Rogers and consents defeat.
Sam offers up his shield and the final shard of the shattered Cosmic Cube to Steve as a sign of his compliance to the Hydra way of life. But, it’s a ruse! A very not-so-clever ruse that the seasoned vet, Steve Rogers, falls for with the quickness. Ant-Man uses his shrinking tech to allow Winter Soldier to hide upon the shard of Cosmic Cube on a microscopic level because, hey, of course they knew Steve was going to shove the last remaining shard of the Cosmic Cube into his chest hole.
Meanwhile, inside the Cosmic Cube, now not amnesiac Steve Rogers comforts a frightened child (the misguided masses who voted for Donald Trump?) and encourages her that if she realizes her mistakes, she can still fight back and fix things.
Winter Soldier appears, calling out to Steve, leading him and Kobik to our world.
It’s Captain America versus Captain Hydra, and the fight is actually really well choreographed by McNiven. Stevil attempts to grab Thor’s hammer, which has been missing leading Jane Foster to sink further into her illness. While this has worked for him in the past, even during his tenure as Hydra Supreme Leader, this time he is found unworthy of wielding Mjolnir. When Captain America Steve reaches for the hammer, he IS found worthy and uses it to strike his Hydra self down.
Kobik quickly apologizes for “getting it wrong” and then fixes the history that she destroyed, setting everything back to normal. But, she leaves the wreckage caused by the war to remind them of stuff.
This is the part that TRULY pisses me off: Marvel Editorial obviously steps in and forces this “Vanishing Point” thing that sends, for some bullshit reason, just a fistful of the heroes present to meet their legacy counterparts, for some reason. It’s just awful. I literally rolled my eyes and said “Oh, God” out loud.
Black Widow is apparently dead, because someone always has to die in an event comic.
The Inhuman who pukes up things he visualizes is released from the internment camp and because Trump, I mean, Steve Rogers is no longer in power, his community now loves people again and helps him fix up his home, which was destroyed by racists. (Honestly, I kind of like Puke and would like to see him from time to time.)
Nick Spencer completely misses the mark in the final chapter of this not-so-epic event title. It’s just poor storytelling. Secret Empire as a series did have its moments. The premise itself had potential to be an epic story. It, instead, is yet another rehashing of Civil War with an insultingly obvious political agenda. And, the gamble of fisting that political agenda down the readers’ throats did not pay off on even the most basic of levels, whether you agree with them or don’t… or if you’re just sick to death of hearing about it, like myself. I would honestly not have minded it had it been remotely thought provoking, unique or inspired. It is none of these things.
Steve McNiven’s artwork is gorgeous, as usual. It is the one redeeming quality to this completely shite story. Cool moments, and they are very few here: Old Man Logan and Carol Danvers calling Steve Rogers out on his bullshit leading to Hawkeye assembling the Avengers, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Champions, Defenders and more into battle. The TRUE Steve Rogers standing up to his Hydra counterpart. The scene with Thor’s hammer. The truly, outstandingly bad: The Vanishing Point nonsense. The forced political agenda. The obviously mandated death of Black Widow. Marvel has promised that this will be their last event series for a while. I sincerely hope that’s not fake news.