Welcome back to The Man in the HYDRA Castle, Multiversity Comics’ recap column for Marvel’s “Secret Empire” event. Apologies for the lateness on this column, a lot of real world stuff happened to me. Now that I’ve put all of my real world responsibilities aside, it’s time to write about how being a Nazi is, actually, a little more complicated than you might think.
Spoilers ahead, yadda yadda.
I’m going to start this column by going over the FCBD special where nothing really happened. All of Marvel’s heroes gasped in shocked as Cap led HYDRA’s invasion forces. “This can’t be! Steve is part of HYDRA?!” they all exclaimed, having not gone on Twitter since 2015. Vision also got hacked into serving HYDRA and Scarlet Witch had another breakdown because vague mental disorders are her secondary mutation. Inhumanation. Whatever. Also, Steve was still found worthy enough to lift Thor’s hammer even though he’s HYDRA and Odinson lost the right to wield the hammer because Nick Fury reminded him how awesome Gorr the God Butcher was. I think Nick Spencer’s just trying to get the world record for Twitter mentions at this point.
Over in “Secret Empire” #2, Black Widow and the Avengers are looking for survivors after Captain America sent HYDRA fleets to level Las Vegas. Natasha then takes her place as the only person with any sense in this comic.
But wait! There’s still a chance that there’s a little bit of the Steve we all used to know and love under the genocidal, concentration camp, single payer advocate Nazi Steve. Rick Jones sent some osthumous videos to the Avengers explains to them what happened to Steve. Including this amazing bit where Red Skull’s recruiting Kobik by reading her a HYDRA bedtime story.
As someone firmly on the “Punch Nazis” side of the discourse, Red Skull is and always will be the best. Miss you, Big Red.
Speaking of Nazis, Steve is acting all poo poo because Madame HYDRA is the one who ordered the attacks on Vegas, not Steve. Steve and new best friend Baron Zemo hash out Steve’s insecurities about the new HYDRA Empire which is pretty wild considering he spent a year and a half organizing a Chitauri invasion and throwing my favorite comic book character out of a plane. RIP, Union Jack. Also, they’re going after Kobik’s fragments so we can add a video game style subplot for the tie-ins to tackle.
Over in New York City, things aren’t going so hot for Netflix’s The Defenders.
Jessica Jones saves Iron Fist and Luke Cage from the shadow demons attacking New York City. Dagger is using her light powers to keep them away but when she becomes fatigued, the demons are free to let loose on New York once more. I don’t know what any of this means and I’m pretty sure it’s going to all get settled in a Doctor Strange tie-in so don’t worry about it.
Back in Vegas, Hawkeye still feels guilty about the idea of killing Steve considering that time he killed Bruce Banner last year. If there’s a way that Clint can save his friend without killing him and repeating the mistake that’s haunted him for a year, he’ll do it the hard way. Natasha doesn’t have any time for emotional baggage when Las Vegas is an actual smoking crater in the ground so she knocks out Clint and goes to her safehouse where someone’s waiting for her.
Miles, also saddled with dumb baggage from “Civil War II” is down to help Natashsa get Steve if it means he can stop worrying about that vision he had a year ago. The rest of the Champions join Miles, as Natasha now has her own army of angry millennials.
And that’s where we leave off this issue, with Natasha and the Champions out to get Steve, HYDRA looking for Kobik’s fragments, and New York City in peril. We’ll see you next month whe- Oh? There’s a couple more pages?Continued below
If HYDRA Cap was the turn, the fact that the real Steve Rogers has been missing this whole time is the goddamn prestige. I’ve spent hundreds of words writing about how weird it is for HYDRA Steve to still have some semblance of humanity even as he’s imprisoning Inhumans and locking all of his friends in space. We’ve spent months mulling over how Actually Fascism Is Complicated. And we had the back-up Captain America hanging out in the woods this whole time? Why bother trying to add humanity to HYDRA Cap when Real Cap was always going to swoop in and defeat what I assume is a copy of Cap that Kobik made. I was joking about Nick Spencer trying to get a record for Twitter mentions but I think that’s the truth. Nothing matters anymore. Nick Spencer is a god. Put that blurb on the hardcover.