Welcome back to The Man In The HYDRA Castle, Multiversity Comics’ ongoing recap for “Secret Empire.” Apologies for the huge delay on this one, stuff in my life happened. Per usual, spoilers abound.
Last time on “Secret Empire”, HYDRA Cap sent himself and everyone else in HYDRA on a fetch quest to find the seven Chaos Emeralds and restore the Cosmic Cube so they can all Make Marvel Great Again. Hawkeye tried to tell Black Widow she couldn’t kill Cap and she ducked him so hard that she got the Champions to come with her. Captain Marvel and friends are still trapped in space, New York is still a demonic hellhole covered in shadow AKA New York and some dude named Steve showed up to help a lady in a field.
The big fallout from the last “Secret Empire” was the reappearance of Good Steve Rogers who shows up to save some unnamed girl from the Serpent Society. Steve’s looking for his way home and in this issue has a bunch of vague conversations with the girl until she dies from the lingering effects hella bitten by snake people. Also, there’s a solid chance that she’s Steve’s memory of his dying mom.
So Good Steve is just the remnants of the old Captain America in HYDRA Cap’s brain right? It’d be awesome if there was a big twist in “Secret Empire” that didn’t proceed to immediately back down from the stakes it’s set up and end up more confusing than before. Captain America was HYDRA all along! Because the Red Skull befriended a little girl that was also the Cosmic Cube. The real Captain America still exists! In the mind of the new evil one. The Nazis won World War II and the Allies were cowards who stole reality! Actually I’m glad we’ve accepted that one as delusional rambling.
Over in space, the Guardians of the Galaxy with the most toy deals are doing what they do best.
After a speech where Star-Lord begs the leaders of the universe’s most powerful empires for help. After hearing that humanity trapped itself under a bubble, the space emperors do a big ol’ sigh of relief at humanity neutralizing itself as a threat and run off Star-Lord, Rocket, and Baby Groot. This isn’t great news for Captain AMrvel and her space army who end up fighting another wave of Cthuari. Carol laments that th only person who could save them right now is the comatose Quasar, which is the only time anyone has said that about any Quasar ever.
HYDRA’s search for the seven Holy Corpse Parts leads his strike team led by Baron Zemo into Atlantis. Here, they quickly find that the Cosmic Cube fragment they were looking for is a decoy. Understandably frustrated, HDYRA levels Namor’s temples and kills his high priests which will likely lead to war. This is my favorite scene in the issue for two reasons. First off, Namor got brought back to life some time when I wasn’t looking. Second off, Namor’s reaction to everything Steve is doing might be the only person of “Secret Empire” I’m looking forward to. Also, Taskmaster and Doctor Octopus are so cute together.
Up in Canada, Sam Wilson is still mad at Scott Lang for bringing the Avengers to his doorstep after Wilson said he was done being Captain America to focus on smuggling people out of the country. After the AI Tony Stark (who has a physical body?) tells Sam that Steve can potentially be saved by restoring the Cosmic Cube, he agrees to get them to Brazil where the first fragment is. That also attracts the interest of a man who has been tracking this group of Avengers for some time now.
Remember what I said about turning around and not having any idea what happened to Namor? Triply so for Hank Pym.
Speaking of Pym, his daughter Nadia and the rest of the Champions are still working with Black Widow who has gone to Superior Foes of Spider-Man standout Boomerang for help in getting info on Steve’s whereabouts. Natalya returns to base and finds that the Champions are still unwilling to kill, even in their training scenarios. Everyone except Miles who’s seen that vision of him with a dead Cap and knows where this is going. It also becomes clear that Balck Widow and the Champions have someone on their tail, as Boomerang finds out when he gets paid a visit.Continued below
I’m not mad. I’m not mad at all.
If I were mad I’d write about how Punisher, a guy whose entire MO is killing the kind of scumbags that HYDRA represents. If I were super mad, I’d write about how this is another one of those “obvious swerves” that I’m not supposed to buy into. Of course Steve isn’t going to be HYDRA forever. Of course Punisher’s probably faking loyalty to HYDRA so he can get close and get Steve. If I were fuming, I would talk about there’s also the worse possibility of Frank joining up with HYDRA so he can use the cosmic cube to restore his family.
But i’m not mad. I’m not mad at all.