Welcome back to The Man in the HYDRA Castle, Multiversity Comics’s ongoing recap of Marvel’s “Secret Empire” storyline. As always, spoilers abound.
Last time on “Secret Empire”…
Black Widow fucked up her Children’s Crusade when Captain America clocked her in the neck with his shield and killed her. Whoops. Miles Morales then proceeded to beat the crap out of Steve, fulfilling that prophecy from “Civil War II” until the last minute where he decided he couldn’t be a killer. Steve took advantage, imprisoned the Champions, and also threw Sharon Carter in jail after she tried and failed to kill him. Elsewhere, New York City is still covered in shadows caused by a dude actually named Blackout, all the cosmic heroes are stuck in orbit being attacked by aliens, and we’re still waiting for that dreamvision version of Steve Rogers to take back his body. There’s also been the search for the remaining cosmic cube fragments, where whoever manages to assemble all the pieces first will be able to reshape the world in time for the next Marvel NOW! relaunch. That search took an, uh, interesting trip in “Captain America” #25.
Remember at the top of “Secret Empire” when we saw an Inhuman get arrested for voring a lunchbox? Well, Sam Wilson and Friends broke open an Inhuman concentration camp and met Barf, our favorite mouth-shaped hero whose deal is that he can barf up any item he visualizes in his head. Sam immediately holds up a cosmic shard, asks him to visualize it and…
I hate this series. Just full on despise it with no joy in my heart. We’ve spent eights issues on HYDRA steamrolling the heroes and the turn of the tide is a complete nobody who’s just going to vomit the final MacGuffin the Avengers need to fight back. It’s not even being used for any express purpose. The Avengers just watch the footage of Miles not killing Steve and conclude that the fight didn’t go as foretold because Steve was holding a cosmic cube piece that changed destiny. We’re not even putting the cosmic shards into some plot machine to make things better. We’re just strapping it onto Sam and hoping it helps his attack on HYDRA. How does that go?
Steve gets shot out of the sky but just as I’m ready to call this an Eight Issue Marvel Event, a bunch of good things happen at once. Doctor Strange sells the Sanctum Sanctorum to some gargoyles in exchange for a spell that will dismiss the shadows around Manhattan. Maria Hill sneaks into the prison after the Avengers and shoots Blackout which… stops the shadows. Uh, sorry, Stephen. Also, that new Quasar who spent huge chunks of this story being comatose is now no longer comatose. Cool.
Avril breaks open the wall around Earth allowing Alpha Flight to swoop down, find the Chitauri eggs Captain America has been hiding, and crush them so the Chituari will stop invading. I read that sentence back and just got super tired. With all of HYDRA’s debilitating attacks set back, all of Marvel’s heroes meet up for one last push against HYDRA. All of them.
Somehow all of them. And with that, we’re at the home stretch of “Secret Empire.” Will Steve Roger’s former friends be able to defeat the man they once called Captain America? Should they beat him will there be a way to reverse the damage he’s wrought? Will they be able to fix him? Or will Marvel’s heroes have to put down one of their be-
Oh, we’re just going to rewrite everything with that Little Girl Cosmic Cube character. Cool. Great. See you in two weeks.