When Nick Spencer started he Hydra Cap run I instantly dismissed it as a Stunt, now that I have finished the first issue of SECRET EMPIRE #1 from Marvel Comics I could not be happier to admit how wrong I was. This over sized issue hits the ground running with the world in a real mess. Captain Marvel is stuck in space between and energy field that surrounds the planet and an angry Chitauri invasion force while Dr Strange and many of the New York heroes are trapped in their own mystic energy bubble. Hydra has taken over and Steve Rogers is their supreme leader. Only the Champions and a small group of escaped heroes can stand in way of Hydra as they use there new power to squeeze the last drops of freedom out of America.
Nick Spencer has come up with an event book that finally feels relevant and new. So many were let down with Civil War II and this is a great redemption from Marvel. So many nice touches in this book that tie it in to things going on in our country today from the real to the absurd. Dr. Faustus speaking about new additions to fluoride in the drinking water and new chem trail combinations really made me smile. That combined with the idea of a fascist America where in things appear to be better on the surface is what really sells this as ‘what if?’ type scenario. Obviously Hydra are the real bad guys and in the end I am sure good will win the day but it is fun to see the Marvel universe painted in shades of gray. Caps conflicted nature is highlighted through the book. His change from the cosmic cube might have made him Hydra’s number one agent but there is still part of the old Captain America inside him and I am dying to see how that come to fruition in this series.
Steve McNiven’s art is just as good as you would want it to be. Large spectacle, great action, and fantastic character renderings are all here and this book is gorgeous cover to cover. I think Secret Empire is going to be the event book fans be talking about for years like we still talk about the first Civil War. The slow buildup has been organic and well founded and now it is time to see the payoff. Pick up issue number one and definitely put in your order for the entire series, this one is going to be a blast.