SECRET EMPIRE #2
The world continues to be in dire straights after a massive Hydra attack on Las Vegas in SECRET EMPIRE #2 from Marvel Comics. Written by Nick Spencer this issue picks up right where number one left off with the remaining heroes of Earth attempting to save civilians from the devastation in Las Vegas while also attempting to maintain any sense of hope. With the intel obtained from Rick Jones concerning the cosmic cube and the knowledge that Steve Rogers has been altered by it the heroes begin to fracture as a group. Natasha and the Champions set off to confront Steve directly, Stark’s AI is busy hunting for the cube fragments, and Mockingbird leads a team north to the border to find a long lost ally.
I think Pleasant Hill fell rather flat and Civil War II did not live up to expectations, but Nick Spencer is showing the world that Marvel can still pump out a killer cross over event. Secret Empire is building on almost two years of work and it is paying off in spades. The connections to the previous mentioned events are working out well and feel like a natural evolution of the story. The stakes finally feel high and using Cap as the antagonist while still making him somewhat sympathetic is a stroke of sheer genius. The only fault in this issue is that not much happens on a large scale and most of the book seems to be setting up sub plots that will be fleshed out in other tie in comics.
Andrea Sorrentino continues to deliver amazing art with a true talent when it comes to using panels to tell a story without words. The placement of the panels as it ties into the action or emotion of a scene is really something to behold. The use of red in certain panels to convey death or dread is great and allows the art to speak for itself. This is a very solid issue that builds the story and the world though it does loose a little bit of momentum coming out of the climatic end to issue number one. And for all the comic fans freaking out on twitter and yelling at Nick Spencer for making Cap a nazi… just flip to the last page of this issue and take a deep sigh of relief.