SECRET EMPIRE #5
Marvel Comics is swinging for the fences with the release of SECRET EMPIRE #5 by Nick Spencer, Andrea Sorrentino, and Rod Reis. Things are heating up in the quest to track down the remaining fragments of the cosmic cube. Both Steve Rodgers Hydra team and Iron Man’s Avengers are running into road blocks at every turn. Black Panther will not give up his fragment to either side and the mutant community has embraced complacency now that they have found peace in Tian. Meanwhile Black Widow is making ingresses into Hydra by convincing Viper that her own selfish desire for power should overshadow her loyalty to Captain America. But Cap has two aces up his sleeve, a secret agent inside the Avengers and a HUGE SPOILER waiting to be unleashed.
Week after week I praise the hell out of this event and this week will be more of the same. The quest to get the fragments takes a very welcome, and unexpected, turn when old friends become uncooperative conscientious objectors. Both sides of the conflict are beginning to fragment as long time allies betray their cause and harsh truths are revealed. Nick Spencer is writing a story that is not only epic is scale and consequence but also full of genuinely moving character drama. Black Widows endangerment of children, Mockingbird’s betrayal, Beasts complacency, Iron Man’s lies, Black Panther’s isolationism, and Viper’s lust for power are all very real and flesh out the slow times between the action.
Once again the art from Andrea Sorrentino takes center stage and it is amazing to look at. Each page and panel is rich with detail and subtlety. There are entire sequences with no dialogue but the art speaks volumes in regards to the emotion and severity of the situation. The use of color, especially the heavy use of red, really works to sell the drama of the moment and the sense of dread that this newly powerful Hydra imposes on the heroes and the world. SECRET EMPIRE #5 continues the trend of fantastic words and art that has been the hallmark of this event since the beginning. Any and all comic book fans should be picking up this series. With all the said I cannot help but comment on the last page so this is your spoiler warning, scroll down if you want to read more…
HULK!!! It did not take long but it looks as though Bruce Banner is not so dead after all and that Cap is going to use him as a weapon to finally crush whats left of the Avengers. The last page will leave you on the edge of your seat. Issue #6 cannot come soon enough!