Written by Chris Micieli
Cover Rank: 10/10
We’ve seen this image for months now, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. Marvel is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us with this cover and if there was any question that this is going to be a massive series covering just about every corner of the Marvel universe they are answered in spades. The focal point, a morphed face of Captain America from Steve Rogers to a evil skull, is an image that will be forever burned in readers minds. It will be difficult to unseat this as the best cover of the year.
Best Variant Issue: 10/10
Todd Nauck Party Cover. Top to bottom total mayhem. It’s a sight to see. You could stare at this cover for quite some time sorting out all the awesomeness they have crammed into one cover.
Side note, there are a handful of variants for Secret Empire #1 and picking out one is next to impossible. Check them all out.
What I Like:
We have finally arrived to the event of the year, in the Marvel Universe anyway, and we couldn’t ask for a better start. The events of issue #0 are a few months old now. Which is a great way to start the series. If we thought this was going to be a series about the good guys battling the bad guys to prevent a Hydra takeover, think again. Hydra has officially taken over and we really get the sense they have already changed the world in their favor. Our heroes are already on the defensive and writer Nick Spencer really does a great job giving us the sense that Hydra is all powerful and that the good guys are already on their heels.
Also, it’s great to see Captain America still struggling with his decisions as the leader of Hydra. Just read what’s in the media and you would think Steve Rogers is in total control of himself. He’s not. He’s still a man struggling with good and evil, and while his senses pull him towards what he believes is right (the Hydra way) he’s still struggling internally with some of the bigger tasks placed before him.
What I didn’t like:
Move along. Nothing to see here. It’s all good.
Much like the Civil War II series, we are introduced to a new character by the name of Rayshaun Lucas, Shaun for short. Unlike Ulysses in Civil War II, Shaun has no special powers. He’s just a kid who is on the side of the good guys, and he has some information to give them that was given to him by Rick Jones, who is currently sitting in a cell having been placed there by Captain America himself. The information on the flash drive is not the best moment because we don’t know what’s on it in this issue, but those difficult decisions I mentioned earlier that Rogers needed to make comes front and center here. It makes you stop reading for a few minutes.
Oh, and the throwing up a lunch box scene was pretty cool too.
The decision made by Rogers proves that even though he’s struggling internally, he’s all in with what Hydra represents. He’s in full command and he’s about to show the world how much in control he really is.
What I’m Looking Forward To:
Writer Nick Spencer does an amazing job giving us the impression that the good guys have an uphill battle the size of Mount Everest ahead of them. Just exactly how they turn the tide, if at all, will be exciting to see. The heroes are so much in defeat that when Tony Stark is given the flash drive to the information that could turn the tide, he throws it in a pile that he’ll get to later and goes back to work on trying to get the air conditioning working at the hideout they currently live in.