Written by Chris Micieli
Cover Rank: 9/10
Marvel is really killing it with the Secret Empire covers and issue #3 nails it as well. So far every issue is loaded from top to bottom with an action sequence that makes the reader sit in awe and take every corner of the page in. The focal point of issue #3 is Captain Marvel doing what she’s been doing the entire series, fighting off the horde. It might be a small part of the actual issue but the series is so full of small parts that make up how massive the scope of Secret Empire really is.
Best Variant Issue: 6/10
Andrea Sorrentino issue. I wasn’t blown away by any variant issue and the one done by Sorrentino is easily the best other than the normal cover.
What I Like
The sheer size of everything going on within Secret Empire is one that is not normally taken on by a comic book. We usually see a double sized issue #1 followed by your normal sized issues. That’s simply impossible with Secret Empire unless Marvel wanted to make this a 20+ issue run. I love having to read the issue over again finding details I might have missed before.
The art style of Secret Empire is fantastic. Hydra are the bad guys so a bright, vibrant upbeat feeling is not needed when telling the story. The pages have a somber feel to it and almost have a greyscale overtone.
That is except for the alternate Steve Rogers that makes another appearance. We still don’t know who this Steve is or where he is. Seeing how much the art style shifts when this portion of the story is told makes me feel it is a dream state, and this Steve Rogers is the Steve that has been suppressed deep down in his soul looking for a way out.
The race for the shards continues and Steve thinking he had a leg up on the location of these shards takes us to the central part of the issue. He sends a team to the city of Atlantis to recover a shard only to find out it’s a fake. Steve has been duped, so instead of relying on his Intel for the mission to the next shard he takes it into his own hands, and we get one killer ending.
What I didn’t like
Because so much is going on in so many different places, some story lines get only a page. They stuff as much of the story as possible into that page, but it definitely leaves you wanting more. Nevertheless, you gain a real appreciation for just how large this war is and how many characters it is effecting.
I’ll leave the ending to the ending section, and because so much of the issue is understandably very serious, a scene with Star Lord, Groot and Rocket gives us some comic relief to the issue. The three Guardians are trapped in space and they are standing before various space Gods and Kings asking for their help back on Earth to defeat Hydra. Star Lord gives the best speech possible and at the end rather than join in assisting to defeat Hydra, these various Gods let out a “Hail Hydra” shout of their own and start firing upon the Guardians.
People were shocked at the end of issue #2 with the reveal of another Steve Rogers, with good reason. But being the Punisher fan that I am, this ending left me with my jaw wide open. Frank Castle himself is the latest to join the force of Hydra. That Punisher logo! Where do I get the shirt??
What I’m Looking Forward To
There is so much going on I just want the story to keep progressing. The good forces seem divided in how they want to take down Steve, and they are all going off on their own to do so. So seeing where they all wind up is of great interest. To this point we really don’t get the impression that Hydra is in any danger, which is why I feel that alternate Rogers is within. The only thing that can defeat Steve Rogers is himself.