Secret Empire #9
Hello there my fellow 901 nerds! I am thankful for the guys at Nerd901 for posting my first review and I hope somebody out there picked up Mister Miracle #1 because of it. In the coming weeks, I will be experimenting with formats and titles as I determine what exactly I am doing here. This week I am discussing Secret Empire 9.
In case you have been living under a rock or had your memory altered by the Cosmic Cube, Nick Spencer turned the comic world upside down last year when he launched the Hydra Captain America storyline. Many comic fans’ responses were virulent at the idea of Steve Rogers being a secret agent of Hydra. Certainly, Spencer was using this story as a commentary on the turbulent political environment sweeping our nation. While I understood their grievances, I was certainly intrigued by the concept and how well it could be executed. In a nutshell, Kobik altered Steve’s reality and memories. During the last year, Spencer crafted the tale of Captain America’s ascension as the most powerful man in the United States through manipulation and betrayal of those closest to him. When Secret Empire launched earlier this year, Hydra controlled the United States and had defeated Marvel’s greatest heroes. Over the course of the series, heroes have sacrificed themselves to turn the tide against Rogers, now the Hydra Supreme Leader. In an effort to remain spoiler free, I will not divulge important elements of the series so far.
As we start issue 9, the heroes of the Marvel Universe are launching their final battle against Hydra. If they fail, Hydra will win this war and have permanent control over the United States and, quite possibly, the world. Sam Wilson has united a group of Avengers to bring down Steve and free the other captured heroes. Rogers is close to gaining control of a weapon to achieve the ultimate victory. This being the penultimate issue, all the pieces are being moved into position.
Overall, I enjoyed this issue. I wanted to love it, but there are a few flaws. The art continues to be inconsistent and bad in some places. With multiple artists penciling the title, it creates a clash of styles. While some of the variation is needed as a storytelling device, there is a lack of detail in several panels that diminishes the quality of the story. A couple of key moments could have been given a few extra panels to add depth to characters and create emotional resonance. Another minor complaint is the humor, at times, fills out of place. Too much levity in key moments diminishes the dramatic impact of what’s happening. That being said, there are some very cool moments. Black Panther and Zemo steal the show in my opinion. They have an exchange, full of symbolism, near the beginning of the book that rewards readers in the final moments of the book. This issue does a tremendous job of planting seeds for Marvel Legacy and preparing for the series finale featuring the climactic battle between Marvel’s finest and Steve Rogers. Thankfully, we will not have long to wait as issue 10 hits the shop next week!
- Marvel: Daredevil 25, Generations Unworthy Thor and Mighty Thor#1
- DC: Action #986, Flash #29, Hal Jordan and Green Lantern Corps #27
- Image: Black Magick #7, Saga #46
-Justin Tremor, @901geek