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  1. #1
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    Default Secret Empire #0 Review/SPOILERS

    There are days in our own history that forever live in infamy - Pearl Harbor, the bombing of Hiroshima, 9/11. Days when the world suffered a seismic shift. The Marvel Universe endures a day such as that in the #0 issue of Secret Empire. This is where all the story threads that have been building for months in the pages of Steve Rogers: Captain America as well as Sam Wilson: Captain America, Uncanny Avengers and Thunderbolts all come to a head. This is where the secret readers have known for months is exposed to the MU at large. Steve Rogers, the world's most trusted man, is working for Hydra.

    Comic stories are often hyped with the promise that "nothing will ever be the same" but that promise could be honestly made about this issue. It's been said that Steve Rogers is the greatest strategist in the MU and he proves it in this issue, catching the entire planet and the entire superhero community off-guard.

    This is a very thick issue, packed with incidents, so I'm frankly not even going to try and summarize it in any detail.

    Spoilers below...

    In short, Steve has orchestrated a three-pronged attack - the Chitauri are invading from space, necessitating the involvement of Carol and the Alpha Flight team; in New York, all the former inmates of Pleasant Hill are attacking, bringing the street level heroes of NYC out to battle them; and Hydra has taken over the capital city of Sokovia, threatening to unleash Sokovia's small but devastating stockpile of nuclear weapons on European targets unless S.H.I.E.L.D. acknowledges the legitimacy of Hydra's new regime. All these incidents are stretching the resources of S.H.I.E.L.D. and every member of the superhero community to their limit - which is what Steve wants. Everybody is playing the part that he's mapped out for them.

    When he eventually turns his cards over, it's a punch to the gut. Even knowing that this was what it would all come to, it's a hard moment to take as characters like Sharon Carter have to process what's happened to them and the sense of shock and betrayal they feel is palatable. This is an unprecedented moment.

    Perhaps my favorite line is Steve stone cold words to Carol when the mask is off and the charade is over:

    "Goodbye Carol. This will be the last time we ever speak."

    To address the biggest question some might have - I believe it's absolutely clear that reality itself was never changed and that we're still dealing with Steve's altered memories. In Steve's new memories, the idea is implanted back in 1945 that his life in service of Democracy was the fake all along - an illusion created thanks to the Allies' use of the Cosmic Cube - and that his new memories of Hydra is the "truth" that's been reawakened in him.

    But this is just the way that Kobik has made all this plausible in Steve's mind, the way that he can reconcile the memories of two realities. Because we're seeing this from Steve's perception, some might wonder themselves whether if reality has been altered as he believes but, no, I'm certain that's not the case. This is all just so we can understand why Steve believes what he does - not to make us question the established reality of the MU.

    One question that I had here was about the involvement of Iron Man. We see Tony in his classic armor working alongside Riri Williams and I'm assuming that this is just Tony's A.I. inhabiting an armor but I'd like some confirmation on this. Either in story eventually or in an interview with Spencer or Brevoort. It's cool to have him in the issue - I'd just like to know for certain what "Tony" we're dealing with here.

    Oh, and by the way - we find out who Hydra Bob really is here. Didn't see it coming. But it's cool.

    By the end of this issue, Steve has won. He out-planned everyone and, despite the occasional need to adjust along the way, executed those plans to perfection.

    It's a great start to the series and it definitely puts the superhero community in one of the toughest positions that it's ever been in. Taking on the likes of Thanos or Ultron is one thing. But how do you beat someone who's just better at winning than anyone else? Cap is the guy who always finds a way. How do you out think and out fight that person? And how is Steve ever going to be redeemed after putting the world under his rule and betraying everyone around him?

    ...To Be Continued!

  2. #2

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    I was going to sit this event out, but I'm glad I didn't. I enjoyed this issue, it's a set up to what might be a really good event.

    I'm assuming that's Stark's AI as well, but I'm honestly not up to speed with all that.

  3. #3

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    Out of all the recent MU events, this is the MU event I'm probably gonna remember for a very, very long time.

    That said, very good start. I'm very curious on how all of this will end, especially as far as Steve is concerned.
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  4. #4
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    Wait Bob was in this? We can actually have a comical character like him pop up in this event? Sign me up if we get more Bob (& you know......Villains in general)

  5. #5
    Veteran Member rui no onna's Avatar
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    PSA Reading Order:

    Thunderbolts #12
    Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
    Secret Empire #0
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  6. #6
    Rookie Member Kintor's Avatar
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    I think that #0 was a great start to this event. I really enjoyed every moment of seeing Captain America's plan being set in motion. There's just something satisfying about those gotcha moments when the heroes in space and New York start to realise just exactly how screwed they are now that Hydra is taking over. Seeing the heroes being so utterly defeated feels like payback for all the stupidity they've inflicted on the Marvel Universe.

    Still, I'm unsure what to make of that retro Iron Man suit claiming to be Tony Stark. It could just be that Tony AI controlling the suit but then why go with such an obviously outdated version of the Iron Man armour? I seriously think that this might the 'Legacy Tony Stark' intended for Generations/Legacy but he's somehow shown up early for Secret Empire.

    Hopefully there won't be a 'Legacy Steve Rogers' showing in the middle of Secret Empire, that'd just make things needlessly complicated...

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Seren's Avatar
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    Gonna alter that Reading Order PSA just slightly Rui no onna:

    Thunderbolts #12
    US Avengers #5
    Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
    Secret Empire #0

    The rest of the Reading order can be found here
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rui no onna View Post
    PSA Reading Order:

    Thunderbolts #12
    Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
    Secret Empire #0
    Don't forget US Avenger, so the order is;

    US Avengers #5
    Thunderbolts #12
    Steve Rogers #16
    Secret Empire #0

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ1107 View Post
    Wait Bob was in this? We can actually have a comical character like him pop up in this event? Sign me up if we get more Bob (& you know......Villains in general)
    Bob's not so comical anymore. And he's not exactly "Bob", either. His true identity has been awakened but I won't spoil what mystery villain Bob really is.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member rui no onna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZuLuLu View Post
    Don't forget US Avenger, so the order is;

    US Avengers #5
    Thunderbolts #12
    Steve Rogers #16
    Secret Empire #0
    Lol, I skipped U.S.Avengers. I don't plan on buying all the tie-ins otherwise, it'll get super expensive. I do buy other comics aside from Marvel.

    Mind, Marvel has been quite accommodating by cancelling Black Widow, Elektra, Gamora and Thunderbolts.
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  11. #11
    Veteran Member Panfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kintor View Post

    Still, I'm unsure what to make of that retro Iron Man suit claiming to be Tony Stark. It could just be that Tony AI controlling the suit but then why go with such an obviously outdated version of the Iron Man armour? I seriously think that this might the 'Legacy Tony Stark' intended for Generations/Legacy but he's somehow shown up early for Secret Empire.
    They probably went with that armor since it's the most icon version, it wouldn't be a great idea to use his most recent armor since visually it's nearly identical to Riri's armor. It probably is the AI Tony, though that makes having the eyes drawn strange.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Inversed's Avatar
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    Excellent recap/review Prof. Warren. Couldn't of said it better myself. Really enjoyed this issue, finally seeing all the pieces come together and how Cap has laid out this elaborate chess game is so satisfying. Can't wait to see what happens next.

    And yes I do agree with you on the flashback all just being in Steve's changed memories, and I hope they do clarify that's A.I. Tony in the Iron Man suit, cause it was a little confusing with them acting like this was just the regular Tony.
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  13. #13
    Veteran Member Ianbarreilles's Avatar
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    I hope Carol punishes Steve at the end of the story she needs to put him in his place for trying to manipulate her and getting people killed then say YAS QUEEN!

    Controversial opinion but Steve got more people killed since standoff ended then Carol ever did during civil war ii I don't know why I'm turning this into a Carol was right argument but I am lol.

  14. #14
    Veteran Member Ianbarreilles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panfoot View Post
    They probably went with that armor since it's the most icon version, it wouldn't be a great idea to use his most recent armor since visually it's nearly identical to Riri's armor. It probably is the AI Tony, though that makes having the eyes drawn strange.
    I think it is ai tony whose becoming even more self aware.

  15. #15
    Epic Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianbarreilles View Post
    I hope Carol punishes Steve at the end of the story she needs to put him in his place for trying to manipulate her and getting people killed then say YAS QUEEN!

    Controversial opinion but Steve got more people killed since standoff ended then Carol ever did during civil war ii I don't know why I'm turning this into a Carol was right argument but I am lol.
    I'm sure plenty of people will be mad at Steve, but really it's not his fault. He didn't ask to be manipuled by a cosmic cube. He's a victim too.

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