Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Secret Empire Issue #10 – August 2017 (Marvel Comics)

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TITLE: Secret Empire Issue #10

YEAR: August 2017

COMPANY: Marvel Comics

Writer: Nick Spencer 

Pencils: Steve McNiven

Inks: Jay Leisten

Colors: Matthew Wilson

Additional Art: Rod Reise, David Marquez, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov, Ron Lim

Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics limited series event for the first half of 2017 is “Secret Empire” in which Captain America has been transformed into a sleeper agent loyal to Hydra and helping Hydra become the main world-power.

The series is connected to the 2016 limited crossover series “Avengers: Standoff!” in which Captain America was transformed into his “former” self by Kobik and reverted to a 90-year-old man to a young fit adult.  And Red Skull altering Cap’s memories to make him a HYDRA agent and bring down the American government and usurp HYDRA as the main world-power.

As the world has fallen under HYDRA’s control and the superheroes trying to fight back to regain control.

With issue #10, Captain America (HYDRA) is planning to use the Cosmic Cube to restore the world and make it into something that will be better and stronger, free of all weakness and corruption.

As the Avengers try to fight back, because of his godlike powers due to the Cosmic Cube, he makes the heroes disappear.

Meanwhile, Sam Wilson (as the new Captain America) plans to give the final shard, bend the knee and join HYDRA.  But the evil Captain America doesn’t know that inside that shard is Ant Man and Bucky hope to go inside Captain America and put back the pieces of Kobik and bring the real Steve Rogers back.

Meanwhile, Steve Rogers reaches out to Kobik and she admits that she thought what she did was make everything better but it turned out for the worse and now the evil Steve Rogers is too strong.  But the good Steve Rogers tells her that they must fight back and when Bucky calls out, he manages to pull out Kobik who reverts the world as it was.

And coming out of the portal is the real Captain America and as it is being televised, everyone around the world watches the original Captain America fight the evil Captain America (without the Cosmic Cube power) and thus, the original Captain America is back and the world is still messed up as Kobik left it as a remembrance of what transpired and how the world must rebuild.

I’m going to be perfectly honest, since I have not read these newer Marvel Comics until recently, nor have I read what changes these characters gone through until I looked them up online, the first thing that came into my head was…what is up with these mini-series featuring Marvel superheroes going against each other.  Sure, “Civil War” and “Civil War II” was fascinating but for me, I could never see Captain America being evil, nor do I see him being easily manipulated by the Red Skull.  Nor would I ever see HYDRA bringing the American government down to its knees.

While I’m glad to see Captain America back and while I enjoyed the artwork, if this issue was the conclusion of “Secret Empire”, my feeling would be…”is that it?”.

I suppose I expect a lot from crossovers but perhaps I’m too old school and I still feel the original “Secret Wars” to be the best Marvel Comics limited series ever created.

Not to say that “Secret Empire” sucked, I just feel that issue #10 was…effete.


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