Monday, May 22, 2017

Secret Empire #2 Review - Marvel Monday

Secret Empire #2

Writer: Nick Spencer
Art Team: Andrea Sorrentino & Rod Reis
Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Cover Price: $4.99

More like Secret Bore-pire

What cha’ gonna do Brother, when Captain America and his Hydra Empire comes gunning for you (imagine this being said in your best Hulk Hogan voice)?!? Well after issue #1’s cliffhanger for Secret Empire we’re about to find out, because our heroes in the ‘Resistance’ have just been lambasted in Las Vegas, and now have to dig themselves and others out of the rubble and come up with a plan of attack.  A hero takes a stand drawing a line in the preverbal sand so to speak in issue #2 here, so does it all become worth it to start investing in Secret Empire now? Come Hail Hydra with me and read more inside to find out.  

As I mentioned this event picks up where issue #1 left off, with Las Vegas left in ruins, after the Hydra Empire sent its ‘big dogs’ to lay the smack down on that hero ass. The Champions and the other Resistance members do their best to help who has survived the best they can muster but everyone knows the situation is bad.

Back in New York we learn some more information about the Dark Force dimension … mainly that the people inside are becoming complete savages, the conditions are horrible, medicine and food is becoming harder to come by the day, and the heroes are running out of steam trying to keep up with the constant demand on them. Most importantly the Dark Force’s only light source, Dagger, is running out of energy trying to provide all the light for people here as often as she can. We flash to scene with Kingpin, who is throwing his weight around this Dark Force dimension trying to capitalize on the misfortune anyway he possibly can, despite rescuing some church going folk.  

In the real world again, back in Vegas, our heroes discuss the implications of the latest bombshell to strike headquarters, which is a disk delivered to them in the previous issue that contains a message from Rick Jones. Prior to his death via firing squad he was able to hack the Hydra systems, his message fills all the heroes in on the REAL events that have changed reality.  This news however only further splinters the heroes in the Resistance into two groups which seem to be forming as the story progresses including Black Widow, who wants Steve put down, and another one led by Hawkeye/A.I. Iron-Man, who want to hunt down scattered Cosmic Cube fragments to solve the problem.

At one point Steve Rodgers and Baron Zero discuss some inner workings of Hydra and we discover as a reader maybe Steve isn’t so gun-ho and behind all this senseless killing to begin with after all, just a figure head for it, which really isnt a much better position to be in with all honesty.  We find out despite how it looks on the outside Hydra isn’t running as the well-oiled machine it wants/appears to be as of yet.  

There’s not a whole lot that really goes down this issue other than a lot of talking, setting up future developments of the event for later, plus also setting up the soon to be released event related spin-off mini-series.  This really felt like a rather frivolous issue until the last 5 pages or so where we find out what heroes have decided to take which side of the battle while getting a strange cliffhanger ending.  The cliff hanger takes place with a totally different art style involving a Woman running through the woods from the Serpent Society before being saved by a sexy bearded-man claiming his name is Steve Rodgers.  Say What???!!!!

Overall the way this event has been paced, revealing bits and pieces of what coming ever so slowly, has been killing my interest in the future of the event as a whole. If you’re going to write a story about Captain America being the bad guy you have to go full tilt, but instead Nick Spencer does a lot of pussy footing around the issue, giving Cap outs for every action Hydra has taken, despite being a “figure head” for them.  Insert clever saying about “can’t have your cake and eat it too” here. That’s just not an interesting twist to the book, and currently if you ask me, between the final reveal, and Cap really truly having issues buying into Hydra, this book is murdering any hope I have for this ultimately becoming an interesting story instead of just another in long line of event books.

The art by Sorrentino is a highlight of the issue, in my opinion, but I do know his unique style isn’t for everybody and I wonder if it’s a good fit for a mainstream event titles really, I guess sales will tell. There were a few points it was difficult to tell what order to read the panels in but a little not so hard work for the reader goes a long way in that regard.

Bits and Pieces

Overall I’m just not in love with the story here, and committed to paying $4.99 repeatedly multiple times per month, for another over long event comic book series from Marvel again. I wish Nick Spencer would pick up the pace and stop relying on shock value to tell this story because the attention its drawing right now isnt worth it. If you’re a fan of Sorrentino’s art style, that is where most of your enjoyment will be found in this issue.


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