"Secret Empire" is on the horizon, and Marvel Comics has wasted no time hyping their upcoming project. The publisher dropped a total of six new teasers, which all boast the project title, Steve Rogers' new shield and a brief description.
These short descriptions include the words "Guard," "Amaze," "Avenge," "Champion," "Defend" and "X-Citing." Notably, each one corresponds with a Marvel Comics title: "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Amazing Spider-Man," "Avengers," "Champions," "Defenders" and "X-Men." Though far from confirmed, it seems like "Secret Empire" will impact these titles, which suggests that the project will be a line-wide Marvel event.
As such, it’s fairly safe to assume it all points to it being an event story or title building on the recent events in Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz’s “Captain America: Steve Rogers” ongoing series, where it was revealed last year that Cap was a secret HYDRA agent all along due to rewritten comic book history. Following a series of recent twists and turns, Rogers appears to be poised to take sole control of Hydra, deposing the Red Skull as the head of the organization with the help of his lifelong friend, Baron Zemo.
A longtime fixture of Marvel Comics — since “Tales to Astonish” #81 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby — The Secret Empire is an subsidiary organization of Hydra, funded by the villainous group. Usually headed by a figure referred to as “Number One,” The Secret Empire has faced off numerous times against S.H.I.E.L.D. and several of Marvel’s heroes in recent years, including the Secret Avengers, Kate Bishop/Hawkeye, and, yes, Captain America. Whether this is the same Secret Empire, however, remains to be seen.
Steve Rogers shocked the world in May of 2016 when it was revealed that the stalwart icon of American patriotism was, in fact, a Hydra sleeper agent. Not only that, thanks to the reality-bending powers of a superpower child known as Kobik, the Marvel Universe’s very fabric was re-woven in such a way that Cap is, and has always been, a traitor. In short, he’s not brainwashed, he’s not a replacement — for all intents and purposes, Captain America is a terrorist.
Stay tuned to CBR for more on “Captain America: Steve Rogers,” the unfolding Secret Empire mystery, and more.