Following several teasers, ABC has unveiled the plan for Marvel Comics’ newest event, Secret Empire. After Hydra sleeper agent Captain America’s machinations become public, in what Marvel Senior VP Tom Brevoort describes as “a Watergate moment,” Marvel’s other heroes mobilize to stop him.
“Steve has been kind of lining his dominoes up around the Marvel Universe to be able to make his move and bring about a Hydra revolution, a takeover. At the point of Secret Empire, they are ready to go. That’s the moment we hit as we go in,” said Brevoort.
Nick Spencer, who initiated Steve Rogers’ turn last year, will lead Secret Empire with a rotating team of artists, including Steve McNiven, Andrea Sorrentino, Leinil Yu, and Daniel Acuna. While Mark Brooks is set to illustrate the series’ primary covers.
Since the revelation of Steve Rogers’ sleeper status in Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016), the Marvel hero has been shown orchestrating events to equip Hydra for world domination. Rogers was revealed to have caused many of the events within Civil War II, including the murder of Bruce Banner.
“We are done with the covert portion, the buildup portion of the program, Secret Empire is the pyrotechnics, the big Michael Bay blockbuster, huge colossal struggles and battles across the Marvel Universe, with all of our key characters and players taking on a big role,” added Brevoort.
This new event arrives at a time where all of the founding Avengers – except semi-retired Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp) – are either dead, incapacitated, or off the board. Under the advent of “Divided We Stand” from last year, a newer crop of heroes has become front-and-center of the Marvel Universe. Secret Empire is set to feature all of Marvel's major teams and families, including the Avengers, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool, the Champions, and the Defenders.
The event kicks off in April with Secret Empire #0, which Brevoort frames as “the worst day of the Marvel Universe.”
“Where not one, not two, but three separate events break out all at once. Cap, as head of SHIELD, is able to mobilize forces to all three of those situations. And those three situations represent Hydra's first move. It comes off the blocks explosively right from the get-go,” concluded Brevoort.
Secret Empire is scheduled to run for nine issues, culminating in an August finale.