Secret Empire #1

Secret Empire #1

Event\Storyline: Secret Empire Writer: Nick Spender Artist: Steve McNiven Publisher: Marvel Comics Release Date: May 3, 2017 Cover Price: $4.99 Critic Reviews: 26 User Reviews: 55
7.3Critic Rating
7.9User Rating

+ Pull List

It's been building for months, across a bevy of titles! But now, the moment has arrived for Steve Rogers to step into the light and declare his allegiance to Hydra! How can the heroes of the Marvel Universe cope with this shattering betrayal by the most trusted figure among them? And what will this mean for the world? The map of the Marvel Universe changes in ways nobody will expect - TRUST THE SECRET EMPIRE!
Rated T+

  • 10
    Comic Crusaders - John Jones May 9, 2017

    Outstanding storytelling and flawless artwork seemingly a perfect comic book in my opinion. Read Full Review

  • 10
    We Got This Covered - Tom Bacon May 3, 2017

    Take note, everyone, as Marvel's Secret Empire #1 is exactly how you start a comic book event. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Superbromovies - Jordan Humphrey May 4, 2017

    Holy guacamole, that was an extroardinary book to read, Nick Spencer's writing fits this story incredibly well and featured many twists and turns, I truly can not wait to read the rest! Read Full Review

  • 9.8
    Comicsverse - Nadia Shammas May 3, 2017

    The team behind this book took a huge chance and it paid off. Lovingly crafted and obviously a passion project, this issue was worth the wait. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Kalem Lalonde May 3, 2017

    It comes at no surprise that after a stellar 0 issue, Secret Empire #1 is able to deliver on the promise of Captain America: Steve Rogers #1. After a year of fantastic build-up, Steve has taken over America and turned it into a fascist nation. This event is succeeding on the back of its brilliant lead character and unique world-building. Captain America’s hydra has taken over the Marvel line and you should not miss out. Marvel and Nick Spencer may actually deliver a fantastic event from beginning to end. What a breath of fresh air. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Fortress of Solitude - Rick Austin May 8, 2017

    The writing is intelligent and totally on point, while the great art conveys every moment impressively. No, this isn't Watchmen and never will be. But it isn't trying to be and it doesn't have to be. It just has to be a smart, compelling comic book. And Secret Empire #1 is. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Shoot The Breeze Comics - James Portis May 4, 2017

    Look. At the end of the day, This is a good book. No matter how you view the Captain Hydra situation, this is a very well built up, very well executed event that honestly has me confused and excited for more. For instance, finding out why Odinson, Scarlet Witch and Vision are aligned with Hydra will be a great discovery unveil. If you're a Marvel fan and have wondered if Secret Empire is worth your time then rejoice. It's compelling, confusing, and enjoyable for the comic reader with enough context to understand and enjoy it. Until issue 2 and the impending tie ins, I can honestly say, Hail Hydra. A new day has come. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    AiPT! - David Brooke May 3, 2017

    I'm a sucker for good character writing and this issue has it in spades. It also drops you into a new America, which makes for a fun catch up. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen May 3, 2017

    While the art in this issue isn't quite as consistent as it needs to be, in general Secret Empire is shaping up to be one of the rare crossover events that actually delivers on the hype. This opening chapter sets the stage well, establishing a drastically different Marvel Universe that's already feeling the influence of Hydra's reign. It offers a winning blend of character drama, superhero spectacle, and even significant humor to balance out the darker moments. If that balance can be maintained over the long haul, readers are in for a treat this summer. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Bleeding Cool - Lauren Sisselman May 25, 2017

    Overall, I'd say this is worth your while to pick up. I understand why so many people are against the book and the parallels it draws to what's currently going on in the world, so it certainly isn't for everyone. As someone who grew up endlessly learning about WWII-era history (thanks, Hebrew school!), I know that Hydra Cap makes people feel physically uncomfortable. But I am intrigued to see how it plays out for Marvel. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    PopMatters - Jack Fisher May 4, 2017

    Spencer and McNiven take a huge risk in Secret Empire #1, daring to make a conflict that involves fascists feel balanced. While that balance is somewhat fragile, it still works. It creates a story that feels compelling and dramatic. It won't make anyone pro-fascist, but it will offer plenty of intrigue. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    We The Nerdy - Alexander Handziuk May 5, 2017

    Secret Empire #1 is a great start to the event, but one that is overshadowed by a lack of overall tension and outward factors. That being said Nick Spencer creates an engaging and harrowing Hydra led America, while also providing Steve Rogers with some of the finest characterization he's seen in years. I truly hope that this series doesn't end how I'm expecting it too, but even if it does, at least the journey will be an engaging one. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Beat - Alexander Jones May 3, 2017

    Secret Empire delivers as Spencer and McNiven devote the time and attention to their craft to deliver on the absurd premise baked within this massive crossover. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Outright Geekery - Gaumer May 5, 2017

    The #0 issue was spectacular and this #1 followup was a well-written, beautifully drawn examination of what would happen if our greatest hero became our biggest threat. There's a not-so-subtle real-world angle to the entire thing, as well, and while that aspect of the story rings true throughout our actual history, it's impossible not to see current politics between the lines. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    GWW - Christopher Rodriguez May 4, 2017

    I see a lot of low scores for this issue, but the complaints seem less to do with the quality of the comic book and more to do with the controversies in the story. I don't like what's going on in the story, but that's what makes it so entertaining. I can't imagine Marvel would be ok with tainting one of their most beloved and important heroes. True this issues was very dialogue heavy, but everything going on is fascinating. This is a hard read, but I think that's what it's meant to be. So far, I think this story has been pretty good. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck May 4, 2017

    Death and destruction abound, and Cap is behaving completely out of character, teaming with murderers and monsters and then acting surprised when they do terrible things. And then he also does terrible things. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Lyles Movie Files - Jeffrey Lyles May 9, 2017

    Like a lot of Marvel events the story will unfold in various tie-ins, but the pacing of this issue suggests the main book is going to have a very slow burn. That doesnt make for the most compelling argument not to just wait on the trade or at least for a few more issues to get a more complete story. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    ComicBook.com - Matthew Mueller May 3, 2017

    There's enough in Secret Empire #1 to retain your interest in the series, and some amazing character nuggets are planted throughout. There is, however, a great deal of material that perhaps could have been trimmed or shelved altogether, material that only serves to dilute the main story. If you can overlook some of those issues, there's a lot to enjoy here, and it's a story worth telling. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Weird Science - Branden Murray May 8, 2017

    There are things I like here but where the zero issue played a clever game of moving chess pieces around the game board for the reader to see, Secret Empire #1 stalls that momentum, and just wants you to believe things happened, like America has given up under Hydra control, moves forward united, all simply because of a leap forward in time. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Newsarama - Justin Partridge May 4, 2017

    Though not the disaster I think many were expecting, Secret Empire #1 is still a hard sell made harder by shoddy art and problematic overtones. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Newsarama - Pierce Lydon May 3, 2017

    Secret Empire #1 fails because at best, its hook is a gimmick. It's a cheap trick. And at worst, it attempts to stand on the shoulders of the legacy of some of Marvel's greatest creators and then do a disservice to one of their greatest heroes. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Bleeding Cool - Joe Glass May 3, 2017

    This is a great comic, in the most objective terms, of that there is little doubt. It may even be an important kind of story to tell right now. But it is not a good idea, the way it has been executed in this manner. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Comic Book Revolution - Kevin Lainez May 4, 2017

    Secret Empire #1 has a few good things, from a story standpoint, going for it. Unfortunately for readers stepping into Secret Empire #1 fresh will be lost as issue #0 is required reading for this story. Questionable character and story decisions only make things worse for an event Nick Spencer is trying to make resonate with the reader. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Graphic Policy - Brett May 3, 2017

    The first issue of Secret Empire makes the case that we should accept our fascist overlords, they'll make the trains run on time with job programs and efficiency, just overlook the whole extermination and death camps aspect. Just the story comics needs today…. Read Full Review

  • 4.0
    Hyper Geeky - ClumsyG May 10, 2017

    Fans may feel uncomfortable with the way of things, and they should. We're talking about Captain America, here. But the last thing this company needs right now is some hackneyed conclusion with a trace-buster-buster twist where it's revealed that Captain America wasn't really Hydra after all. Read Full Review

  • 3.5
    Doom Rocket - Don Alsafi May 5, 2017

    With any luck, Marvel can figure these things out, and course correct. It may be hard to see that potential now (and especially with this particular event), but we want them to succeed. We still have hope for the future. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    DDJamesB May 4, 2017

    I Love the Hydra Cap series and now Secret Empire. What a great issue and this issue just kept it going. The art was great. I loved the story. This was a story about how Cap is torn between his new history/mission and still being Captain America. I can not wait to read the whole story.

  • 8.5
    Granfalloon May 3, 2017

    Solid opening, great character work, some nice metaphors and great setup for what's to come. Bring on #2!

  • 6.0
    Superior fan May 3, 2017

    Spencer writes a nice villain with his Captain Hydra. Too bad it strains under all the leaps you have to make for Secret Empire to work. Death Camps? Sure, that works in America, never happened before but whatever. Cap takes down mutants, inhumans, and other 'undesirables'. Why not? He manages to somehow subvert Shield, Sword, all eighty some odd Avengers teams. Okay. At this point if you can handle the copy and pasting of Nazi Germany parallels onto the United States without adjustments for different cultures good for you. Harry Turtledove wrote a good alternate history series called the Victorious Opposition. That series details how a fascist america would look. This series does not.

  • 1.0
    Supererah May 4, 2017

    I wish there were a zero rating I could use for this atrocity of a hackneyed story. Not only are we tired of hero vs hero stories, the story of a controlled Captain America has been done before, not to mentioned the classic King Superman story among other stories revolving around the same concept of a hero gone totalitarian.

    + LikeComments (3)
  • 9.0
    beadleman May 4, 2017

    Fantastic issue. Spencer showing what life looks like was highlighted by the school children learning the new Hydra approved history. Heroes are separated and desperate, villains are planning power moves, and a death of a character seeped in Marvel history but not so much that he needs to be brought back over fear of rioting on the streets. One of the best #1 issues for an event!

  • 8.5
    Supes' soups May 3, 2017

    I can't help but draw some parallels with Star Wars. Hydra Cap is unleashing his inner Vader and the Secret Empire reminds me of Palpatine's Galactic Empire. Heroes are being hunted down like order 66ing the Jedi. A show of force like the Death Star destroying Alderaan is akin to the final pages of this comic. All in all, the concepts presented in this book are nothing new but for a solid read, I might pick this issue up especially if your local comic shop offers a 20% discount.

  • 8.5
    Khonshu May 5, 2017

    I really didn't want to get sucked into this event, not because I'm anti-Hydra Cap (people complaining about that for the sake of it need to get over themselves) but because Civil War II burned me so hard I was considering dropping Marvel altogether. I decided to go back and read Captain America: Steve Rogers to get a taste of what Nick Spencer was doing, because I started to realize I was just avoiding this for the sake of avoiding it. I ended up loving the series, especially Steve's flashback narrative which really gave me solid motivation for Steve's new(/old?? ohh??) character. So I actually got excited for Secret Empire, which came as a complete shock. The zero issue, I think, hit a bit harder than this, because I gave myself such a condensed lead up immediately before reading it. However, this issue is also successful, primarily due to Spencer's ability to handle the multiple situations and characters he has going in effective ways. It's great to see the Champions take more of an active role as their own title has generally been isolated for the most part, and Spencer excels in writing them. Cap and Sharon is a really weird and creepy situation, and I'm curious to see what happens there. I also love the ability to portray Cap as not simply a raving lunatic drunk for power, but a morally confused master strategist. People saying "Cap would never do this or that" seem to be missing the point that he is also having these discussions in his head. The art does get a little bit lacklustre through the middle, but in all honesty with the amount of tangible written story going on in this issue I feel like that's understandable. To those complaining about price, I will say it's a hefty book, still maybe not worth the $5 depending on the person, but considering it has about double the content of a $2.99 DC book, it's hard to justify that complaint. Don't go into this one without a bit of preparation. And don't judge it without giving it a fair shake. Highly recom

    + LikeComments (1)
  • 5.5
    Super17 May 3, 2017

    Quite Underwhelming

  • 4.0
    Nightmare of Solomon May 3, 2017

    If this comic wasn't so expensive, I'd use it to wipe my ass next time I run out of toilet paper.

  • 9.0
    Kalaoui May 3, 2017

    Great character work by Spencer packing some lengthy dialogue but the spectacular art by McNiven gives the characters emotional punch and it shows how much Cap isn't really happy with his big win. People will want more action but without the build up it's meaningless. This felt like a typical issue 2. Not Bad just a weird transition. I'm in and just want to keep reading!

  • 9.0
    ak94 May 7, 2017

    Spencer run is simply awsome!

  • 8.5
    thecomiccookebook May 3, 2017

    Not as crazy as issue #0 but still such a blast to read. I am a little apprehensive of the Barton / Romanoff romance but other than that, I love what Steve has transformed Hydra into. The Champions are being written way better than they are in their own books too. McNiven's art, like always is top notch. Spencer packs the book with so much story that it almost makes it worth the high cover price. Can't wait for the FCBD issue and issue #2.

  • 6.0
    ThatGuy May 6, 2017

    When your greatest ally betrays you and turns the entire world upside down, you'd expect the situation to be most dire as innocent lives are put at stake, but that doesn't seem to be the case here since the so-called heroes didn't even take it seriously.

  • 10
    johnavenger May 15, 2017

    After how terrible Civil War 2 was and how underwhelming Avengers Standoff was, I'm surprised to say that Secret Empire #1 is Great. This is an excellent start to an event that has been under some controversial fire. You feel like something is about to happen in the story, the intensity and drama developing is magnificent and it roots back to Marvel's steady building to the event. As terrible and underwhelming previous events were, Secret Empire makes them feel meaningful. The ending of Civil WAr 2 now has a greater impact and everything that occurred during Avengers Standoff begins to make sense and the seeds that were layed being to fruit. Steve Rogers turn to Hydra has a lot of backstory and explanation in the solo Steve Rogers series and those who keep up know the backdrop and context of the situation so theres no need to burn comics over it. This is one of the best Marvel comics this year and I'm eagerly anticipating Secret Empire #2

  • 9.5
    Wolf Warner May 3, 2017

    Like a good meal...Secret Empire #1 hit the spot! Plus The new Patriot (Rashaun Lucas) is from BROOKLYN!!!! Great Issue.

  • 9.0
    Jack's Yattering May 4, 2017

    Everything I said about issue #0 can be applied to SECRET EMPIRE #1. I'm more excited for this event than ever. Not only is this an event book done right, it's just a damnn good superhero comic. SCORE: 9

  • 9.0
    50shadesOfCRAY May 5, 2017

    Amazing 1st issue for an event that is sure to bring on more twists and shocking revelations.

  • 8.5
    supercoolyeah May 4, 2017

    There was two sections that were super slow to me. The A.I. scene was kinda dull and the Hydra meeting seemed to drag out a lot longer than I would have liked it too. But everything else was golden. Spencer's art can get a little dull at times like the Carter/Cap dinner scene where there is nothing really to look at. But then you get those first few great pages that make you just want to delve in to this great story even more. People are whiny that their Capt could NEVER EVER DO THAT!!! Duh, that's kinda of why this story is even more awesome. Sam Wilson is the new Cap and once the haters can get their heads around that I think they would actually love this story and appreciate the art.

  • 8.0
    kfc902 May 4, 2017

    Good story with nice pacing.

  • 8.0
    Kreniigh May 9, 2017

    I am wondering, though, has there ever been a story where a hero was genuinely brainwashed/hypnotized by Doctor Faustus or the Corruptor or Mesmero or Psycho-Man or whomever, and his friends tried to snap them out of it but eventually came to the conclusion that "oh no, they were evil ALL ALONG!"? I mean, I know that's the premise here, and big events tend to be pretty bad when it comes to everyone just sort of knowing the premise whether they should or not. But I don't buy that anyone would be treating this as "he's not brainwashed, he was always evil!" Especially not with a Cosmic Cube around.

  • 8.0
    Sav May 9, 2017

    This is pretty good. And I hate the whole concept behind this series. Making cap evil is absolutely stupid. But, so far, this is a thousand times better than civil war. I might be persuaded to appreciate this concept. And/but it's only been 2 issues.

  • 8.0
    Gizmo Jul 30, 2017

    It's kind of like 'Man In the High Castle' meets '1984' in the Marvel Universe, very cool. I especially like that Cap has remained a three dimensional character that is still motivated to do what he views as good. Every good villain is the hero of their own story and Spencer makes a point of explaining the benefits that Steve believes Hydra has brought to America. This is a much more compelling hero vs hero style event than the setup to Civil War II offered and I'm ready to dive in.

  • 7.0
    Spock's Brain May 11, 2017

    This issue isn't bad, really; it is, more than anything else, a little boring. Hydra has somehow taken over America to the point where their revised history is taught in schools, and those who love freedom are on the run. It makes more sense as an alternative reality, but this is real Marvel universe (I don't know what to call it since "Secret Wars"). There's just a lot of talking here; Cap feels sad, because he's really a good guy still despite being a Naz--er, Hydra leader. Tony's A.I. is disillusioned, because I guess artificial intelligences have feelings too? So, yeah. Rick Jones is assassinated to show Hydra is really evil. Odinson some other Avengers fight for Cap for some reason. Well, it looks good, anyway. Here's to only 8 more issues, Andrea Sorrentino art next issue, and the promise (hope?) that something more interesting will happen.

  • 1.0
    Jon Comics May 4, 2017

  • 10
    Billyndo May 3, 2017

  • 10
    Jherbst10 May 3, 2017

  • 10
    darkfire369 May 3, 2017

  • 10
    Khan/Murdock May 3, 2017

  • 10
    LocoNasty May 6, 2017

  • 9.5
    Dtkantek May 24, 2017

  • 9.0
    aimanalphaz May 3, 2017

  • 9.0
    EDiakota May 3, 2017

  • 9.0
    Pauly V May 3, 2017

  • 9.0
    hongosubterraneo May 4, 2017

  • 8.5
    Destraction May 3, 2017

  • 8.5
    yeahcoolnoworries May 4, 2017

  • 8.5
    freemanlouis7 May 4, 2017

  • 8.5
    StanielK May 6, 2017

  • 8.5
    sebastianorellana95 May 7, 2017

  • 8.5
    JVV May 16, 2017

  • 8.5
    jmprados May 21, 2017

  • 8.5
    Grifter Jun 28, 2017

  • 8.5
    flodid Sep 18, 2017

  • 8.0
    JBL Reviews May 6, 2017

  • 8.0
    ActionCity May 15, 2017

  • 7.5
    Zumba May 3, 2017

  • 7.5
    Drake May 4, 2017

  • 7.5
    haniballecto May 6, 2017

  • 7.5
    FT Metler May 7, 2017

  • 7.5
    Peaches May 21, 2017

  • 7.0
    Jabberwocky_Superfly May 4, 2017

  • 7.0
    GodSpeeed May 5, 2017

  • 7.0
    Tachuncarser May 6, 2017

  • 7.0
    Cyraano Jul 29, 2017

  • 1.0
    ryaleus_1 May 23, 2017

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