Seeing as though Marvel currently has Captain America hailing Hydra, I think that there is some much-needed explaining to do here. Surely, I’m not the only guy wondering how something this preposterous is even possible, right? Anyone? Okay, so maybe I’m the only one, and maybe I haven’t been a ‘good fan’ and kept up with current issues as well as I should have. Guess I’ll have to wait until this whole “Secret Empire” thing is over with long, drawn-out sigh.
Okay, so I’m not really behind, but not everyone is up-to-date with the events currently unfolding in the Marvel Universe, and thankfully, for those of you wondering how we got to this point–for those of you wondering why in the world Cap is hailing Hydra–Marvel has published The Road to Secret Empire.
Writer: Rick Remender, Nick Spencer
Artist: Nic Klein, Daniel Acuna, Jesus Saiz
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What’s The Road to Secret Empire about? From the publisher:
Full of edge-of-your-seat thrills, this collection details all the pulse-pounding moments that have led up to Secret Empire! Captain America, due to the manipulations of the Red Skull, is secretly a true believer in the cause of Hydra and has turned his back on the Super Hero community. Using the trust and respect he has gained over the years he has ascended to a position where he can strike without warning. Should they hope for any chance of victory, the entire Marvel Universe must band together as never before. UNITED THEY STAND against their common foe – the Avengers, the Defenders, the Champions, the X-Men, and more must hold together. Yet even they may not be enough!”
The Road to Secret Empire collects Captain America (2012) #21 & #25, Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 & #8, Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha & Omega, and Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 & #2.
To put it simply, a whole lot takes place prior to the Secret Empire event, and since this is the case, the Secret Empire isn’t nearly as accessible to new fans as prior events were. Sure, if Secret Empire #0 was the first modern Marvel comic that you’ve read there’s plenty to be excited about going forward, but to truly appreciate what’s going on, I don’t think that a reader should go into this event ‘blind.’
And for those of you who are up to speed, I still recommend picking this collection up. The Road to Secret Empire depicts Cap’s fall, and rise, and fall…very well. Both the artwork and writing throughout the collection is brilliant, and having these several issues compiled together creates an experience that is unique from reading them separately upon their initial release.