The “good guys” get a full issue of focus this week in Secret Empire: Underground which sees them off to Savage Land. Luckily for them, Hydra hasn’t taken over and it’s smooth sailing to a shard of the Cosmic Cube. Sure, smooth…

Secret Empire: Underground #1
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Eric Koda
Publisher: Marvel Comics


So what’s it about?

Read the full preview.
Why does this book matter?

Given how depressing a lot of this event is, writer Jeremy Whitley and artist Eric Koda are here to bring some fun from Ant-Man, Hercules, Quicksilver, Iron Man, Mockingbird and Sam Wilson. Whitley and Koda bring a hell of a lot of characters to a group rife for dynamic interaction.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

The character writing is some of the best Secret Empire has seen yet with varying attitudes, paranoia, and downright egomania between these characters. You know a team book is good when there are all types of arguments and funny banter to enjoy and this issue is filled with it. Between Ant-Man’s positivity, Quicksilver’s temper, and Hercules’ intense glee for battle, there’s a lot to love. Mockingbird stands out from all the rest as the leader of this team and ends up being the beacon the reader will follow. She also ends up being pretty darn good at bringing a bit of attitude and spark to a variety of scenes.

The action flows very nicely in this issue and Koda keeps it moving well with dynamic angles to draw your attention perfectly. In one scene for instance, Hercules comes charging at Sauron directly at the reader, only for a panel next to it to show Sauron pulling his hypnotism. There’s actually a lot of action in this book–three sequences in total–and they all vary nicely. You’ll get the team vs. a single supervillain, the team vs. dinosaurs, and finally team on team action. That’s a lot of different fighting sequences!

A highlight of Koda’s work comes in a flashback Sauron details to the team. In three panels–jaggedly drawn at the borders–Sauron details his time as king. The captions that run down the page do well to capture his voice, and the voice of Mockingbird, and quickly and efficiently tell his tale well. Little facial expressions here and there really amp up the character acting too, like in one scene where Mockingbird and Hercules ponder how far they could punch Sauron with facial expressions that look clever and somewhat silly.


You’re going to love the character interactions.

It can’t be perfect can it?

In an attempt to connect the narrative thread to the main series, this issue has Sam Wilson mention how nobody can be trusted, which doesn’t quite land. It ends up reading like he’s paranoid in part because there’s no revelation or detail beyond his worry. It jives with how Secret Empire #4 ended, but doesn’t do much beyond that.

Is It Good?

In a race to get shards of the Cosmic Cube you can’t have much more fun than this. If you like a lot of character when it comes to team books buy this book.

Secret Empire: Underground #1
Is it good?
This issue packs a lot of character into an action frenzy of an issue. It's a lot of fun!
This is just fun comics, from great character writing to three, yes three, action sequences
It'll make you laugh!
Feels important since they are after a Cosmic Cube shard
A quieter moment ties into Secret Empire #4's hint at a spy, but doesn't do much
9.5
Great