I was left with a lot of questions after finishing Secret Empire #10 and the biggest question mark was how Marvel deals with two Captain Americas in their universe. There’s a Hydra version we’ve been following for months and now the good-guy version we know and love. It’s quite a quandary that’s explored in Secret Empire: Omega out today!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Hydra has fallen, but the world is still not secure! As the heroes of the Marvel Universe stir from the wreckage of the battlefield, the inevitable rebuilding must begin. However, one question hangs in the air over the proceedings: What redemption can there be for Captain America?
Why does this matter?
Nick Spencer and Andrea Sorrentino get to cap off their epic 10 issue run on Secret Empire with this epilogue. It not only deals with Hydra Cap’s place in the universe but also a few other loose ends.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
“And in this corner, weighting 275, HYDRA CAP!”
If you ever wanted to see Hydra-Cap get into a war of words with good-Cap — this is the issue for you. Spencer relays a lot of important ideologies and ideas that make America great, like freedom of choice, and the power of bills on Capitol Hill to name just two. The issue opens with good-Cap visiting Hydra-Cap to basically discuss the fallout of America and what happened. There are quite a few interesting ideas thrown about and a basic bead on their relationship moving forward is made that’s quite strong. Basically put, Captain America has always fought against everything Hydra-Cap believes in and will be an interesting foil when he’s eventually pulled back out for a future story.
Sorrentino draws these scenes with the stylistic and moody look he brings to all his work. That includes his jaw dropping symmetrically designed layouts like one using a blue star at the center of a double page spread with panels shooting out of it. The use of a red filter over Hydra-Cap’s panels helps remind readers who are who, but it’s utilized in effective ways to draw your eye. In another gorgeous double page spread, Sorrentino has a red Hydra symbol sprout from the back of Hydra Cap on one page and a blue shield symbol sprout from good-Cap in another. There are some wicked pages in this issue that boggle the mind as far as how Sorrentino has the time to even fathom these images let alone create them.
The rest of the issue is drawn by Joe Bennett (with Joe Pimentel) and Scott Hanna and Rachelle Rosenberg focusing on short vignettes of what is going on with Punisher, two mutants, and Black Widow. Each of these gives readers a sense of where Marvel will be taking the characters more or less. Spencer writes captions for each of these in the appropriate character’s voice in a clear way.
Some awesome layouts and designs by Sorrentino in this issue.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Spencer gets to throw down some interesting ideas as Cap talks to Cap (including the strongest one made in the last issue of Secret Empire about never stopping the fight against fascism), but aside from this you learn very little in regards to where Marvel is going with two Captain Americas. It’s an intriguing idea on some level and with Hydra Cap in a prison he’s clearly being stored away to be used at a later date, but it leaves you wanting more. Forgetting the unexplainable of having two Captain Americas to begin with–and the characters somehow being cool with it–there isn’t a lot on the page as far as depth and character work. I suppose it’s as simple as one being good and the other evil, which ends up being a let down on some level. This character Spencer has spent months if not years building is left to rot in a cell with nothing new or that interesting to say and therefore affect good-Cap. For a series with such big ideas, I was expecting more.
Is It Good?
A good epilogue sort of issue that reveals where Marvel is going with a few major supporting heroes, but very little direction as far as Hydra Captain America. That said, there’s interesting ideas shared between the two Captain Americas which will get you thinking just as the event has been doing all along.