Secret Empire #8
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Daniel Acuna
Letters by Travis Lanham
In order to get up to speed on the plot of this issue, one needs to have read Captain America #25 also written by Nick Spencer. So Steve Rogers in the Upside Down has finally grown a pair and decided to fight back. That’s cool. Giant Man has decided to bury a time capsule to send a signal back in time with a message that should help the Underground, for some reason. It apparently works because a message from Sam Wilson gets broadcast all over the world. A message that gives the heroes within the Darkforce as well the ones beyond the defense shield a renewed sense of hope.
Sam’s message of hope and the fact that he’s taken on the mantle of Captain America again, spurs the heroes into action as they each take on the Darkforce and the Planetary Shield again in last-ditch efforts to escape. But just as their efforts begin to feel wasted, hope emerges as the different factions fighting back begin to stem the tide Maria Hill finds the source of the Darkforce and makes a decision only a spy could, Carol discovers the location of the Chitauri eggs on the planet and moves in and Namor emerges with a secret weapon that could end Hydra Steve’s plans once and for all.
I actually enjoyed this issue more than I have the entire run of this story. Did the sense of renewed hope in the pages of this comic feel manufactured? Of course they did. Almost everything about this issue felt contrived in the wake of the previous issues and the arc in total, but it was good to see Marvel heroes act like heroes. It’s been so long since any of them acted like the heroes they are supposed to be that any indicator that they could would be met with a tepid positive reaction. In this issue, Spencer is able to craft a story that was actually engaging. Mostly because it wasn’t about Steve Rogers. The art was decidedly less bleak as well and there were panels that reminded me of what I enjoy about a Marvel comic.
We’ll see if the momentum continues.
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