Secret Empire #9
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Leinil Francis Yu and Joe Bennett
Inks by Gerry Alanguilan with Yu and Joe Pimentel
Colors by Sunny Gho and Dono Sanchez-Almara
In the “wherever the hell they are” Steve Rogers has found Kobik and she has an omiunous message about what she has done to the world. In Washington D.C., Hydra Steve is meeting with Baron Zemo who is delivering a still defiant Black Panther to Hydra Supreme. Emma Frost and her delegation arrives to meet with Hydra as well as Steve tells Zemo to wake the “Army that sleeps”.
Meanwhile, Captain America (Sam Wilson) is leading the remaining heroes in a final battle against the Hydra forces in D.C. As more heroes join the fray, Hydra forces continue to battle back with Odinson, Scarlet Witch and Vision fighting for Hydra. Emma conitnues to negotiate a cease fire with Steve in another bid of self-interest that has been the hallmark of this title, but Steve refuses (It’s almost comical that a fascist despot would not be open to negotiate). As Magneto enters the fight, Zola takes Steve with him in an attempt to activate a weapon that can bring Hydra final victory.
So where does the story go from here? I will admit the last two issues have been interesting to read, but the overall arc of this story seems to be setting up for a disappointing conclusion. It was good to see the heroes fight with renewed purpose, but that purpose seemed too convenient to be believed. There are still too many threads that I don’t think will be woven together effectively because the story has made me not care what happens to make of these heroes because they’ve been diminished and stripped of their ideals.
The pacing of the story was fine. It moved well and there weren’t a lot of wasted moments, but the moments that broke from the action were more interesting that many of the main plot points. The art was great to look at and the action moved effectively from panel to panel. Overall, there is the feeling of “too little too late” in getting a reader to embrace the turn in this war and it will take a lot to conclude this story in a way that satisfies.