Marvel Makes Fun Of Its Own Secret Empire Event

Mirrored from screenrant.com

Warning: SPOILERS for Secret Empire ahead.

In 2016, Marvel nearly broke the internet by turning Captain America into an agent of enemy combatants, Hydra. Steve Rogers’ slow burn as a one-man sleeper cell ended with one of the comic book world’s most hotly anticipated crossovers, Secret Empire. As the publisher’s last major limited event before their Legacy retooling, the saga was poised to shake up the Marvel Universe and do brisk business.

While Secret Empire was founded on an intriguingly subversive concept, the book imploded due to too many external pressures, falling shy of its true potential by a good ways. Author Nick Spencer did his best to keep the HydraCap doom-bus rolling along, but the wheels fell off about halfway through and the event hit a wall of indifference. In a recent issue of their satirical comic, Not Brand Echh, Marvel took the piss out of themselves. So, which writer did the House of Ideas use to take down Spencer’s controversial crossover? Why none other than Nick Spencer himself.

Fascism is no laughing matter, especially when your villainized Captain America acts as a thinly veiled critique of America’s own dice with autocracy. In Spencer’s lark of himself, he recaps his own painstakingly crafted event, including the dramatic set-up; in particular, the controversial “Hail, Hydra!” reveal and Marvel’s subsequent, semi-backpedaling…the whole “Cap’s totally not a Nazi. We swear.” The same event included a controversial Magneto cover – which depicted the mutant anti-hero and Holocaust survivor as allied with the once-Nazified organization – and Marvel’s “deck your comic shop out in Hydra stuff” promo that also went over like a lead balloon.

Warning: SPOILERS for Secret Empire ahead.

In 2016, Marvel nearly broke the internet by turning Captain America into an agent of enemy combatants, Hydra. Steve Rogers’ slow burn as a one-man sleeper cell ended with one of the comic book world’s most hotly anticipated crossovers, Secret Empire. As the publisher’s last major limited event before their Legacy retooling, the saga was poised to shake up the Marvel Universe and do brisk business.

While Secret Empire was founded on an intriguingly subversive concept, the book imploded due to too many external pressures, falling shy of its true potential by a good ways. Author Nick Spencer did his best to keep the HydraCap doom-bus rolling along, but the wheels fell off about halfway through and the event hit a wall of indifference. In a recent issue of their satirical comic, Not Brand Echh, Marvel took the piss out of themselves. So, which writer did the House of Ideas use to take down Spencer’s controversial crossover? Why none other than Nick Spencer himself.

Fascism is no laughing matter, especially when your villainized Captain America acts as a thinly veiled critique of America’s own dice with autocracy. In Spencer’s lark of himself, he recaps his own painstakingly crafted event, including the dramatic set-up; in particular, the controversial “Hail, Hydra!” reveal and Marvel’s subsequent, semi-backpedaling…the whole “Cap’s totally not a Nazi. We swear.” The same event included a controversial Magneto cover – which depicted the mutant anti-hero and Holocaust survivor as allied with the once-Nazified organization – and Marvel’s “deck your comic shop out in Hydra stuff” promo that also went over like a lead balloon.

Overall, Secret Empire was a missed opportunity to create an artful subversion of our culture during a time of extremism and political polarity that’s pushed people apart. Spencer’s satirization of his own allegory softens the event’s shortcomings with humor but fails to address some of the deeper issues which short-circuited the event, including a dumbed-down conclusion – which might have been set up as companywide HydraCap damage control.

In the long run, Secret Empire fell well short of what it could have been, but at least Spencer can laugh at himself.