Marvel has been teasing something called Secret Empire all week long and yesterday CBR shared what looks to be the final teaser. The publisher finally showed us which characters the Secret Empire could possibly be made up of. The teaser includes Marvel key players Old Man Logan, Black Panther, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Rocket Raccoon, Black Bolt, Black Widow and Deadpool. The text below the image reads simply: UNITED WE STAND. The teaser is drawn by artist John Cassaday (Captain America) with covers bearing more than a passing resemblance to his cover for Astonishing X-Men #1!
It is hard to decipher what exactly this could mean for the Marvel Universe going forward. Initially, the story seemed to tease the Marvel Universe discovering that Captain America has false memories of being a Hydra agent, imbuing him with terrorist-like aspirations. However, the full Marvel Universe now seems to be involved as the various heroes are standing by the evil Captain America’s side.
Could the other heroes in the image be brainwashed alongside Captain America as part of the Secret Empire? Could these heroes be part of the team manipulating Captain America? Maybe the other heroes don’t have any false memories but are motivated by Steve Rogers’ charisma as a hero to do acts of terrorism?
Either way, this teaser seems to be devoted to paying off the absurdly quiet evil plan that Captain America has scheming about in Nick Spencer (The Fix) and Jesus Saiz’s (Swamp Thing) Captain America: Steve Rogers series that has been going on for months now. The implications of the Marvel Universe uniting to do some very bad things has me pretty excited. In my original article promoting the Secret Empire teaser I wrote some background on Captain America’s long-running history with the villainous organization;
“The Secret Empire is the name of a villainous group in the Marvel Universe created in Tales to Astonish #81 in 1966. The name of the Secret Empire story was used again when Steve Rogers first grew disillusioned with his country and was framed in the unforgettable ’70s story from Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich, and Sal Buscema inspired by Watergate in Captain America & The Falcon.”
image source: cbr.com