As ever, we take a look through this week's Secret Empire tie-ins to see which are essential to your Hydra experience and which are mere frippery that you can knock along well without. The more Imperial importance they contain, the more Hydra Heads we give them.
But also this week, a reading order. With Secret Empire #7 out, it can all get tossed and turned around. And there are seven of them after all.
X-Men Blue #8 by Cullen Bunn, Cory Smith, Joey Vasquez, Terry Pallot and Matt Milla doesn't really matter when you read it. It's all the doings in New Tian, and Magneto standing aloof and that.
More of a brief reference to events elsewhere, it stands alone. With very few Hydra heads to its name as a result.
Deadpool #34 by Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Mike Hawthorne, Christain Dalla Vecchia, Terry Pallot and Ruth Redmond is, simply, a better comic, in that it deals with the impact and implications of what the hell has been going on and the consequences of choices taken. As well as playing around with the very idea of Hydra and what they are doing. Oh and discovering how to kill a Deadpool.
If you ever wondered. So a few more stars.
Occupy Avengers #8 by David F Walker, Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire giving it that familiar Vision feel also chooses to have a bit of a laugh at Hydra's expense. Duggan and Walker have managed not to take this thing so seriously and as a result, their books are a lot more fun, while still being intensely part of the crossover. They have decided that fascists are funny, and they have a point.
I'd buy that.
But talking of not much fun…
Mighty Captain Marvel #7 by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini and Erick Arciniega takes place above the shield and a) begins when no one can break the shield and b) end when no one can break the shield. This comic continues to be hamstrung by Secret Empire and tread water. Seriously, they are in space and choose to "hold the line" against invading Chitauri who… can't break through the planetary shield. And if they break through the shield, then the Chitauri would destroy Earth to get at alien queen eggs – hang on, I've only just realised, that's Attack The Block. But this comic isn;t. Set in space, they could be doing anything, going anywhere for all the good it would do and instead…
Very pretty though.
All of these can be pretty much read in whatever order you fancy. But with Nick Spencer's books, even co-written with Donny Cates, it gets trickier.
You could read Captain America: Sam Wilson #24 by Nick Spencer, Donny Cates, Joe Bennett, Joe Pimental, Natt Yackey before Secret Empire #7. But so much of it revolves around the final scene of Secret Empire #7, which it sets up. I guess it's down to you, do you want that scene spoiled a bit as set up before reading Secret Empire #7, or reading an explanation for the final scene at a later date? Your call.
But it is very heads-on Secret Empire.
The only way it could have more Hydra heads was if it were Secret Empire #7 by Nick Spencer, Andrea Sorrentino, Rod Reis, Joshua Cassara, Rachelle Rosenberg which, chronologically, sits between the two Captain Americas. And also manages to get the Ulysses timeprediction thing wrong one more time. Civil War II showed that Ulysses' predictions were just that, future scenarios played out using all the available evidence, but which could be wrong and could be altered if you had the knowledge to do so. Except that every now and then, people forgot and made them a self fulfilling prophecy, which wouldn't work.
And that's just how Miles Morales, Spider-Man, escapes from a burning van.
So, yes, the central event, all Hydra headed out. And we will have more to say about the issue later.
But a scene like this…
We also get Captain America dead-naming Odinson.
No longer named for you, Unworthy Odinson! did you just deadname yourself? Or is that the mead talking?
This is all just as Hydra-headable as the other Cap issue. If you are reading Secret Empire, you should probably be picking up the Caps as well. Especially since Donny Cates is so hot right now as well.
So, how imperial did you find it all?