In Marvel Comics’ next major event series, Marvel’s superheroes will take on Captain America himself. According to ABC News, the nine-issue miniseries — titled Secret Empire — comes in the aftermath of last year’s Civil War II event, and will pick up with the larger Marvel Universe learning that Captain America is secretly an agent of Hydra.
The series will kick off in April with issue #0, as Captain America leads SHIELD to contain three separate, Hydra-backed events. Secret Empire #1 arrives in May. The series will be written by Nick Spencer and will feature art from Steve McNiven, Andrea Sorrentino, Daniel Acuña, and Leinil Francis Yu. Marvel’s senior VP of publishing Tom Brevoort revealed that the series would be picking up after last year’s dramatic events, and that Captain America would be revealed as a Hydra agent early in the series.
"Steve has been kind of lining his dominoes up around the Marvel Universe to be able to make his move and bring about a Hydra revolution, a takeover," Brevoort said. "At the point of 'Secret Empire,' they are ready to go. That's the moment we hit as we go in."
Last year, the company made headlines when it released Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, in which it revealed that Captain America was really an agent of Hydra. That series happened in the midst of the Civil War II event, in which a precognitive superhero named Ulysses witnesses a bleak future for the world. The vision leads to a standoff between Captain Marvel and Iron Man, all while Steve works to prevent the heroes from discovering his true motives.
Brevoort noted that the series will have some lasting ramifications for the Marvel Universe, saying that the larger cast of characters will be affected by the series, and that it will be a “Watergate moment” for the younger group of heroes in the world. In addition to Steve Rogers and Civil War II, Secret Empire is an event series embedded in a much larger story, designed with a concrete ending in mind.
Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso noted that after several hero-versus-hero events, this will be more of a traditional story: “You will know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. This is not heroes fighting heroes, this is heroes fighting a bad guy."