Marvel’s comics division has been taking it on the chin in terms of bad press for well over a year now, and the official kickoff to its latest event is no exception. This week saw the release of Secret Empire #1 and a tie-in issue for Free Comic Book Day, which theoretically should bring elicit smiles across the country. Wrong. In fact, the project is so controversial that Marvel had to put out a statement earlier this week asking fans to be patient (even though the story has been building for well over a year).

My latest Youtube review covers the good, the bad and the ugly of writer Nick Spencer’s reality-warping Hydra-Cap tale. And yes, on some level it is good — but the whole situation is a bit complicated.

Anyway, check out the review and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Also: If anyone knows YouTube’s exact rules for using music clips without getting copyright infringement strikes, then let me know — I don’t want to make a habit of joke-singing songs like “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses…

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

15 comments

    1. “I would love to get your thoughts on the All-new Wolverine book.”

      I was going to buy that on Free Comic Book day (I hate picking up the freebies and leaving), but they were all sold out. D’oh! I’ll probably pick up the trade paperback in a few months. What are you thoughts?

    2. I’ve only read the first arc and it just felt off. Before I read the first issue, I binged every single X-23 book I could find. From her first appearance and series all the way to Bendis’ awful take on her in All-New X-Men. When I read ANW it just didn’t feel like the same character to me. It put me off the book entirely. Not to mention early art, from what I could see, had her a little more stocky than the thinner, more lithe version we’d gotten before.

  1. I wonder if the hostility to this story is the gelling of a lot of free-floating exasperation toward Marvel about a lot of issues. Contempt for customers, stories drowning in amorality, too much death, excessive and poorly written crossover events, character assassinations, overly high prices, obnoxious politics … they need to replace Brevoort, Alonso, and cut Quesada out of authority over the magazines.

    1. I think that is a very real possibility, Jack. There comes a point where even the staunchest Marvel defender must say, “Yeah, things are out of control. This needs to stop.”

  2. Wonder how the story will sell overall, esp. given that they feel the need to put a disclaimer to not judge until the story is finished (which I kind of see both sides of)?

    Kinda random question, Douglas, but in another article, you mentioned that you’ve been reading the new “Green Lanterns” series. As that’s something I’m following too (trades only, albeit), I was curious if you were thinking about reviewing or blogging about it at all.

    1. “As that’s something I’m following too (trades only, albeit), I was curious if you were thinking about reviewing or blogging about it at all.”

      I would like to review “Rage Planet” in the near future, but I usually have time for 1 or 2 reviews a week these days with work and other obligations. I kind of feel bad that I can do more blogging (and to the extent I do I’m posting YouTube videos). Secret Empire is kind of screwing me up since people seem to really like those videos; I’m going to give them what they want for the most part. ASM #27 comes out today, so that needs to get up soon. Meanwhile, I need to figure out how to get up Super Sons as well. Long story short: I need an intern! Haha. Maybe I’ll hire someone in a couple years once I have a bit more cash on hand. I need to be writing and recording instead of blurring out panels to avoid dubious copyright strikes.

  3. Agents of SHIELD is doing a storyline similar to “Secret Empire…” and it’s also bad. I stopped watching the show because it put me to sleep. Plus, there are a few jabs at Trump and one of the villains uses the “Nevertheless, she persisted” line in reference to Daisy Johnson’s actions against HYDRA. There have also been a few snide references to “alternative facts” and one of HYDRA’s operatives is a O’Reilly-esque talk show host… Yeah, the show’s gotten so political that’s it become unwatchable.

  4. The need to entertain has been shoved aside to push seriously warped political agenda.

    I don’t watch Agents of SHIELD, but I’m curious what you folks think of the upcoming season of American Horror Story, said to focus on last year’s presidential election? They’ve released a subtle teaser image which shows an elephant possessed by a demon already to hype the new season. If last year’s “Roanoke” wasn’t bad enough to make me tune out, that would certainly do the trick. This year’s Homeland was equally unwatchable for pretty much the same reason Carl mentioned above about SHIELD. SNL may as well be the Democrat Comedy Show. Isn’t it wonderful Alec Baldwin has an outlet for all his butthurt hyperbole?

  5. So few things I don’t get, and probably won’t as I don’t read Marvel, but I’ll put them to you.

    1) If all it took for Thor to be “unworthy” was to believe Gor was right, how is Cap worthy?
    2) When the allies “fixed” WW2, why on earth did they not do more to fix it?
    3) Why is Magneto with Hydra?

    1. Here are your answers:

      1. Cap *isn’t* worthy. But someone said elsewhere, Thor’s hammer has become an alt-right symbol of Aryanism, so Spencer is making yet another political statement by having Cap pick it up. Thereby contradicting his own claims that Hydra isn’t Nazi, by the way. (Thor losing his hammer over Fury’s little whisper was stupid. Thor knows Fury’s a liar.)

      2. Because your story demanded it! Spencer must have been taking narration lessons from Dan Slott. This is a story problem with all-powerful artifacts — the characters using it would fix *everything* the characters thought was wrong. Why didn’t the allies resurrect all the murdered Jews? Why didn’t the allies cure young Adolf Hitler of mental illness (if he indeed had mental illness), or make him a phenomenally great artist? Why didn’t the allies get rid of polio and cholera?

      3. My guess is that Spencer thought this would help buttress the case that Hydra isn’t Nazi. Magneto is Jewish and hates Nazis. But Magneto joins Hydra. Therefore, Hydra must not be Nazi. Except Spencer is throwing aside 40+ years of established story, and frustrated that the readers won’t buy into it. Hydra has always been Marvel’s analog to Nazism (just like Mephisto is Marvel’s analog to Satan). Marvel’s AoS this season just said, outright, that Hydra = Nazis. So the right summary is: Because Hydra is Nazism, Magneto would try to destroy Hydra. Magneto ought to *lead* the fight against Hydra, in the same way he did in Age of Apocalypse. But Magneto could bisect Cap’s body with Cap’s shield with a wave of his hand, and pretty much blow up anything Hydra threw at him, so they don’t want that.

  6. And now Marvel’s Hydra website redirects to the White House. I’ve bought my last Marvel Comic. I refuse to support this lunacy.

    1. It isn’t a Marvel website. It was put up by some anonymous somebody in Australia, according to news reports, obviously as a gag. If Marvel has anything to do with it, it’s well hidden.

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