Secret Empire finally reaches it’s epic conclusion with an issue that is sure to go down as one of the greatest in Marvel Comics. After 9 issues of some of the best storytelling Marvel has to offer, Secret Empire #10 ends the event on an extremely satisfying note. Throughout this event and the solo Captain America titles, Nick Spencer has earned his spot as one of my favorite Marvel writers, as his creative storytelling and awe-inspiring dialogue make this story and issue stand out from the rest.
Steve McNiven returns after illustrating Secret Empire #1 to draw the final issue, and every page looks truly fantastic. Seeing Hydra Cap make his final stand was amazing to read, and each page left a bigger smile on my face than the last. Thanks to McNiven’s astounding art and Spencer’s inspirational and strong writing, Secret Empire #10 is without a doubt the best issue of the series, and solidifies the event as my all time favorite in Marvel Comics. The character of Captain America (who has been my absolute favorite since childhood) and all that he stands for is best represented here, with all of the characteristics and moral values that the character stands for being shown better than ever before. The issue celebrates Captain America in an amazing way, with a fantastic callback from the characters rich history, which was no doubt one of my favorite parts of the book.
On top of being an amazing Captain America story, Secret Empire #10 brings the heroes of the Marvel Universe together again. After events like Civil War 2 shattering the heroes and leaving them broken and divided, this issue of Secret Empire brings them together closer than they have ever been, and it is refreshing to see them act like heroes again. The issue also wraps up with the best battle in the whole series, and possibly my new all time favorite Captain America fight ever. While I won’t delve into spoilers, it certainly is something you should read for yourself, as the action and superb art made it such an amazing read.
Unfortunately, despite the amazing art, action, and storytelling in this issue, Secret Empire #10 still had some minor flaws, ones that took just a bit of the enjoyment away from the otherwise amazing issue. While the Secret Empire is taken down, the issue ends with some vague and odd narration, leaving some questions unanswered, and while it seem like they are trying to answer some with the art, it is still confusing and left me wondering about what has and hasn’t been fixed. Perhaps Secret Empire Omega will answer the questions that this issue left me with.
Other than that, Secret Empire has been an absolute joy to read. Since Steve Rogers: Captain America #2 (I originally hated issue #1 like the rest of you, but changed my mind later on) I managed to become invested in and read a story about my favorite hero seemingly betraying everything he believed in, and I enjoyed it. Despite what some have said about the supposed “negative” message it was delivering, Secret Empire #10 demonstrates the triumph of good vs evil, of strong and righteous moral values overcoming corrupted and evil intentions, and not being afraid to stand up for what you believe in, and to fight for what’s right. It’s this inspiring message that makes Secret Empire a triumph of Marvel Comics, and a representation of what the stories they tell are made for. Because of that, I’d like to thank Nick Spencer for this past year of storytelling, and for creating possibly one of the best Captain America stories I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to see what comes next. – Ernesto Valenzuela
GRADE – 9.8/10 – EXCELSIOR