I raced across the main floor, up the stairs, and just managed to make the panel that layed out Marvel’s huge summer event that just began, Secret Empire. Writer, and story architect Nick Spenser, has been building to this since last years Avengers Standoff, where Steve Rogers regains his youth from the now evolved sentient cosmic cube, Kobic. In addition, she has re-written his entire life’s history making him an undercover Agent of Hydra per the request of the Red Skull. Now all the pieces are all in place, the dominos are falling, and Steve Rogers plans of HIS Hydra, not Skulls natzi perversion, taking over the world have begun. The folks behind this event and many of its tie-ins talked a bit about what to expect, along with some cover and interrior art, and finished with a great Q&A from those in attendance.
- There is a time jump where we find Steve Rogers and the Hydra Council in charge and we will find that the world and those in it are in different places. This is possibly due to using Kobic to make the world more Hydra.
- The first few issues are billed as “going big” and “throwing everything including the kitchen sink at us”.
- A Baron Von Struker cosplayer is offered a chance to read something upcoming, but is denied due to his affiliation to Hydra.
- They talk about the long road to Secret Empire from last years Avengers Standoff and how the story was pitched back in February of 2016, saying how there was no other way to do a story like this other than an event. I completely agree.
- An audience member is chosen to read from the upcoming Free Comic Book Day issue.
- The heroes in New York are hanging by a thread, as they are surrounded by their enemies while some tension remains from the fall out of Civil War II.
- The ramifications of this event will carry on throughout this year and on into 2018.
- The heroes in space are on the wrong side of the planetary shield, facing seemingly endless waves of the Chitauri invasion force. Danvers wants to take down Steve Rogers in worst way after learning of his betrail.
- A cover of Ultron…..or is it thr most recent Hank Pymtron?….
- Keep an eye out at your local comic hook shop around issue #6 or 7 for free Cosmic Cubes, much similar to the Watchers Eyes they gave out during Original Sin.
- Sam Wilson’s role has dramatically changed since taking off the stars and stripes, no longer wearing the mantle of Captain America as he has lost faith in our nation.
- There will be a Dark demension dome in NYC that will be very Strange.
- Doctor Otto Octavious survived the recent Clone Conspiracy Spider-Man event by placing his concience in a perfect clone of Peter Parker. Now, with a secret Hydra base under his control, he will go after Spider-Man as the Superior Octopus in a huge tie-in/arc. It’s noted that while he loosely operates with Hydra, he has his alterior motives.
- The X-Men Blue team’s role as resistance fighters in the event is discussed as well as covers that reveal the return of Emma Frost and Polaris.
- Onto the Captain Marvel series where she is desperate to get through the shield and stop Rogers.
- They talk about how events in our own history like DDay and Midway inspired them for Carols heroism and struggle, much like Rogers during WWII, and how messed up the world is if someone as pure as Roges can turn out to be the bad guy.
- A new Wakandan Alpha flight cadet will be introducedone who will work with a drone.
- Back to Earth to talk Secret Warriors. With The InHuman royal family in deep space, it’s up to Karnak to guide the younger InHumans. There is a road trip involved and Devil Dinosaur will EAT PEOPLE!
- They talked about Brave New World tie-in along with the various reactions across the superhuman community when they learn of Rogers betrayal.
- There will be an All-New Patriot introduced who will likely take up the stars, stripes, and shield in the absence of both Captain Americas.
They left plenty of time for Q&A’s for those in attendance. Someone asked about whether the premonition from Civil War II with Miles Morales and Captain America comes to fruition and was given the old maybe/wait and see response. There was one from a vetran about the perspective of this event, given the political and racial climates of today and how, if at all, they’re painting the modern day soldier. This was met by a very supportive audience applause for our service members and the panel gave a great response saying they have all the respect for them and in no way is this a slight on them. My question was about whether the The Superior Octopus was going to be something for this event or something more long term, to which they simply said that there are definitely long term plans as Dan Slott doesn’t do anything short term.
Lastly, and most humorously, there was an audience member throughout that kept raising his hand for volunteer reading. He kept getting denied because he was sporting a Superman shirt during a Marvel panel. When it was his turn to ask a question he said, “If I take off the shirt, can I read it?!” The panel said yes and off came the shirt as the crowd chanted “rip it off”. He didn’t rip it but threw it on the floor, clearly having on an undershirt. His boisterous reaction to what he read makes me want to read that issue yesterday. This one of the most fun panels I’ve been to and look forward to the ones next year April 8th-10th.