REVIEW: Secret Empire: New World Order #1 “Bababooey!”

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SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD #1
Cover Artists: Paulo Siqueira & Marcio Menyz
Variant Cover Artists: Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson; Joyce Chin & Rachelle
Rosenberg; John Cassaday & Paul Mounts
Release Date: 06/07/17
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $3.99

Brave New World

Captain America, the world’s most trusted and respected hero has become the ultimate sleeper agent for Hydra when his memories and life have been altered due to the sentient Cosmic Cube named Kobik. America is now being torn with those who are compliant with the new world order set out by the Hydra Supreme Leader, Captain America. With most of the heroes either stuck beyond the global defense shield in space, or behind a darkforce dome over New York. But there are still those heroes who fight the Secret Empire for a Brave New World!

This mini-series is an anthology so we get a few short stories thrown together with the common theme of Secret Empire. This book at the moment does not have any direct tie-ins to the overall Secret Empire story.

THE INVADERS
“Sanctuary”
Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Bryan Level
Colorists: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Charles Beachum

Plot: The pressure of the ocean isn’t the only thing weighing on the shoulders of Namor as Atlantis faces an uprising with those opposing the king’s compliance with the Hydra. Meanwhile two old friend seek refuge, but Namor must put his kingdom over his friendship.

Brave New World

Story: Namor is about to be killed by a would be assassin but he disarms him and in turn kills him. He then orders his guards to increase restrictions throughout Atlantis until they end this uprising. Then Namor is informed that there are “Invaders” at the gate and we find out that it is Jim Hammond, the Human Reactor and his once sidekick Toro. The two seek sanctuary as Hammond is being hunted for not being able to be brainwashed with the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents due to him being artificial and Toro for being Inhuman. Namor leads them into the city where they talk and discover that Namor isn’t going to grant them sanctuary. He tells his old friends that as a Sovereign he must put his people above all and orders them to be taken into custody with the others.

This was the one tie-in that I have been the most excited about because of the Invaders, and the last few week we seen the Secret Empire destroying a sacred temple in Atlantis. So when I picked up this I was expecting to see Namor leading the charge, but instead I got a broken and beaten Namor. I hated this giving his origins, and him fighting oppression. Namor’s origins are rooted with the Invaders and them taking on the Nazis in World War II, this is just another out of character shift for Marvel to “justify” their big event. I am hoping this is before the events in Secret Empire and we see Namor fighting back soon.

Brave New World

Art: The art here lacked detail. There are times where the background just fades out. I know this seems to be becoming the norm for comics, but I never liked it. I enjoy well fleshed out art where the art is nice and crisp and the backgrounds are just as detailed as the foreground. There were also missed opportunities here. This is Atlantis, the architecture, the tech, the ocean life, all could have been on display, but instead it was minimized.

GIANT-MAN
“Mile Hydra”
Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: Diego Olortegui
Colorists: Andy Troy
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Charles Beachum

Plot: Raz Maholtra, the new Giant-Man has fallen on hard times. Ant-Man’s security has gone under, his tech support job with the Ultimates has fallen through, and he was just kicked out by Grizzly & Machinesmith. Now he must head back to his parent’s house, but when he arrives he finds out that the world has changed dramatically during his bus trip.

Brave New World

Story: We get to know Raz Maholtra, Giant-Man. We find out how he became Giant-Man and what he has done since receiving the costume from Scott Lang, Ant-Man in the wake of Henry Pym, the original Ant-Man and Giant-Man’s sacrifice. We see that he hasn’t had the best of times. After being unthrilled with his I.T. job, and almost destroying the Golden Gate Bridge on his first time out as Giant-Man to him essentially being the I.T. guy in space for the Ultimates to him being kicked off the couch of Grizzly and Machinesmith and having to return to his parents in Denver.

After a long bus ride from Florida to Denver the country goes through a drastic change. When Raz arrives at the Denver station he sees that Hydra has taken over, after a quick call to Scott Lang, Raz heads to his parents house knowing his father wouldn’t bow down to Hydra. Raz’s concerns were well warranted as he arrives at their house just in time to see Hydra holding his mother and two sisters as incentive while they have his father on his knees ordering him to say “Hail Hydra” but as Raz predicted he will not. Raz suits up as Giant-Man and takes them out easily before calling Scott back and taking his family with him for their protection as he joins the resistance in Nevada.  

This was my favorite of the three stories. Usually the character history/recap isn’t done well in anthologies like this, because you have very limited space to tell a story and taking up that page time isn’t wise. But with this, it works since Raz is a very new character who hasn’t had many appearances, so this was really needed. The rest of the story really shows some great character moments for Raz, helping to develop him as a character and at the same time showing that not every American Citizen fell right in line with Captain America’s new world order.

Brave New World

Art: The art here is very solid. It managed to mimic the art style of The Astonishing Ant-Man, where Giant-Man debuted, while maintaining its own identity. There were nice details here, not super detailed but enough to where I felt more immersed and a part of the story here.  

GWENPOOL
“Propagandamonium”
Writer: Nick Kocher
Artist: Tana Ford
Colorists: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Heather Antos

Plot: Hydra has taken over a news station and is using a News Show to spread its propaganda. To help them they have taken the host and Gwenpool hostage with some unknown bat-creature dressed up as Spider-Man.

Brave New World

Story: A Hydra Agent takes over a news show titled “News Night With Peter Pena” renaming it “The Happy Hydra Information Broadcast For Registered Citizens With Peter Pena” to further the Hydra propaganda. They also took Gwenpool hostage to bring in a Superhero to help boost the propaganda. But since this is a Gwenpool book, things get silly with the lower third news scrolls and a man-bat creature dress up in a bad Spider-Man Halloween costume. But in the end Hydra learns the power of the press.

This was just that silly goofy story. It was very true to The Unbelievable Gwenpool series, very over the top, very tongue in cheek silly. I am not usually into this style, but in small doses it can be amusing.

Brave New World

Art:  The art here was very in key with what you can find every month in Gwenpool, that same fun animated style art. The characters expressions helped bring to live the over comedic style of the story. You felt like this was a parody, so very solid art.

Verdict: Overall this issue is ok. I would not say you NEED to pick up this issue, as it doesn’t serve as any direct tie-in to any story going on right now. If you are looking for some special insight or clues to the main story, do not look here. This is just a run of the mill “milk the event for all it is worth” “name only tie-in”. If you want to learn more about the characters during Secret Empire then this may be worth reading, but I am going to leave that decision up to you.

Brave New World

Rating: 3 stars.

 

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