Secret Empire United #1
Writer: Jim Zub
Penciler: Ario Anindito
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 06/14/17
Plot: The Mutants have to deal with a rogue group that has attacked Hydra and how to navigate the situation. With a need to get one of the captured mutants back, an undercover team is going in for a secret rescue mission.
Story: Secret Empire United jumps into one of the many different world building aspects of the entire event that Marvel has going on. By having Hydra take over the world, it opens up all of these questions about certain characters and where they stand. This book dials right into the fate of mutants and their position on everything, which makes for a solid political thriller type of story.
The idea immediately knows how much fun it can have running with the whole upside down world that Secret Empire has created, giving mutants their own section of land where they can live peacefully alongside of Hydra. Not only does Secret Empire United give us an additional world where mutants reign supreme, but it also shows that certain humans would rather live in a place where they are treated as second class citizens over being a part of the Hydra empire. Zub really brings up nice story points throughout the book to create more tension in this already screwed up world, but it’s always nice to see the mutants represented and included as well.
While it’s sad to see the abuse of power and mutants abusing the status change over humans, it also makes complete sense. Yet, again, it’s fascinating to explore the idea that humans might find it safer or more appealing to live in this type of a society than be controlled by Hydra.
Zub really nails the calculated aspect of politics in Secret Empire United though, displaying how the mutants have to be smart with their decisions. Hydra has created this high tension world and while they have a treaty of sorts with the mutant country, both sides have to worry about keeping their public appearance safe. It makes the book a lot of fun as a companion piece to Secret Empire because currently the mutants seem like a group that could play into the larger story in multiple ways, currently being a wildcard. The story definitely has a lot to add to Secret Empire and just has a really fun political feel to its story.
Art: The art in Secret Empire United is really solid as well and Ario Anidito does a nice job of bringing his flare to the book. Anidito has a great balance in his art and creates solid looking close up panels as well as action sequences. Everything flows nicely and the panels all connect throughout the story, giving the book a great visual flow.
This issue has a good balance of action and high tension throughout it, which definitely get taken advantage of. All of the scenes stay relatively safe but Anidito definitely provides a sense that there is going to be a lot more confrontation coming in Secret Empire United, which should be a lot of fun to see what the artist can continue to bring as this book gets more intense.
The other side of the artwork in Secret Empire United does some neat things with the color choices on the digital side of the art. There is a great choice to have the infiltrating mutant team appear as transparent to represent their invisibility on the rescue mission. It’s a really neat choice that adds to the scene by enhancing the look of what’s going on in the actual panel and story.
Verdict: Secret Empire United is a really neat companion book to the overall story and even that Marvel has going on. Jim Zub really builds up the political tension nicely and adds a new layer of events happening in this new world. There is a good balance of action along with the thrilling side of the story, so it never feels too slow-moving. Hopefully the events in the book can pick up a little bit, because it would make this a really awesome book that enhances Secret Empire.