SDCC 2017: Secret Empire Panel

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Marvel brought Nick Spencer, Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos, Matthew Rosenberg, and Alanna Smith together to discuss the journey so far in Secret Empire, and what’s next. Nick Lowe was the moderator for the panel.

The biggest news from the panel was that Captain America will have a new creative team of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee as of November’s issue #695, complete with a retro Captain America logo restored. Waid made it clear that it will be Steve Rogers in the role.

“Steve is kind of tired of being the couch-surfer of the Marvel Universe, he’s never really had a place to call his own other than Avengers Mansion,” Waid said, continuing that the series will involve a road trip for the character. “This is him getting back in touch with Captain America, learning how people perceive Captain America in light of Secret Empire.”

When talking about the next issue Spencer said, “It’s a crazy, crazy issue. If you remember the vision from Civil War II that Ulysses had of Miles killing Captain America, this is where that comes to fruition.”

Captain America #25 is going to be an important issue for the relationship of Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers according to Spencer. Smith recommends that people read  Captain America #25 before Secret Empire #8.

When talking about her series Secret Empire: Brave New World Smith said, “There’s the ongoing thread of Namor and the Invaders, which will be coming to a head [in August’s issue #5].”

“We knew we had a lot of story to cover,” Spencer added. “I’m incredibly grateful to Marvel for giving us the extra space that we needed. Every issue has been over 30 pages.”

Like all events there have been many tie-ins for Secret Empire. Spencer talked about one of the tie-ins, September’s Secret Empire: Omega a one-shot, by himself and Andrea Sorrentino, and said it will show a “fundamentally different” Marvel Universe.

Waid recapped his Secret Empire tie-in issues of Avengers, which features Captain America’s team of “Dark Avengers.” Waid said he especially enjoys the dynamic between Deadpool and Doctor Octopus — er, “the Superior Octopus.” “Every moment Octavius doesn’t kill him is a moment of restraint.”

Waid also writes Champions which shows a different side of what is happening with Secret Empire. Ramos said,“It’s always cool to see the guest heroes in our book,” Ramos said

Secret EmpireAmazing Spider-Man is also a tie-in that has major effects on the main story. Lowe talked August’s issues #31. “[Dan Slott] and Stuart Immonen, their plan for these issues have been just incredible. The Superior Octopus has come to take on Parker Industries.” Lowe complimented the story for being an event tie-in that has major implications for both Secret Empire and the Amazing Spider-Man series itself


In response to a question about the future of the Marvel Universe Smith said, “Coming out of this, you may see a more unified Marvel Universe than what we saw after Civil War II.”

A fan asked if real-life social and political events effected Secret Empire. “I wanted to do a story that was about universal truths,” Spencer said. “Things that are always a struggle for us — what happens when you don’t question authority, individual rights versus the whole, and how far we can let that go in the name of security and safety.”

When a fan asked about the difficulty of coordinating charcters’ stories through multiple titles Rosenberg said he didn’t know at first that Deadpool was going to kill Phil Coulson, which affects Secret Warriors in a major way because he’s one of Quake’s mentors. “That’s actually the end of our Secret Empire arc,” Rosenberg said. “Immediately after that is Quake hunting Deadpool.”

The next issue of Secret Empire will be released July 26

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