Captain America and the Falcon Secret Empire Review

335024._SX1280_QL80_TTD_
It’s time to take a look at the Secret Empire. Recently Marvel has had fun bringing back old events. We got a new Civil War, Infinity Gauntlet, and even the Secret Empire. Many don’t know this but there was an original Secret Empire event which the new one is lightly based off of. Honestly, it’s very light so the plots are quite different, but it goes to show that Marvel has been doing their research. This isn’t a very good event, but it’s decent enough. The writing just hasn’t aged well in some respects.

The collection starts off with Falcon being jumped by a bunch of hooligans. Captain America saves him, but Falcon isn’t happy since he’s tired of being in Cap’s shadow. Cap offers to help him get a power up through Iron-Man or Hank Pym, but Falcon wants it to be someone more relatable so he goes to Black Panther. This is only the start of where Falcon starts to act petty. He brings his girlfriend along for the ride basically just to show off and she gets competitive with the others very quickly. She picks fights with almost literally everyone she comes across and even throws a spear at Black Panther just to get his attention. Thanks to her, two of Black Panther’s guards are murdered and Falcon doesn’t seem to care as he keeps bragging about his upgrades. He runs back to show them off to Cap and is quite eager to take on the Avenger in a fight.

While Falcon was gone, a smear campaign was run against Captain America on TV and it was quite successful. So successful in fact that within days the whole country was agiainst the hero, even the Avengers. It’s almost laughable how quickly Iron-Man shows up with his threats and Falcon starts to have doubts as well. Even Nick Fury quickly jumps on the bandwagon. Captain America begins to lose faith in America which is understandable but before he call it quits, it’s time to take down the Secret Empire. It turns out that they have also kidnapped most of the X-Men so Professor Xavier, Jean Grey, and Cyclops arrive as backup. Together, the heroes stand a fighting chance, but Cap may have to cross some lines in order to clear his name.

The Evil Cap part is what the new Secret Empire is really going for while here it was all just bad media coverage. I think a big problem with the arc is that it all hinges on Marvel’s America being as gullible as possible. Did everyone really believe these media interviews so completely? What happened to the Daily Bugle and their reporting skills? Why didn’t the Avengers launch a campaign of their own? Why would everyone accept a new Moon hero coming out of nowhere as Captain America’s replacement? I felt like this comic took a lot of beats from the Thunderbolts but in a far more rushed and less believable scenario. I don’t know, the whole thing was rather fishy the whole time.

Captain America also wasn’t at his most likable in this comic either. He basically said that he wouldn’t help the X-Men until they pointed out that it was the same villain behind both schemes. He falls for every trap that the enemies laid out because his emotions cloud his judgment the whole time. It’s easy to forget that he is supposed to be a seasoned veteran here because he rarely acts like it. He also makes the wrong decision to end the comic and this has got to be the 4th or 5th time he’s done this. I didn’t realize that he was lacking in confidence so often. He’s still an entertaining enough character to watch, but he can be annoying.

Falcon is unfortunately even worse. He spends the early issues being jealous of Cap and then he rushes into battle without actually remembering how to fight. In a critical moment he ends up knocking out Black Panther and himself by mistake and tends to lose in all of his fights. Even in his big return fight where he teamed up with Cap, he lost in under 5 seconds. Naturally he started throwing petty insults at Cap after that. Falcon has just got to be the most petty superhero of all time and I’d consider him to be more whiny than Alpha from the recent Spider-Man comics. I’m glad that the Falcon has improved over the years because otherwise I can’t see why he’d stay on as a main character.

Black Panther looked good here. Despite everyone rushing him and murdering his men, he stayed calm throughout and always had a plan. He was definitely useful here. Thor and Iron-Man had decent motivational speeches, but didn’t do much in the story beyond that. There is a subplot where Peggy thinks Cap still likes her while he actually likes someone else. This drama plot definitely feels like it’s out of left field. It could be resolved rather quickly but Cap is too nervous to say anything. I’m not too surprised. It’s not an easy decision of course, but he still needs to make the hero call here.

As for the villains, we mainly focus on the Tumbler. He’s not half bad although you can’t help but feel like he is just Batroc by another name. His agility lets him take on guys like Captain America, but I can’t see him lasting too long otherwise. The Moon villain was more of a threat and he was someone that I could take a lot more seriously. He had super strength, speed, and intangibility. I think he could also teleport. Captain America and the others really couldn’t beat him during the issues so his fans must be thrilled. He gave the issues some more stakes as this was a villain that they couldn’t beat with brute force alone. I also liked the design.

We also have the corrupt politician. He wasn’t quite as fun as Godfrey, but I liked him all the same. He did a good job of stringing everyone along in his plot. The Secret Empire members also weren’t bad although most of them weren’t actual characters. It is interesting how Hydra created so many splinter groups. It really is a dangerous organization in that sense since every major villain group seems to be connected to them in some way or other. I’m trying to figure out who the politician who destroyed himself was since it obviously rattled Cap. On one hand, I want to say that it was the President, but I suppose that would be a little too bold. Whoever it was, I still wonder why it would break Cap. Maybe they’ll say it in a future comic or maybe they won’t.

The art was certainly on point. Everyone was in their ironic costumes and it was easy to go from page to page. Everything was sharp and this comic has aged incredibly well in that respect. I breezed through the issues as a result. Good art can certainly make a difference in a comic. Now, this review may have been on the negative side as I just had a lot of logic issues with the whole thing, but it was a fun comic. If anything, it just reinforces to me that the Marvel characters are still a lot meaner than the DC ones. They doubt each other and change sides at the flip of a hat. That hasn’t really changed much over the years.

That said, the adventures were still fun to follow. Seeing Cap have to break out of jail and steal stuff was pretty interesting. The team up with the X-Men was a lot of fun as well and I hadn’t been expecting that. It was also interesting to see the X-Men in their extremely old costumes while everyone else looked quite a bit more modern. I believe their was a plot reason for that, but it was a fun contrast. I would have liked to have seen Cyclops do a little better in the fights, but this wasn’t exactly his rodeo.

Overall, It’s been a while since I read a Captain America comic. In many respects he was portrayed well as he takes command of the situation and always walks around with a strut. That being said, his self doubts and general disregard for everyone else could be a little extreme. The Falcon was certainly extreme and maybe it was just the writer who didn’t really understand the characters. It can make the issues funny in an ironic way as you wonder why everyone is acting this way, but it is certainly entertaining through and through. There are no objectionable scenes in the comic and it never drops a random animal scene or anything else to worry about. It’s just a fun action adventure and you can’t ask for much more than that. I’d recommend checking out this comic and you may look at Captain America in a whole different way.

Overall 7/10

Advertisements

Avengers #1 Review

CA_upCcUcAEAgog
All right, it is time to bring back the Big 2 as far as comics are concerned. Marvel’s given us a glimpse of what the new Avengers roster will look like and how they perform as a team. Comically given the term, the PC (Politically Correct) Avengers online, it would be interesting to see how good the comic was. I think it is safe to say that it was a little more fun than I had anticipated.

The Avengers head off to stop the Radioactive Man. While half of the team deals with a giant lizard that has appeared, the kids head inside the warehouse to fight the main threat. The comic seems like it will be good light hearted fun even if we do already have some casualties. The bodies are off screen, which helps for that, but I guess we’ll see if the series decides to go Uncanny Avengers level of serious on us soon or if they go for a cheery atmosphere. It’s been a while since we got the former with the Avengers so that would be fun to see.

As for the members, well, I doubt that anyone is going to prefer these guys to the originals. Falcon is not quite the same Captain America that Steve Rogers was. He overreacts quite a bit and he’s insecure about his position. Iron Man…well, we know that it’s not Stark even if he hasn’t said anything yet. The theory that it is Pepper seems to be right on. She is more experienced than the others and that’s good since the team needs someone who knows their stuff. Nova, Ms Marvel, and Spider Man are the rookies so they will grow up during the series. Right now, Nova would be my favorite from the three as he jumps into danger. He’ll likely be heavily nerfed throughout the series since he outranks the other heroes so badly. The new Thor doesn’t get many lines, but she will certainly stay as the team’s power hitter. I look forward to seeing who her alter ego is once that twist finally comes out.

While a lot of the members are new, I wouldn’t actually call them weak. It’s a little surprising, but when you really think about it, these guys have what it takes to still be Avengers level. Thor and Iron Man give the team a good amount of raw power while Nova and Spider Man help out on the speed angle. The other help give the team the sheer numbers advantage and it all adds up to a fighting force to be feared. We shouldn’t underestimate the new generation!

The art is nice and streamlined, which makes for some nice fight scenes. It’s splendid and I’m glad that Marvel has once again done a good job on the areas that count. Writing and artwork. This series has the potential to be one of the better Avenger titles even if most of the members are rookies. I forgot which comic had a hero saying this, but it sure has become easier to join the Avengers nowadays. I guess it is just something that happens with time.

Overall, Avengers succeeds in what it sets out to do. It gets you engaged in what’s happening and eager to read the full comic. We jump to the action scenes right away and the pacing seems like it will be nice and quick. While I wouldn’t want this as the main Avengers title, it seems like it’ll be a good team book to check out from Marvel. If the X-Men could have around 6-7 series back in the day, the Avengers should be able to juggle a few as well. We will see if Falcon ends up getting used to the leader role or if he is eventually forced to relinquish the title. While this issue is more exciting than Secret Wars, I preferred the latter as it still looks like it will be a blast to read. I’m highly looking forward to that big event.

Overall 8/10

Ironman vs Falcon


autest257
The Falcon has always wanted to be the next genius on the Avengers, but he’ll never be able to get that title as long as Ironman is around. Ironman was their first thinker and he’ll be the last one as well. Falcon’s level of intellect is impressive…but it’s simply not on the same level. His armor is also primitive compared to Ironman’s. Ironman wins.

Hawkman vs Falcon


r1mrep
Hawkman and Falcon are both pretty tough aerial combatants. I’d say that Hawkman has the edge with his weapons and armor. His Nth metal allows him to heal wounds and he also has some to equipment to heavily amp up his strength. I don’t think Falcon can overcome all of that. Hawkman wins.

Falcon vs Allen




Falcon is back and gets his third loss in a row. Is this it for him or will he start to acend to greater heights. Allen has his claw of the law and uses it to pwn characters who aren’t him. Allen wins.

Rodan vs Falcon




Rodan can shoot energy beams that would defeat Falcon in the end. Well only Fire Rodan shoots beams, but he counts in the end. Falcon can see into the hearts of birds everywhere, but that won’t save him here. Rodan wins.

Godzilla vs Falcon




Godzilla has atomic breath that he could use to try and get Falcon. This was a pretty close match and anything could tilt the balance. But for now Godzilla will be remembered as the guy who beat Falcon. Godzilla wins.