A cosmic cube turned Captain America into the ultimate Hydra sleeper agent, and the country is now under their control. Earth’s heroes are stranded beyond the planet’s defense shield of trapped inside New York City. Cap obliterated Las Vegas, and Black Widow decided that he has to be stopped. A group of young heroes agree, and they’re now working together.
In this one-shot, Black Widow teams up with Riri Williams (Ironheart), Amadeus Cho (the Hulk), Nadia Pym (Wasp), Miles Morales (Spider-Man), Joaquin Torres (Falcon), and Viv Vision. Their mission is to infiltrate the Hydra youth choir. Amadeus and Nadia step up and join the choir, doing everything they can to blend in with the Hydra crowd. But it’ll be more difficult than they thought…
Derek Landy’s writing in this issue is smooth and natural. The dialogue within our group of anti-Hydra heroes is believable and informal enough that we can see their different personalities come through quite a bit. Black Widow is leading the team, but the kids take things into their own hands, making quite a ruckus at the youth choir’s location.
We get a little taste of what the end game is for our protagonists. The choir will get a chance to sing in front of Captain America himself, so they’ll be within striking distance. But the kids were told they’re going to be spies, not assassins. I’m curious as to whether or not their attitudes would change based on their experiences with Hydra. I can definitely see this being a miniseries instead of a one-shot.
Joshua Cassara’s artwork is brilliant. The pencils are clean, with details that show a lot of depth and texture. The characters are emotive and fluid, with clear movement from panel to panel. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors are what really get me. They have a muddy quality to them, so objects have an abstract quality to them, but we still see a lot of realism. There is a generally suspenseful tone to the issue, which fits the content well—seeing as Amadeus and Nadia are undercover and risk being caught an awful lot.
This is a great issue to add to the Secret Empire series. Marvel is releasing these books frequently, and all have their merit. The creative team has done a fantastic job on this book, and I fully recommend it for any Marvel fan.
Written by: Derek Landy
Illustrated by: Joshua Cassara