They say the clothes make the man, even if that man is Captain America taking over the world on behalf of Hydra. Morality or ethics aside... pulling a twist like Marvel's Secret Empire without giving Steve Rogers a new suit seems like a waste. One that the publisher has now fixed by revealing the official first look at Secret Empire #10, the final issue of the planned event series, showing Steve Rogers in his glorious new Hydra-fied armor on its cover. Let the speculation commence.
Some might wonder if it's even proper that Steve Rogers should continue to bear the famous 'Captain America' insignia on his ruling wardrobe, since the star and 'A' symbolism are so potently drawing from his original, Nazi-hating purpose. But if neither Marvel, nor writer Nick Spencer have steered clear of controversy to this point, it only makes sense for Steve Rogers to do as he pleases, too. Even if the costume raises some big questions for fans - some of which they may be thrilled to ask with some evidence finally on their side.
The reveal comes courtesy of Marvel, with the announcement that Issue #10 will mark the conclusion of the game-changing event - making it hit a solid 11 issues when all is said and done (12 if you count the Mjolnir-tastic Free Comic Book Day issue). The event's many twists and turns to this point have led to a mixed conversation, if decidedly solid sales numbers, but if the publisher was still looking to guarantee readers saw it through to the end, a tease like this is hard to ignore.
Take a look for yourself at Issue #10's cover, showing Steve Rogers in a suit of Hydra armor clearly having proven effective in taking down the heroes who once (and still) oppose him:
The devoted fans to the new Captain America lore may see some similarities between Steve's final look, and the armor typically worn by Hydra's high-ranking officer known as 'Kraken.' The helmet may be the lynchpin of that design, and is lacking here in favor of Steve's typical - but reinforced - helmet. But it's food for thought on where the story may ultimately take Steve, and the Hydra authorities he's growing increasingly irritated by in the Secret Empire's early issues.
Along with the cover reveal comes a brief synopsis and tease, promising a big finish to the Secret Empire epic when it arrives late this Summer:
As Hydra’s tentacles tighten around the world, can they maintain control against the combined teams of the Avengers, Champions, Defenders, Inhumans, X-Men, and more? Or will the heroes of the Marvel Universe ultimately succumb to the power of one of their most trusted allies? Find out this August as SECRET EMPIRE reaches its dramatic conclusion.
Marvel SVP and Senior Editor was also on hand for the official reveal of the Secret Empire events closing salvo, praising writer Nick Spencer's talent for jaw-dropping final pages, and how the cover of Issue #10 can not yet to be fully appreciated. We don't know what events lead to this moment, this armor, or the reasons that the famous shield at the top of the image has bee "classified." Will it revert Steve back to his original loyalty, regardless of his costume? Brevoort isn't giving up the details any time soon:
"Nick has constructed each issue of SECRET EMPIRE so that it ends with a climactic twist or a big reveal or a shocking development, and issue #9 is no exception. So moving into the finale, with issue #10, the heroes across the Marvel Universe will be pushed to the breaking point as we race to the exhilarating climax we’ve been planning for months. Oh, and let me say again: we’re not going to use the Cosmic Cube to simply reverse everything away—the stakes matter, maybe more than they ever have before."
Spencer reiterated that final point, explaining to fans via Twitter that the story as it's being told was always the plan, and that the event would hold true to the promise of not being "undone" by some Cosmic Cube wizardry. Still, seeing an armored Cap standing over his vanquished enemies with shield raised implies that something will have to change... so is there anyone left who can save the day? Readers will need to be patient if they ever hope to find out.
So what do you think of the armor being shown off by HydraCap? Does it seem like a fitting finale look for what is almost guaranteed to be the biggest battle of the series? Now the only question is who Steve will be fighting...
Secret Empire #2 is available now.