When Captain America‘s “Secret Empire” takes over the glove we will see some of his fellow Invaders from World War II standing against the ‘Brave New World’ and writers Paul Allor and Jeremy Whitley are sharing a bit of what to expect. Of all of Steve Roger’s closest friends, outside of Bucky Barnes, no one has known him longer than his fellow heroes Invaders, and this book is set to center around Namor, Toro, and Jim Hammond’s reaction to their friend spreading Hydra across the globe.
Also involved will be Raz Maholtra, the new Giant Man who isn’t quite sure how his powers will make him useful for any “clandestine resistance against Hydra” especially when the last time a Giant Man was involved in a major superhero struggle things didn’t go well for him.
The story is being split between the two authors, and they’ll each have their focus. When it comes to Allor we’ll see him show the heroes coming to grips with what Rogers has done:
The story [artist] Brian Level and I are doing picks up a while after Steve’s new alliance comes to light. So we don’t see the initial reaction, but instead see our three main characters—Namor, Toro, and Jim Hammond—dealing with the very real, very personal ramifications of Captain America’s new regime. As you said, it is an absolutely crushing betrayal, and nearly everything our characters say and do in this story is directly influenced by it. That’s a big part of the fun of an event like this; every comment becomes loaded, every decision takes on another meaning. Even when Cap’s not on the page, Cap is always on the page, you know?
Not only has their friend betrayed them, but it makes them question everything, going back to their experience in fighting Nazism:
I think there’s a certain level of disbelief involved and a feeling that this can’t possibly be the real Captain America. These guys share the type of bond that most of us will never understand, and recent events bring all of their past experiences into question. But at the same time, their primary focus is the present, and on dealing with the world as it is.
Whitley picks up with Raz who is clearly going to have a major role to play at some point in this story arc. Whitley chimes in on where he was before the world going to Hell:
Last time we saw Raz he was double featuring in ASTONISHING ANT-MAN; he had been working with Ant-Man as part of Ant-Man Security Solutions. His situation was pretty interesting, as he’d moved from his home in San Francisco to Florida to train with Scott to better learn to use his powers. He got pulled away to do some work with the Ultimates in outer space, and by the time he got back, Scott had closed down Ant-Man Security Solutions and moved on. When we pick up his story here, his life is in shambles, largely thanks to Scott, but also due to some of his own issues. As things start to change in the world leading into Secret Empire, Raz has to decide what part he’s going to take and how he’s going to get there.
Namor has often stayed away from Human conflicts in the past but as we all know this new Hydra is playing every angle and leaving no stone unturned in completely dominating the Earth and as Allor states:
Captain America has a plan for everything and everyone, and Atlantis is certainly no exception. But as you can imagine, Namor will fight that agenda however he can—even in some relatively unexpected ways. This tale focuses in on Namor’s role not just as a soldier and a fighter, but as a monarch. His number one priorities are the safety and prosperity of his people, and his reaction to this new regime is a direct reflection of those priorities. Our story begins as Toro and Hammond show up in Atlantis, seeking help from their old friend. But they find that the situation in Atlantis is incredibly complicated and that Namor himself faces some wrenchingly difficult choices
It sounds like Namor might be in the mood to fight his friend right off the bat though duty to his people will prevent him from directly jumping into the middle of this battle. It sounds like Rogers is attempting to take Namor off the board in the same way that he’ll be working against the US Avengers.
The book won’t be completely serious though as Giant Man comes from a title that revels in laughter, so Whitley added in that:
I think when it comes to Giant Man—or really anyone in the Ant-Man family—that there is always room for laughs. Beyond that, people who know my work know that I always find room for a little levity.
I like the idea of having both a focus on some of Rogers oldest friends as well as a character who isn’t involved in the fight just because he is both so new and away from the action taking place. I suspect he will have a pivotal moment at the end of the battle though hope it isn’t one of self-sacrifice. We’ve had enough people dying wearing the mantle of Giant Man at this point.
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Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!