Secret Empire Reading Order (Updated 8/2)

If you’ve read any X-Men comics or seen an X-Men movie since, well, 1963, you know that confusing timelines and continuity are par for the course.

The last two issues of X-Men: Gold have quite clearly taken place during Secret Empire.  And very early on in the crossover at that.  An event in those issues stamp it as overlapping with Secret Empire #0.  Which is all well and good.  Where my one eyebrow raised in a look of Vulcan perplexity was the release of today’s X-Men: Gold #9, which is not a Secret Empire tie-in.  To confirm, I picked it up and had a look through it.  It definitely does not take place in a Hydra run America.

This got me to scour back over the previous two issues to see if this made any sense.  And finally on the last page of issue 8 I found a caption that I must have glossed over before.  Paraphrasing, that last page takes place “days later” after the end of Secret Empire.  Which is not a big deal, unless you are like me and think about things too much.

It’s established that issue 7 takes place concurrently with Secret Empire #0.  The events in issue 7-8 can’t span more than a night or so.  And then we have the “days later” caption for that final page and beyond.  Which all implies that Secret Empire takes place within a week or less.  Nowhere else has that sort of timeline been established, and I get the feeling there are even possibly months between Secret Empire #0 and #1.

I know this is a minor thing that Tom Kelly would tell me not to think about, and even the editor of the X-books writes on the letters page that the tie-ins are more of a nod to what is going on than actually being involved.  But, it’s just one of those things.  So in long, you don’t need to read X-Men: Gold #9.

As for this weeks actual tie-ins, they’re a bit tricky in their own right.  Avengers #10 has no definitive cues about when it occurs outside of having to be after Secret Empire #0 and the Free Comic Book Day issue.  I’ll stick it on the end for now, but I have a feeling that it could move based on subsequent issues.  It definitely feels like it should be earlier.

Champions #10 seemed like it would be a breeze to place as an editor’s note states that it takes place during Secret Empire #2.  Which it kinda sorta does.  The problem actually comes from the fact that it has to come after the Patriot story in Secret Empire: Brave New World #2, which seemed to be after/during Secret Empire #2 as well.  So I juggled things a little and moved Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 up before Secret Empire #2 and then placed Champions #10 right after it.  The beginning of Secret Empire #2 is basically told in flashback anyway, and these issues work better when closer to the end of Secret Empire #1.  Doing this makes the Deadpool issues a little clunky, but they have to take place after Secret Empire #1.

  1. Road To Secret Empire [Trade]
  2. Captain America: Sam Wilson #21 [Unbranded]
  3. Uncanny Avengers #22 [Unbranded]
  4. Captain America: Steve Rogers #15 [Unbranded]
  5. Deadpool #31
  6. U.S. Avengers #5 [Opening Salvo]
  7. Thunderbolts #12 [Opening Salvo]
  8. Captain America: Steve Rogers #16 [Opening Salvo]
  9. Secret Empire #0
  10. Mighty Captain Marvel #5
  11. Uncanny Avengers #24
  12. Uncanny Avengers #25
  13. Ultimates2 #7
  14. Amazing Spider-Man #29
  15. U.S. Avengers #6
  16. X-Men: Gold #7
  17. X-Men: Gold #8
  18. Secret Empire: Brave New World #3 (Daily Bugle and Starbrand stories)
  19. Secret Empire Free Comic Book Day 2017
  20. U.S.Avengers #7
  21. U.S.Avengers #8
  22. Amazing Spider-Man #30
  23. Avengers #9
  24. Mighty Captain Marvel #6
  25. Mighty Captain Marvel #7
  26. All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual (2017)
  27. Secret Empire: Brave New World #1 (Invaders story)
  28. Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (Invaders story)
  29. Secret Empire: Brave New World #3 (Invaders story)
  30. Secret Empire: Brave New World #4 (Invaders story)
  31. Secret Empire: Brave New World #1 (Giant Man and Gwenpool stories)
  32. Champions #10
  33. Secret Warriors #1
  34. Secret Warriors #2
  35. Secret Warriors #3
  36. Secret Warriors #4
  37. Occupy Avengers #8
  38. Occupy Avengers #9
  39. Secret Empire: Brave New World #4 (Misty Knight and Emma Frost stories)
  40. Secret Empire #1
  41. Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (Patriot story)
  42. Champions #11
  43. Deadpool #32
  44. Deadpool #33
  45. Deadpool #34
  46. Secret Empire #2
  47. Captain America: Sam Wilson #22
  48. Captain America: Steve Rogers #17
  49. Secret Empire #3
  50. Secret Empire: Uprising #1
  51. Doctor Strange #21
  52. Doctor Strange #22
  53. Doctor Strange #23
  54. Captain America: Sam Wilson #23
  55. Secret Empire #4
  56. Captain America: Steve Rogers #18
  57. X-Men: Blue #7
  58. X-Men: Blue #8
  59. Secret Empire: United #1
  60. Secret Empire: Underground #1
  61. Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (Hydra Bob story)
  62. Secret Empire #5
  63. Secret Empire #6
  64. Secret Empire #7
  65. Captain America: Sam Wilson #24
  66. Captain America: Steve Rogers #19
  67. Avengers #10

That’s it for now.  If anywhere along the way you spot anything missing or incorrect or are wondering why I placed something where I did, feel free to use the comments below or message me directly.


3 thoughts on “Secret Empire Reading Order (Updated 8/2)

  1. Should “Generations – The Strongest” (aka Generations 1of10) potentially be included in the Secret Empire read-order?

    I guess it could potentially be taking place at the very end of Secret Empire, but as I understand Legacy is spinning directly out of both, and that Generations is a by product of the Secret Empire

    1. Excellent question. For now I am keeping them separate, but depending on how they tie into Secret Empire I may merge them in. Based on the Hulk issue there is no way of knowing yet where they would even lie besides at the end of the current reading order.

  2. With the two issues I have coming in the mail today I will be completely caught up. Thanks for the help. My only suggestion would be, solid story lines like Dr. Strange, Deadpool and Secret Warriors should be listed as one number. Meaning 17.1, 17.2 etc. I am putting numbered stickers on my bags & checking them off when I read them. So adding numbers in the middle is difficult. Otherwise, great job.

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