Secret Empire Reading Order (Updated 8/10)

We’ve got a lot to talk about this week so in the immortal words of Michael Bolton, “Let’s get to it!”

Most of this weeks new releases slot in pretty easily.  Amazing Spider-Man #31 is immediately after issue #30.  We know that Captain America #25 is after Captain America: Steve Rogers #19 and before this weeks Secret Empire #8.  But then we get to Secret Warriors #5 and all hell breaks loose.

Secret Warriors has been gleefully swimming along, minding it’s own business.  It was clearly after the Hydra takeover, but there was not much, if anything, to place it further.  Until issue #5, which shows us that the entire series is taking place within a week or so before Captain America #25.  Where it gets really messy is that the issue and it’s storyline actually intersect with and overlap Captain America #25.  The Secret Warriors issue, if read first, contains something of a spoiler for Cap #25.  Not a huge one, but one that had me consider if I should split the issue up and place it around the Cap issue.  There is even a convenient little “Two Days Later” page break where you could probably do it.

Unlike my Civil War II reading order, for the most part I have avoided splitting up issues here.  The only ones I have done are the anthology book Secret Empire: Brave New World.  So at this point, I’m almost trying to avoiding splitting any books up.  And I really think doing so spoils the experience of reading Secret Warriors, which is mostly stand alone, aside from this tie in in the last issue.  So I decided to move the works of them just before Captain America #25.  As happens in these events, the earlier issue feel like they maybe should be earlier than this in the order, but the books all run together, and as stated, issue #5 needs to be placed here.  My continuity senses cringe a bit at having the depicted events occur here “first” instead of in Cap, but it’s not that big of a deal.

So, we’re all good now right?  Actually no.  There are a couple of things that happen in Secret Empire #8 that has made me think about the placement of a couple of other issues.  First up is Avengers #10.  I said last week when I placed it that I sensed it would be moved, and it clearly cannot take place after Secret Empire #8.  So I decided to move it up…but to where?  It’s placement is still a complete guessing game, but I figure it is closer to the beginning of the event and felt like it needed to at least be after the first appearance of the Hydra Avengers in Secret Empire #1.  Eventually I settled on after Secret Empire #3, but I’m open to suggestions.

The other event that occurred had me reconsider the placement of the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual.  Originally I was thinking that the Annual occurred during Mighty Captain Marvel #7.  Though I did find this a bit clunky, and now I see for good reason.  As what I thought happened in the Captain Marvel book that tied into Guardians, actually happens in Secret Empire #8.  (It’s hard to talk about this stuff without spoilers.)  In revisiting some other issues, I also found that I had forgotten about a Guardians appearance in Secret Empire #3.  And so, I needed to move the Annual after Secret Empire #3 as well.  I’ll place it immediately after, but it can really occur anywhere between Secret Empire’s #3 to #8.

And finally, after last weeks update, long time listener and first time caller Fordy asked me if the Generations one shots should be included in the reading order?  Supposedly something will occur in Secret Empire to set up Generations and lead into Marvel’s new Legacy initiative in the fall.  What that is, we don’t know.  So until we do know what that something really is and how it ties in, I’m going to ignore Generations for now.  But if you are insistent that you want to add them, they’d currently go at the very end of the reading order.

  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. Amazing Spider-Man #31
  24. Avengers #9
  25. Mighty Captain Marvel #6
  26. Mighty Captain Marvel #7
  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. Occupy Avengers #8
  34. Occupy Avengers #9
  35. Secret Empire: Brave New World #4 (Misty Knight and Emma Frost stories)
  36. Secret Empire #1
  37. Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (Patriot story)
  38. Champions #11
  39. Deadpool #32
  40. Deadpool #33
  41. Deadpool #34
  42. Secret Empire #2
  43. Captain America: Sam Wilson #22
  44. Captain America: Steve Rogers #17
  45. Secret Empire #3
  46. All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual (2017)
  47. Avengers #10
  48. Secret Empire: Uprising #1
  49. Doctor Strange #21
  50. Doctor Strange #22
  51. Doctor Strange #23
  52. Captain America: Sam Wilson #23
  53. Secret Empire #4
  54. Captain America: Steve Rogers #18
  55. X-Men: Blue #7
  56. X-Men: Blue #8
  57. Secret Empire: United #1
  58. Secret Empire: Underground #1
  59. Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (Hydra Bob story)
  60. Secret Empire #5
  61. Secret Empire #6
  62. Secret Empire #7
  63. Captain America: Sam Wilson #24
  64. Captain America: Steve Rogers #19
  65. Secret Warriors #1
  66. Secret Warriors #2
  67. Secret Warriors #3
  68. Secret Warriors #4
  69. Secret Warriors #5
  70. Captain America #25
  71. Secret Empire #8

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.


8 thoughts on “Secret Empire Reading Order (Updated 8/10)

  1. Although it is not part of Secret Empire, Ultimates 2 #9 contradicts the event. Spoilers for the issue are ahead. The Shaper’s Ghost takes the Utimates away from the battle against the Chitauri. This goes against what happens in Secret Empire #8, where the Ultimates are still outside the defense shield when it comes down. Can somebody please explain to me whether i am missing something, or if this is just a mistake by Marvel.

    1. I was wondering about those issues as well since #7 was a tie-in, but the subsequent ones were not. I’ll check them out and see what’s what.

      1. Yeah, #7 was a tie-in, and #8 wasn’t a tie-in, but some (and strangely not all) covers had the banner on them. Issue #9 Doesn’t have the banner at all (that I’m aware of), but it seems as though it was trying to be a tie-in.

  2. Unless in the final issue out next week, the story ends with the old “and they were returned to the second they left with no memory of ever having left” tropes…

      1. Ok, so I checked out Ultimates2 #8 and #9 and here’s my take (with spoilers for these issues and Secret Empire).

        Although there does seem to be what looks like a Secret Empire branded cover for #8 floating around, I am completely fine ignoring it as the entire story is about Galactus and I don’t think they even mention Secret Empire.

        #9 is a bit of a different story. As you mention, I don’t think there is a branded cover, but it clearly takes place during Secret Empire as the Ultimates and Guardians are shown fighting the Chitauri. And there is much talk about the planetary shield and “Hydra Earth”. And Blank Panther is given a huge section of the book where he talks about Secret Empire as well. So I think it makes a strong case to be included in the reading order.

        However, I don’t think there are issues with it contradicting Secret Empire #8 directly, because the Ultimates and Guardians appearance, as well as the Black Panther at Wakanda all seem to be very early on in the event. Potentially around Secret Empire #0 or shortly after.

        So I think Gary may be right that the Ultimates return shortly after they left, with our without the no memory trope. I think to be “correct” they need to return before Secret Empire #3 where the Guardians are shown to have headed out into the universe in search of help. Ultimates2 #100 doesn’t appear to be a branded tie in either, but could be interesting if what I’ve discussed here comes to pass…and to see what Carol and the other have to say if they face off against Ultimate Captain America.

        1. Thanks for the explanation. Are you going to wait to place #9 in the reading order until #100 comes out to see if that provides any clarification as to when those issues take place?

          1. Most likely, but kind of by coincidence. As I think 100 comes out next week and I’ll lump it in with the updates for that week. I still think it will be early, and I’d have to look at it closer when the time comes, but probably even directly after Ultimates2 #7.

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