In the fifth problem of Marvel’s Civil Battle II, the Avengers, Inhumans, and extra had been at conflict with each other over whether or not they have the suitable to apprehend villains for crimes that they’ve but to commit. However their battle stops when everyone seems to be out of the blue struck with a imaginative and prescient of Miles Morales, Final Spider-Man, killing Captain America.
The picture of Miles gripping Cap’s bloody, lifeless physique after seemingly stabbing him via the chest on the steps of the Capitol constructing was surprising on the time, provided that, on the time, Steve Rogers was in good standing with basically all the Marvel universe. Whereas tensions left over from the unique Civil Battle occasion lingered between Steve and Tony Stark, the concept anybody could be pushed to homicide Steve was past the pale.
However that was earlier than Secret Empire.
In this week’s problem of Secret Empire, Miles and the remainder of the Champions set out on a mission to kill Steve and put an finish of Hydra’s fascist regime that he helped construct. As the problem opens, everybody concerned within the mission sees it because the fulfilling of a prophecy they’ve already seen, however by its shut, Secret Empire #7 throws a devastating twist into the combo.
For the previous six points, the Champions have been coaching with Black Widow to infiltrate Hydra’s youth group with a purpose to get shut sufficient to Captain America when he’s susceptible with a purpose to assassinate him. Typically talking, their plan’s been going in addition to may be anticipated for a bunch of fugitive freedom fighters being hunted by a brilliant police state.
The staff is aware of when, the place, and the way the mission is meant to go down. Black Widow will launch Mosaic—an Inhuman with the flexibility to own folks—who will hijack the Hydra grunts assembled throughout a public occasion. As soon as he makes them assault each other, it ought to trigger sufficient mayhem to present Widow the possibility to take Captain America out with a sniper rifle. The plan is sound and whereas everybody trusts Widow, in addition they can’t fake that they haven’t all already seen the long run—somewhat, a future—wherein Miles is the one who does the deed.
Selecting to depend on her personal skills somewhat than a prophecy, Widow permits Miles to assume that he’ll be on the bottom with the remainder of the staff proper up till the mission goes into motion and he or she traps him within the staff’s armored truck. If Miles can’t be anyplace close to Steve, he can’t be the one to kill him.
And for some time, Widow’s plan appears to be working. The Champions are positioned strategically all through the assembled crowd earlier than Captain America and, when Widow is ambushed by newly-turned Hydra agent Frank Fort, she makes fast work of him by elegantly stabbing him in each thighs.
Marvel isn’t any stranger to prophetic misdirects however, as a result of this isn’t the top of Secret Empire, after all Miles will get out, satisfied that the plan can solely work if he’s the one to kill Steve.
As Miles makes his method onto the rostrum, Steve (who has additionally seen his prophesied demise) accepts his destiny and welcome’s Miles’ problem, however the two are interrupted when Black Widow rushes onto the stage to maintain Miles protected. After which, as if we wanted any extra proof that this Captain America is a tyrannical overlord who will homicide within the identify of Hydra’s fascistic beliefs, we see Steve take his protect and ship a blow to Widow’s head that cracks most of her jaw and seemingly severs her spinal twine close to the bottom of her neck.
By all appearances, the blow kills Widow, surprising everybody who witnesses it and drives Miles right into a berserker rage resulting in what looks as if the prophecy’s success. Miles breaks Steve’s protect in the very same spot that was predicted and proceeds to beat the shit out of him in one of many extra satisfying sequences we’ve seen in Secret Empire to date.
However simply as Miles is ready to kill Steve, he stops as a result of he, like everybody else round him is aware of that prophecy or no, he’s by no means been a killer. Even now. The sequence ends with the Champions being arrested by Hydra brokers and dragged away earlier than the e-book strikes on to a few of Secret Empire’s much less flashy subplots.
It isn’t in any respect stunning that this problem didn’t finish with Miles killing Steve as we had been as soon as promised, however in killing Black Widow, Secret Empire continues to be the kind of occasion that traffics in shock and horror with out having the ability to justify itself. Narratively, nothing is gained from Natasha’s demise aside from doubling down on the concept Hydra’s an evil group with an evil asshole as its supreme chief. That is one thing that we’ve already identified for some time and it doesn’t assist that the imaginative and prescient that was the very starting of this occasion has been revealed as a fake-out this late into the sport.
Secret Empire #7 is comedian book-y within the least charitable sense of the phrase. It desires you to assume its plot twists are intelligent when, in actuality, they land extra like unimaginative first draft concepts. Bear in mind while you thought Miles was gonna kill Cap? PSYCH!!!