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Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire

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The Secret Empire was rarely more secretive or empirical than in this classic arc that sets Cap against a conspiracy out to frame and replace him in the American mind! And pay close attention to the man behind the curtain (or mask, as the case may be)! Corruption and cover-ups conclude with Cap quitting the Avengers, paving the way for his days as Nomad! With Nick Fury, th The Secret Empire was rarely more secretive or empirical than in this classic arc that sets Cap against a conspiracy out to frame and replace him in the American mind! And pay close attention to the man behind the curtain (or mask, as the case may be)! Corruption and cover-ups conclude with Cap quitting the Avengers, paving the way for his days as Nomad! With Nick Fury, the Black Panther, and Banshee! Guest-starring the X-Men (back before it was cool)! Featuring an early re-telling of Cap's origin! Collects Captain America and The Falcon #169-176.


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The Secret Empire was rarely more secretive or empirical than in this classic arc that sets Cap against a conspiracy out to frame and replace him in the American mind! And pay close attention to the man behind the curtain (or mask, as the case may be)! Corruption and cover-ups conclude with Cap quitting the Avengers, paving the way for his days as Nomad! With Nick Fury, th The Secret Empire was rarely more secretive or empirical than in this classic arc that sets Cap against a conspiracy out to frame and replace him in the American mind! And pay close attention to the man behind the curtain (or mask, as the case may be)! Corruption and cover-ups conclude with Cap quitting the Avengers, paving the way for his days as Nomad! With Nick Fury, the Black Panther, and Banshee! Guest-starring the X-Men (back before it was cool)! Featuring an early re-telling of Cap's origin! Collects Captain America and The Falcon #169-176.

30 review for Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I'd skimmed this before, but this is the first time I've read it all the way through, and it's just wonderful, classic Captain America. It has its flaws -- too-easy coincidences, a few race issues, and some truly awful X-Men characterization -- but Sal Buscema's art is gorgeous and Steve Englehart's story is a fascinating look at a Captain America who is neither perfect nor universally beloved. It's a fantastic look at the national mood of the post-Watergate 1970s, as filtered through this symbo I'd skimmed this before, but this is the first time I've read it all the way through, and it's just wonderful, classic Captain America. It has its flaws -- too-easy coincidences, a few race issues, and some truly awful X-Men characterization -- but Sal Buscema's art is gorgeous and Steve Englehart's story is a fascinating look at a Captain America who is neither perfect nor universally beloved. It's a fantastic look at the national mood of the post-Watergate 1970s, as filtered through this symbol of America, and as a bonus it also features the origin of the Falcon's wings. Highly recommended for people looking to read the classics of Cap's canon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Andrews

    When Cap's sales were at an all time low, Englehart took on the writing and instead of keeping to formula and having the Cap and Falcon battle bad guys and pretty much do what they do best, he decides to controversially crush Cap's spirit and especially his faith in America. Meanwhile, Falcon is having his own doubts about living in the shadow of Cap so he goes to Wakanda to visit Black Panther and the science and technology that is on offer. The Cap wants Falcon to be happy so doesn't show his pl When Cap's sales were at an all time low, Englehart took on the writing and instead of keeping to formula and having the Cap and Falcon battle bad guys and pretty much do what they do best, he decides to controversially crush Cap's spirit and especially his faith in America. Meanwhile, Falcon is having his own doubts about living in the shadow of Cap so he goes to Wakanda to visit Black Panther and the science and technology that is on offer. The Cap wants Falcon to be happy so doesn't show his plight as an advertising campaign goes about to totally discredit Captain America and turn the American citizens against him. A whole well planned conspiracy thanks to this campaign, the new figurehead, Moonstone and the Secret Empire, is aimed at Cap and soon he doubts his own beliefs in himself, America and everything he once stood for. The angst of Cap is what really pulls this story together, you really feel for the broken soldier who is out of time both in his world and at the time the comics industry, where does he stand, when the symbol of liberty is fighting for good in a corrupt and broken America. Is this the end for Cap?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Two Envelopes and a Phone

    Steve Englehart and Marvel began a storyline in the Captain America comic book about Cap becoming disillusioned with the US, just as the Watergate scandal started breaking. Marvel must have known full well that it wasn’t just kids reading superhero comics anymore; their multi-issue plots and subplots approach had been rewarding the long-term attention spans of more mature readers, and as American politics descended into secrets, lies, and chaos in 1974, the Captain America series, complete with Steve Englehart and Marvel began a storyline in the Captain America comic book about Cap becoming disillusioned with the US, just as the Watergate scandal started breaking. Marvel must have known full well that it wasn’t just kids reading superhero comics anymore; their multi-issue plots and subplots approach had been rewarding the long-term attention spans of more mature readers, and as American politics descended into secrets, lies, and chaos in 1974, the Captain America series, complete with the hero that wears the American flag, rushed Watergate into a prescient story arc where it fit perfectly. Well, if a bit rushed. But having Cap chase a hooded villain into the White House, only to find that his enemy has actually run home...it’s one of the quieter, forgotten moments where Marvel knocked it out of the park with a supreme show of guts in just going for it. And since Steve Rogers seemed to be one bad day in the USA from quitting, thanks to everything else that had happened in the previous five or six issues, it was a terrific lead-up to what inevitably came to pass in the next shocking story-arc, involving Nomad... The media smear campaign enacted against the Star-Spangled Avenger throughout this story also seems eerily familiar, but TV, radio, newspapers and word of mouth can’t hold a candle to our latest days, I think; “people will believe anything, if you say it loud enough, long enough, and show the right pictures (maybe doctored, maybe taken out of context, but hey...)“ is sooo not just 1974. Sure, this ground-breaking run of Cap comics does not achieve all it could have - obligatory fights and action extravaganzas take up precious pages. And yet, we still get a crucial bit of Marvel history here, as the Falcon appeals to the Black Panther, in Wakanda, for a power upgrade...ie. wings. Later on, a Cap&Falc team-up with the X-Men leads to another seed planted for future plotlines: what does Professor X see in the Falcon’s mind? The Secret Empire, in all their cheesy, hackneyed glory here, are probably my favourite ‘Organzation of samey-dressed, faceless army-ant-style’ villains who have a group identity only. Even “Number One” dresses exactly like “Number Sixty Eight” (though he talks pithiest), and a bunch of creeps in hoods can never be as fun as a Doctor Octopus or Mysterio. Despite that, I tend to perk up when it’s the Secret Empire, and their fictional timing here was excellent, just in time for Watergate, as I mentioned. Steve Englehart will always be a favourite of mine, along with artist Marshall Rogers, for revamping Deadshot over at DC, and this storyline is one of his high achievements at Marvel, with a bit of help from Nixon, and disillusionment rippling through the American Dreamers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Harry

    Occasionally (not too often, alas), comic books are brilliantly written, and this volume is just such an example of brilliant writing (kudos for the artwork, too). The storyline broaches several themes that are vital for the civic conscience and that always remain relevant in real life, especially nowadays, with the rise of populism and conspiracy-theories that have ruined minds like never before in recent history. These issues include public gullibility in the face of impressive political demag Occasionally (not too often, alas), comic books are brilliantly written, and this volume is just such an example of brilliant writing (kudos for the artwork, too). The storyline broaches several themes that are vital for the civic conscience and that always remain relevant in real life, especially nowadays, with the rise of populism and conspiracy-theories that have ruined minds like never before in recent history. These issues include public gullibility in the face of impressive political demagogues (beautiful lies are always preferrable to facts and sober reality; at one point Moonstone cynically says that "lies are neat, the truth is messy"), the terrifying power of propaganda, the small-mindedness and bigotry simmering in a public that beneath a facade of civilization is fearful of what is different and new, and the successful selling of a shallow sense of patriotism actually serving unpatriotic interests. The so-called "Committee to Regain America's Principles", pushed by advertising thugs working for the Secret Empire is a neat example of a handy but vacuous and misleading propaganda slogan capturing the gullible minds of otherwise well-meaning citizens that look to an idealized past for comfort against the uncertainties of what is a very complex present reality, and who resent the hard-won principles of tolerance, inclusiveness, and diversity in the western world. Prejudice is also keenly exposed here: like elsewhere in Marvel Comics, mutants are portrayed in this volume as social outcasts hated by the 'average" folk who do not even see them as human, much the way gay people and people of color were treated in the not so distant pastr, even in "progressive" countries. To be sure, comicw are an entertainment industry, but Captain America has always been portrayed by marvel as a forward-looking symbol of what is and must always remain a forward-looking, future-oriented country still and always in the making, where as author Englehart says, "freedom is not just another word."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'd been interested in reading this storyline since hearing about it in The History of Marvel book. I was looking forward to the controversial ending, where the hinted-at President Nixon is shown to be the hidden leader of the Secret Empire and ends up shooting himself. I've heard people say that this storyline was especially timely right now, also. I didn't expect to like the rest of the story as much as I did. The first few issues had some Black Panther side plot, which didn't interest me as m I'd been interested in reading this storyline since hearing about it in The History of Marvel book. I was looking forward to the controversial ending, where the hinted-at President Nixon is shown to be the hidden leader of the Secret Empire and ends up shooting himself. I've heard people say that this storyline was especially timely right now, also. I didn't expect to like the rest of the story as much as I did. The first few issues had some Black Panther side plot, which didn't interest me as much as I hoped they would, considering it ran around the same time as the stories in Jungle Action I'm currently reading too. But then later the X-Men joined the story (this would be during the time when the X-Men didn't have a title of their own, "X-Men" was just a reprint series then) and that really helped me be interested. The final issues were pretty cool, that ending was abrupt but neat. Then the actual last issue, #176, was especially compelling. Much of it was just flashbacks to various moments in Cap's life, but with the framing narrative of Steve Rogers deciding whether or not to keep being Captain America. There was one particular page that really stood out to me, where he mused on how straightforward America's identity (and hence, his own) was in WWII when we were fighting against Nazis. In his words: "There was a time, yes, when the country faced a clearly hideous aggressor, and her people stood united against it." (over a panel depicting the American flag attached to a rifle whose bayonette was stabbed into a swastika, surrounded by flames) "But now, nothing's that simple. Americans have many goals - some of them quite contrary to others!" "In the land of the free, each of us is able to do - think what he wants to think. That's as it should be, but it makes for a great many different versions of what America is." "So when people the world over look at me - which America am I supposed to symbolize?" This page really got to me, it spoke very strongly to today's political climate. Well done, 1975 Captain America comics. Well done.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Laferney

    In Secret Empire, Captain America finds himself framed for murder and shunned by mainstream America as a criminal organisation known as the Secret Empire seeks to destroy his reputation. His journey to redeem his good name sees him team up with the X-Men, and leads him to a very unexpected final battle in the White House. Disgusted by what he finds, he ditches his patriotic uniform and starts going by Nomad. Beard and all. This comic explores the tension between duty and dissent, and shows a con In Secret Empire, Captain America finds himself framed for murder and shunned by mainstream America as a criminal organisation known as the Secret Empire seeks to destroy his reputation. His journey to redeem his good name sees him team up with the X-Men, and leads him to a very unexpected final battle in the White House. Disgusted by what he finds, he ditches his patriotic uniform and starts going by Nomad. Beard and all. This comic explores the tension between duty and dissent, and shows a conflicted Captain America, torn between his patriotic devotion and his own principles. Additionally, It's interesting how this comic reflects the era in which it was created. In 1974, America was gripped by the Watergate scandal, as President Richard Nixon was accused of criminal acts involving breaking-and-entering and a subsequent cover-up. With all the scandals going on in the Trump administration, this comic still remains relevant and a classic although it does read often like a product of its time and place (and has one too many Fooms! and Pows! to describe actions for my 21st taste).

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

    An enjoyable retro retreat to the 1970s, this series has plenty of action and raises plenty of issues we still debate today: fake news, attacking those who seek to maintain public order, the strengths and weaknesses of the judicial process are all here, plus some raw cynicism about the country that Cap usually aims to defeat. There are also some unintentionally hilarious comic-book tropes in here, e.g. bad guys capturing good guys but not killing them, characters wearing their costumes while not An enjoyable retro retreat to the 1970s, this series has plenty of action and raises plenty of issues we still debate today: fake news, attacking those who seek to maintain public order, the strengths and weaknesses of the judicial process are all here, plus some raw cynicism about the country that Cap usually aims to defeat. There are also some unintentionally hilarious comic-book tropes in here, e.g. bad guys capturing good guys but not killing them, characters wearing their costumes while not on duty, and a plot to steal a gizmo that, we learn, could have simply been lifted by a guy who works where it's stored. But these go against the spirit of the thing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Cap vs Nixon Iconic and significant, but hampered by the ills of 70s comics. Englehart is one of the brighter lights of the 70s, and his Cap is considered one of the great Captain America runs... but it is far from flawless. This is his most iconic tale and the substance is significant as both a time capsule of the Watergate fallout and timeless as well. Rereading it in the midst of this election seemed fitting. However there are significant warts. The X-Men inclusion should fit, but the characte Cap vs Nixon Iconic and significant, but hampered by the ills of 70s comics. Englehart is one of the brighter lights of the 70s, and his Cap is considered one of the great Captain America runs... but it is far from flawless. This is his most iconic tale and the substance is significant as both a time capsule of the Watergate fallout and timeless as well. Rereading it in the midst of this election seemed fitting. However there are significant warts. The X-Men inclusion should fit, but the characterization felt abrasive.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Fick

    I enjoyed so many things about CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON: SECRET EMPIRE, including the character line up, with a mix of Cap, Black Panther, the X-Men and the Avengers; the parallel storytelling; the period comic book style and humour; and the thematic strands that remain relevant today. Despite occasionally dipping into melodramatic hyperbole and some sequences where comic book logic and plotting require greater suspension of disbelief than might typically be required, this is a great read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    B

    This felt weird to me. Things seemed pretty abrupt and implausible. And the way women are treated. Peggy Carter is treated as risible because she's a little older. And Falcon's girlfriend is treated as almost without redeeming qualities except for her beauty. And Captain America is just so angry all the time. Still, I would like to know what happened next. This felt weird to me. Things seemed pretty abrupt and implausible. And the way women are treated. Peggy Carter is treated as risible because she's a little older. And Falcon's girlfriend is treated as almost without redeeming qualities except for her beauty. And Captain America is just so angry all the time. Still, I would like to know what happened next.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Evan B

    This is a must read Captain America story!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Socialite

    For the most part, this book is a typical superhero comic plot. Main hero's name is besmirched and they have to prove their innocent. That would have lead to this book having 2.5 stars. What really got this 4 stars was the last issue in the volume. The ethical discussion of what Captain America represents in a complicated America is a very relevant discussion when it was written (it was written post Watergate) but is especially prevalent now. For the most part, corny old school but that last iss For the most part, this book is a typical superhero comic plot. Main hero's name is besmirched and they have to prove their innocent. That would have lead to this book having 2.5 stars. What really got this 4 stars was the last issue in the volume. The ethical discussion of what Captain America represents in a complicated America is a very relevant discussion when it was written (it was written post Watergate) but is especially prevalent now. For the most part, corny old school but that last issue had some great dialogue.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steven Heywood

    A tale sadly more relevant in our times than it was to the seventies when it was written.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jon Arnold

    Secret Empire is as much a period piece as any of the Sixties volumes in this series, despite there obviously having been a leap forward in storytelling from Marvel’s earliest days. Whereas those early books concerned themselves with external threats to the American Way Of Life mainly from Communists and sinister European s this volume’s from a visibly different political background. We’re clearly in the era of disillusion, of Nixon being impeached and the US not liking what it sees in the mirro Secret Empire is as much a period piece as any of the Sixties volumes in this series, despite there obviously having been a leap forward in storytelling from Marvel’s earliest days. Whereas those early books concerned themselves with external threats to the American Way Of Life mainly from Communists and sinister European s this volume’s from a visibly different political background. We’re clearly in the era of disillusion, of Nixon being impeached and the US not liking what it sees in the mirror. The threat here is internal, the Secret Empire being an internal conspiracy by sinister powerful figures to control the country, part of which involves attempting to disgrace Steve Rogers, the ultimate patriot by smearing his good name. The story is allowed to breather and spread across more than a couple of issues and it’s all the better for it. It’s fun to see the Falcon make an appearance alongside Cap, even though he now comes across as a well-intentioned stereotype. With the usual caveats about stories largely constructed on the hoof, great fun enlivened by some terrifically energetic art from Sal Buscema.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    I borrowed this one from the public library. The book is a compilation from the 1970s, and it reflects the issues and sensibilities of the time. The Watergate scandal has just happened, and that event, combined with the Secret Empire, drive Captain America to disillusion. I found the comic interesting to read because of all the references to its time. The Falcon is a hero of Harlem, an African American, and he reflects the concerns of the time. Captain America, the man out of time, faces the rea I borrowed this one from the public library. The book is a compilation from the 1970s, and it reflects the issues and sensibilities of the time. The Watergate scandal has just happened, and that event, combined with the Secret Empire, drive Captain America to disillusion. I found the comic interesting to read because of all the references to its time. The Falcon is a hero of Harlem, an African American, and he reflects the concerns of the time. Captain America, the man out of time, faces the reality that the America he knows is changing, and not for the better it seems. In the end, after defeating the conquest plans of the Secret Empire, the Captain makes a fateful decision. Overall, the comic has a fast pace and a good story. The book features appearances by the Black Panther, and the X-Men, in an early appearance; in other words, way before the X-Men were cool.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A resounding 'meh' all around. The story itself wasn't terribly original, the Falcon/Black Panther subplot seemed tacked on and inconsequential, Thor sounded hammier than usual, and some of these super villains were so D-list it hurt. Also, if Cap could stop leading Peggy around and just TELL HER he's seeing Sharon, that would be great. But there was some good action scenes, X-Men cameos which are always cool, and the Cap & Falcon partnership was on point. Plus, we get yet ANOTHER retelling of C A resounding 'meh' all around. The story itself wasn't terribly original, the Falcon/Black Panther subplot seemed tacked on and inconsequential, Thor sounded hammier than usual, and some of these super villains were so D-list it hurt. Also, if Cap could stop leading Peggy around and just TELL HER he's seeing Sharon, that would be great. But there was some good action scenes, X-Men cameos which are always cool, and the Cap & Falcon partnership was on point. Plus, we get yet ANOTHER retelling of Cap's origins, as if we didn't have a hundred of them already. Yay, Marvel canon! You can't pick just one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erik Erickson

    The premise of this book bears some big similarities to the recent Civil War event in Marvel comics (which I didn't read much of). It's a solid idea and if it weren't for the clunky fighting and lengthy and corny exposition, would make for an engaging read. The beginning, middle and end plot points are intriguing stuff, but so much of the book is goofy filler. It's not enough to excuse this just because it's from the 70s. The premise of this book bears some big similarities to the recent Civil War event in Marvel comics (which I didn't read much of). It's a solid idea and if it weren't for the clunky fighting and lengthy and corny exposition, would make for an engaging read. The beginning, middle and end plot points are intriguing stuff, but so much of the book is goofy filler. It's not enough to excuse this just because it's from the 70s.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Berrie

    Closer to 3.5 stars, but definitely not 4. This edition collects issues 169–176 of the Captain America comic. The story revolves around Captain America being smeared in the media by a secret empire that appears to operate through all levels of US society. It deals with what Captain America must do to prove his innocence. We've seen similar storylines since, but for the time it would have been a pretty confronting comic. One for the collectors. Closer to 3.5 stars, but definitely not 4. This edition collects issues 169–176 of the Captain America comic. The story revolves around Captain America being smeared in the media by a secret empire that appears to operate through all levels of US society. It deals with what Captain America must do to prove his innocence. We've seen similar storylines since, but for the time it would have been a pretty confronting comic. One for the collectors.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Phillips

    Another journey down memory lane. It does bring a smile to my dial reading the asides and footnotes that were added back in the day. Though I do find the ongoing updates and recaps somewhat irritating. I found some of the dialogue between the Falcon and his girlfriend embarrassing. It reads like a really bad attempt to be 'hip' in that groovy early 1970s way that sounded, and felt, false even back then. Another journey down memory lane. It does bring a smile to my dial reading the asides and footnotes that were added back in the day. Though I do find the ongoing updates and recaps somewhat irritating. I found some of the dialogue between the Falcon and his girlfriend embarrassing. It reads like a really bad attempt to be 'hip' in that groovy early 1970s way that sounded, and felt, false even back then.

  20. 4 out of 5

    arjuna

    Dated, but a fascinating reflection of its time. One loses patience with the rather "gee whiz" tone at times, but on the whole the Falcon's drive for independence is treated with respect and Cap's growing disillusion is credible. Highly enjoyable - perhaps not as much as the Nomad sequence which follows, but still good fun and a solid read. Deeper than I'd expected. Dated, but a fascinating reflection of its time. One loses patience with the rather "gee whiz" tone at times, but on the whole the Falcon's drive for independence is treated with respect and Cap's growing disillusion is credible. Highly enjoyable - perhaps not as much as the Nomad sequence which follows, but still good fun and a solid read. Deeper than I'd expected.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    This was the great counterpart to Watergate in the adventures of Captain America, as delineated by the inventive (Stainless) Steve Englehart and the energetic (Our Pal) Sal Buscema. Definitely a period piece, albeit a good to great period, when I was a-forming. Recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ondra Král

    Hodně špatné, hlavně díky spoustě nesmyslných dějových zvratů. Recenze na https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOGGi... Hodně špatné, hlavně díky spoustě nesmyslných dějových zvratů. Recenze na https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOGGi...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Francisco

    i thought capt america comic books were good and had good timeline to start with. I think that capt. america started at a good time and should keep going not the new capt. america.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Devero

    Una delle storie più forti di Englehart. Cap deve confrontarsi con il caso Watergate, e con le sue implicazioni. Anche se datata, merita davvero di essere letta.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Solski

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marcin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler Bush

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brice Bartley

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