- The way Steve takes over may be one of the most brilliant plans ever to remove the major power players in one go.
- First, he orchestrates a Chitauri alien invasion so Captain Marvel leads most of the cosmic heroes to fight it off. Then, Baron Zemo organizes a massive attack of super-villains in Manhattan, forcing the Avengers and Defenders to fight them off. At the same time, HYDRA attacks occur around the country to keep other heroes busy. With the President in hiding, a special law is enacted that makes Steve supreme commander over all armed forces and basically grants full control over the federal government to Captain America.
- That's when he pulls the rug out from everyone. Blackout creates a dome that locks Manhattan and everyone in it inside the Darkforce Dimension. Then, just as the first wave of Chitauri are beaten, Cap activates the global force field, cutting off the cosmic heroes just after telling Carol Danvers that the aliens are never going to stop coming, thus keeping them too busy to stop him.
- Then, a missing SHIELD Heli-Carrier smashes into the main command one. Sharon Carter is baffled to hear SHIELD agents just surrendering until she hears Dr. Fastaus broadcasting a hypnotic message to surrender. At the same time, sleeper agents in AIM are removing them from the board. With all that taken care of, Steve is then able to lead HYDRA's forces into D.C. where he manages to subdue the remaining heroes quickly.
- In the nearly blackened New York, a group of crooks raid a church to try and get supplies. They're interrupted by the Kingpin who coldly states that there should be some order, even in a time like this. His men execute the crooks as the Kingpin tells the church inhabitants that should things be restored, they will all owe him a debt. Even with the world in chaos, Wilson Fisk is still a force to be reckoned with.
- T'Challa interrupting Hydra Steve Rogers speech at the U.N and threatening of pulling aid from their countries to tell Steve that Wakanda has fought off three attacks by Hydra so far. Basically humiliating him in front of the entire U.N. and being the first one to get a genuine angry reaction out of Steve.
- Ultron-Hank Pym's absolutely glorious The Reason You Suck Speech to both sides on how Tony and Steve have been screwing things up to the point Ultron no longer cares about wiping out humanity because he thinks they'll do it themselves. Additionally, he rips on how, despite all he's done, everyone remembers the one time he struck Jan when Steve, Tony and others have done far worse stuff but are Easily Forgiven.
- For years, Doctor Octopus has come up short against Spider-Man. But in a tie-in issue, Ock, now in a new body as "the Superior Doctor Octopus" manages to destroy Peter Parker without throwing a punch. First, he reveals that Parker Industries is basically a fraud; Octopus was secretly working to manipulate markets to favor the company and make them look more profitable than they actually were. Not only that, the company's main product, Webware, was actually based on the research of others, meaning Peter is guilty of plagarism. To top it all off, Ock has made it appear that the reason Manhattan is under darkness is an accident at the New York Parker Industries labs so everyone will blame Peter for it. Peter has to run off to the fight in Washington but Ock gloats on how he's finally the winner.
- Issue 5. Hercules vs. Gorgon. The latter petrifies the former while boasting about a killing a god. Herc responds by saying the god that Gorgon killed was but a boy and now he's facing a man and gives the mutant a haymaker.
- Let's face it, Ultron!Hank going full Audience Surrogate and calling out the heroes on their constant infighting was pretty awesome. And when Tony inevitably brings up Hank's infamous slip-up, Hank actually stands up for himself and points out just how unfair and frankly ridiculous the crap everyone gives him for it really is, especially given he has had tons of heroic moments since and it was in the midst of a mental breakdown.
- Miles beating the ever loving shit out of Steve after he accidentally kills Black Widow.
- Issue 8, when all hope seems lost — Sam Wilson apparently killed, the Darkforce Dimension barrier holding up to a powerful spell and a Nullifier Bomb resisting the barrier on Earth — something happens to reverse their fortunes: Sam is revived by the Cosmic Cube fragment, Quasar finally awakens and destroys the barrier and Maria Hill kills Blackout, bringing down the barrier.
- Probably the most awesome scene in the entire event comes around in Issue #10 when the real Captain America, recreated by the Cosmic Cube, bashes HYDRA!Cap airborne, his Mighty Shield in one hand and Mjolnir in the other, using the mystical hammer to smash his armor off completely.
- Plus the ruse by Sam to give the final Cosmic Cube fragment to Steve, which allows Bucky and Scott Lang to turn the tables and then leads to Kobik reversing Steve's attempt to rewrite the world in HYDRA's image.
Awesome / Secret Empire