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Headscratchers / Secret Empire

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  • Why are HYDRA just rounding up Inhumans? It makes sense in the Framework in Agents Of Shield since Mutants didn't exist there. HAS Nick Spencer forgot about the Mutants and that this is the comics universe and not the MCU?
    • He probably did like half of Marvel nowadays. For a serious answer, it seems all mutants went to create their own republic and Inhumans remained (why there is no Inhuman republic I don't know).
      • Because the Inhuman royalty is on space attending to their issues.
      • But they left Iso in charge before they went to space.
      • Iso has no power or influences to talk about, specially in comparison with Black Bolt, Medusa and freaking Maximus. Meanwhile, the mutant side has all their heavyweights and master manipulators in Earth. Steve knows that hunting down the mutants would bring him A LOT OF PROBLEMS. What political power does someone like Iso have in comparison with Magneto or Emma Frost?

  • Why hasn't Hydra faced opposition from other countries yet?
    • So far HYDRA is a purely American problem and happens to be in charge of the US' military might. Considering they levelled one of their own cities in retaliation for resistance from US citizens would you want to be the first country to suggest interfering in their affairs?
      • Not to mention the massive super-powered villain (and manipulated hero) army. Why would anyone try to go against this kind of firepower?
    • Later comics in the event reveal that Hydra is more or less at war with, among others, S.P.E.A.R. and the Ascendants, Israel, France, Great Britain, and Wakanda.
    • Similarly, a later comic features Steve addressing the United Nations and point-blank trying to bully them into neutrality by threatening to revoke all kinds of US aid and treaties that the rest of the world benefits from.

  • Why are the Ultimates and other space-heroes still fighting the Chitauri? We've established that they can't break through the Shield until Quasar wakes from her Convenient Coma, but they have America Chavez, who can teleport interstellar distances. Why do they still have their wounded in the path of the swarm?
    • If they stop fighting the Chitauri, they will just keep piling up until it's not safe to open the Shield because of the threat of the Chitauri piling into Earth once Quasar opens the Shield for them.
      • Except that in the Ultimates tie-in they're shown to not even need to fight the majority of the swarm, which suicides into the shield due to swarm instinct.
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    • Plus there are Alpha Flight agents on the space station that can't survive in the vacuum of space.
      • All the more reason to get them somewhere with an atmosphere.
      • Maybe because they don't want to risk landing on a planet where the natives are hostile to Earthlings like what happened to Peter and Rocket when they tried to find help.
      • America can use her portals, and they are being used to go to other dimensions, but the full station can't be abandoned because then Earth would be vulnerable to a Chitauri apocalypse if the shield ever went down. Since avoiding that is the reason the heroes went to space in the first place and no one has any clear idea what's happening on Earth, the risk is too great to abandon ship.
    • Issue 7 reveals that Captain Marvel, having come down with a bad case of the Idiot Ball, is refusing to evacuate the station to another universe and is instead just throwing them at the Chitauri waves again and again.
      • Supply runs to other universes are happening, but a full evacuation of the station can't happen due to the possibility of the shield coming down with a Chitauri wave ready to raze the entire planet on its way. Carol doesn't trust Hydra to protect Earth in such a scenario, so is having Earth's defenders in space continue to do the job they were sent to do before Steve's interference. If the shield does come down, Carol's people could destroy the Chitauri Queen eggs on Earth that they've located and end the threat.

  • Why can't America Chavez, who can follow Galactus to his convalescence home, where he's lounging and licking his wounds, teleport inside the shield?
    • Because the Shield blocks teleportation, and Only the Author Can Save Them Now, so the Ultimates have to wait for Quasar to wake up before they can bring down the Shield.
  • How did Hank/Ultron get through the Shield after it was raised?
    • Issue 4 states that Hank/Ultron arrived back on Earth not long before the Shield went up.
  • So why is Chthon working for Hydra? Makes no sense why he would work for Hydra, specially now that he finally has Scarlet Witch's body.
    • Could be a case of And Then What?. Now that he's achieved the one thing he's wanted for close seventy years, he could just be cooling his heels before moving on to the next big scheme, and HYDRA is certainly the most interesting player in the game if you're not yet dedicated to completely kicking over the game board.
    • Eliza has said in Captain America main series that Chthon wanted her as a bride. Could be a case of Eliza asking Chthon for help and since he wants that booty, going along in the Hydra takeover.
  • In the Steve Rogers tie-in, Armin Zola is shown to have tried to invade Wakanda directly and being stopped by the Black Panther. Why would Steve Rogers, a supposed military genius, send one of the leaders of his nation to fight on the front lines against a nation that has been fighting off invasions for centuries? And why send Armin Zola, a scientist with no military background, when you have warriors like the Gorgon and Viper at your command?
    • Because for all his genius, Steve was heavily underestimating Wakanda.
      • Which only makes it more of a head scratcher, as not only has Cap fought alongside Black Panther before, but he has been to Wakanda and should know first hand what kind of military defenses they have.
    • It has been stated that there has been two other attacks from HYDRA that were repelled by Wakanda, maybe the leaders from the attacks before were the heavyweights but still lost and the reason Zola was chosen was because Steve would have had to pull other superior villains strategy-wise away from more important jobs (like finding the cosmic shards). And besides, even if Zola does not have any military background, he's still a super smart mind inside a robot body that most likely has a few tricks up its sleeve to counter heroes.
      • Even then Zola is shown leading the attack from the front rather than unleashing some genetic monstrocity on the Wakandans, which would be more in-character for a mad scientist and make more sense startegy-wise. Besides, there's still the fact that he is a part of the Hydra Council so it makes no sense to risk him getting captured by sending him to lead a relatively unimportant battle with a low success chance.

  • Why does the planetary defense shield let sunlight through? If it allows enough light into the atmosphere to prevent the entire ecosystem from collapsing, how is it that it doesn't let Monica Rambeau, who is made of light, through?
    • Something Something phlebotinum doesn't allow her to pass? Also correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Monica dislike going full light form because of the risk she would end up losing her humanity and identity?
    • Even if Monica could pass, the problem would remain, as all the others would still be at the other side (she can make herself made of light, but she can't do that for other people). And if it's just her, she'll not be much to change the tide of the war.

  • The Steve Rogers book showed that Alpha Flight had faced the Chitauri numerous times before their main attack and had been preparing for their arrival for months. Yet in the Captain Marvel tie-in, when she has three cadets recruited into Alpha Flight she had them train at the space station, rather than someplace that WASN'T on the front line to an alien invasion that she knows is imminent.

  • In Secret Empire #5, the Hive uses mind-controlled Hand ninjas to fight the heroes in Madripoor and when he is taken out the ninja all fall down. But he is fighting along Gorgon, who is the LEADER of the Hand. So Hive has no reason to mind control them when their master can simply order them to fight. Mind controlling them actually makes less sense, since they are highly skilled warriors and would fight better with their minds intact. The Hive could have also tried to mind control civilians into helping them fight the heroes or attempt to take over the heroes' minds. Later it is shown that they had captured Shang-Chi, so he could have mind controlled HIM. Basically Hive screwed the whole battle for his side no real reason.

  • In the same issue, Gorgon tries to use his stare to petrify Hercules, even though he has tried to use it against a god before and he should know his powers don't work against them. The REAL headscratcher? It WORKS this time with no explanation! Heck, the author REFERENCES the story where it's established that Gorgon's powers don't work against gods in the SAME DAMN PANEL.
    • I think it's because Hercules is only an immortal demigod and not a full-on god.

  • Why is Odinson following Hydra after they've nuked a city and brainwashed his friends, something they've made no effort whatsoever to conceal from him? Both Captain America being replaced by a doppleganger and Thor's hammer being wielded by the unworthy due to sorcery have happened before, what is different this time that makes Thor willing to be complicit in Hydra's crimes?
    • Thor stated in a few places that as far as he knows only HYDRA can retrieve the True Thor/Jane Foster and is only serving them in hopes of either having HYDRA bring her back, or figuring how to do it.

  • Why can't Barf just create a full Cosmic Cube?
    • They need the SAME Cosmic and Barf just invoke, not create.
      • Then why didn't he just invoke the other pieces?
      • Why would they want a shard of a cube instead of a full cosmic cube, which would presumably be easier to actually use?
      • The other pieces were with HYDRA in a protective field - if Brian's/Barf's powers basically work like summoning or teleportation, he simply couldn't get at them.

  • Why does Steve spend so much time planning to take over the US if he wants to change reality with the Cube anyway? All that time he could have been loocking for Kobik and succed instantly. Hell, why take over the US at all? If all he needs to do is find the Cube and alter reality, why doesn't he continue to operate in secret as the leader of Hydra and uses his resources to find the Cube. This way noone will try to stop him because they don't know they have to stop him.
    • He was looking for Kobik, but she was with Bucky and the Thunderbolts, and Bucky was determined not to let anyone exploit her again like SHIELD had done in Pleasant Hill. Once Zemo had finally found the Thunderbolts, Kobik was having a temper tantrum that threatened to destroy reality because Bucky didn't want her to change his history so that he joined HYDRA instead of becoming the Winter Soldier; and to stop her from ripping reality apart, Fixer shot her and broke her into pieces. That's when Steve decided he'd have to take over the world first, and then find the shards to put the cube back together. He and Elisa even talk about that early in the series.
      • Okay, but why not scrap taking over the world all-together and just concentrate your resources in getting the Cube? With the Cube, you take over the world automatically and save yourself all the work.
      • The timing is right for it, with the shield just being operational. Besides, Stevil is convinced he is the only one who can "save" the world by taking it over. Yes, he is that kind of evil overlord.

  • Why didn't Elisa tell Rogers that she was the reason he could use the hammer? Would she actual choose to raise his ego rather than let him know of an important weakness in his powerset?
    • Possible because to HYDRA Rogers him being able to lift the hammer, it would be further evidence to him that his actions and goals are noble, it would not be good for the leader and public face of the empire to doubt himself if he didn't think he was worthy.
    • It's also said several times by Zemo and Elisa that Steve is the idealistic one in their little group - for him, tricking others seems to be alright, but he himself believes and has to believe that he is fighting for a good cause. It's likely Elisa thought if Steve found out he wasn't worthy of the hammer, he might doubt his current strategy and could even question if his intentions are as good as he thinks they are. Elisa mostly tries to keep Steve on his course at all costs.

  • So, did the plot... forgot about Ultron? I mean, Hydra is gone, the government just went through a coup, thousands are dead, wouldn't this be the time for him to make his move? He has an army ready to invade in Alaska. Hell, even if he isn't gonna kill all his enemies now that he has the change, then wouldn't the heroes want to do something about him?
    • The only thing that keeps Ultron in check is Pym's infinite inferiority complex. That hasn't changed. If Ultron wanted to be Ultron, he would send his armies and start a killing spree, and he couldn't care less who was in charge of the US, be it Obama, Trump, Hydra Cap or Lisa Simpson.

  • It was nice to see a more minor character like Dagger given something to do when she was being relied on to provide light in NYC under the Darkforce dome. But why wasn't Johnny Storm, the flippin' Human Torch, backing her up and providing a second source of light? We know from the Uncanny Avengers tie-ins he's trapped under there too.

  • Perhaps I'm missing something, but why does the series have that name? This is not a Secret War or a war against a Villain with Good Publicity, the actions of Steve Rogers and his rule of the US are in-universe as public knowledge as they can be. So why "secret" empire?
    • It's possible that the title's referring to Hydra!Steve building up his empire in secret and right under the heroes' noses until it was the right time to reveal it.

  • The Ultimates 2 tie-in shows Carol and her team constantly fighting waves of Chitauri. However, each time they are only able to take down a few of them, with the rest crashing into the shield and dying. Why are Carol and her team even defending the shield? If the Chitauri attacks aren't harming it at all. They could use their time get out of their way and try to find the source of the Chitauri and stop them, but apparently, they would rather risk their lives for no absolutely no reason whatsoever.

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