Published April 25, 2017

Enter the Original Secret Empire

Learn all about the group from which the current event takes its name!

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It’s no secret that Captain America’s been busy carving out a “secret empire” for Hydra recently, as seen in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS and SECRET EMPIRE #0, but what he’s also doing stands as an ode to the legacy of another group: the original Secret Empire.

We’ve collected a Greatest Hits of sorts for the Secret Empire; a how-to manual for all stealthy, secretive organizations with eyes on the prize of total power.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #81

What is Marvel Unlimited?
Hulked Out

Way back when the Secret Empire first made themselves known, they contracted with the criminal Boomerang to steal the plans to the U.S. Army’s dreaded Orion Missile. Fate stepped in—or rather leapt in—in the green-hued form of The Hulk, and while the jade giant and his costumed crook of a dance partner waltzed around the desert for a few rounds, the members of the Secret Empire fought each other in a power struggle that upended all their plans and schemes.


Captain America (1968) #169

What is Marvel Unlimited?
Cap’s Bad Day

After some internal reorganization, the Secret Empire committed one of their most heinous acts: framing Captain America for murder. On the run from the authorities with his partner The Falcon, Steve Rogers infiltrated his lurking foes’ headquarters to uncover an even greater plot: the kidnap and power-draining of several mutants. With Cap on their tails, the Empire flew off to the White House to deliver their demands, only to have the patriotic hero crush them there and reveal their leader as one of the highest ranking political figures in the land.

Check Out: CAPTAIN AMERICA #169175

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #353

  • Published: November 10, 1991
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 06, 2013
What is Marvel Unlimited?
Midnight’s Empire

The Secret Empire bounced back to face Moon Knight and his sidekick Midnight in a no-holds-barred fight, one which left Midnight on the verge of death and a suitable subject for transformation into a cyborg by the criminal group. For his first mission, he tried to kidnap Nova, but when Spider-Man got involved and motivated, Midnight turned on his superiors and after destroying them, attempted to seize control of the Secret Empire himself.


Nomad (1992) #4

  • Published: August 01, 1992
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 02, 2017
  • Rating: All Ages
  • Cover Artist: Mark McKenna
What is Marvel Unlimited?
Punishing Times

The Punisher took offense to the Secret Empire’s plans to divide up the remnants of the Kingpin’s widespread criminal organization, prompting the dispatching of hit squads to prevent his wrath coming down on them. In the end, not only did The Punisher get involved, but also Daredevil, Nomad, Baron Strucker and Hydra, and the Hand, making the Secret Empire regret ever trying to expand their own borders of crime.


Secret Avengers (2010) #16

What is Marvel Unlimited?
Secrets Everywhere

Even when not present in a physical sense, the Secret Empire makes itself known, such as when the Secret Avengers discovered an entire city built by the organization far underneath Cincinnati, Ohio. Ultimately, the heroes destroyed the installation to stop a villainous group from using a gigantic transportation device on the real city above it.


Follow the modern day event next in SECRET EMPIRE #1, coming May 3!