Secret Empire Reading Order Checklist

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Secret Empire Reading Order Checklist.

Last year Marvel Comics released the controversial Captain America: Steve Rogers #1, which revealed that Captain America was, and always has been, a Hydra sleeper agent. While it was later to be revealed to be shenanigans created through Cosmic Cube powered time-altering, the topic was extremely heated. Fast forward to to today and we’re about to see the culmination of this version of Captain America’s story in the form of Marvel’s latest crossover event, Secret Empire.

Written by Nick Spencer and art by Steve McNiven, Andrea Sorrentino and Leinil Francis Yu, Secret Empire will see a Steve Rogers lead Hydra take over and it’ll be up to the rest of the Marvel Universe to stop them! Will Cap be evil forever? Will Marvel’s heroes ever forgive him? You’ll have to read to find out!

With the huge number of tie-ins, Marvel’s mega-events can be confusing for readers. Luckily, the Secret Empire Reading Order Checklist is here to save the day. Not only does it list all of the comics involved and where they fit in, it also features creative credits, release dates and background reading suggestions. To top it off, this checklist answers some of the burning questions you might have about how to read Secret Empire.

How Do I Read Secret Empire?

I have set up the Secret Empire Reading Order Checklist in a way that gives you a general guide on how it can be read if you want to read everything, but at the same time it is set up so you can read it in different ways.

These are:

  1. Read Secret Empire #0-10
  2. Read Secret Empire #0-10 and the tie-ins that you are interested in (which is fair enough considering there are so many of them!)
  3. Read Secret Empire #0-10 and all of the tie-ins

Do I Need To Read All Of The Tie-Ins?

Nope.

Marvel sets up events like this in a way you can get a full story from the main series and the tie-ins are are parallel stories. Some of these will closer to the main story than others. Some spin-out in their own direction based on something that happens in the main story while others will show what happens to characters off-panel.

Updating…

As this event is still ongoing this will be regularly updated when more information is at hand. I’ve placed these in the best order I can based on the release dates and solicitation text, but due to delays or lack of information some of it might be slightly wrong. If you see something that doesn’t quite line up kindly let me know in the comments below and I will update the list.

Cover art from Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 by Jesus Saiz.

Cover art from Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 by Jesus Saiz.

Background Reading

If you’re curious to read some of the comics which lead up to Secret Empire, here is what you should read:

Captain America: Steve Rogers
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by various.

If you want more information on what is going on with the Hydra Captain America then this is the series to read. This series is the one that builds up to Secret Empire the most. If you can read it all, the most import issues to read are #1, #2, #15 and #16.

Civil War II: The Oath
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Rod Reis.

While it might connect with Civil War II, this epilogue gives some of the first signs for what is to come with Secret Empire.

Amazing Spider-Man #25
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.

One of the stories in this bumper issue shows Doctor Octopus’ connection to Hydra.

Uncanny Avengers #22
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Pepe Larraz.

This issue ties-in with Captain America: Steve Rogers #15.

Secret Empire #1 cover by Mark Brooks.

Secret Empire #1 cover by Mark Brooks.

Secret Empire Reading Order

Deadpool #31 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.
Available from May 31st.

Thunderbolts #12 (Opening Salvo)
Written by Jim Zub. art by Jon Malin.
Available from April 19th.

U.S.Avengers #5 (Opening Salvo)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.
Available from April 19th.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #16 (Opening Salvo)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Kevin Libranda, Yıldıray Çınar and Jon Malin.
Available from April 19th.

Secret Empire #0 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Daniel Acuña.
Available from April 19th.

Amazing Spider-Man #29 (tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.
Available from June 28th.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #5 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Ramon Rosanas.
Available from May 24th.

U.S.Avengers #6 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.
Available from May 17th.

Secret Empire Free Comic Book Day (Prelude)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino.
Available from May 6th.

Amazing Spider-Man #30 (tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.
Available from July 12th.

Secret Empire #1 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Steve McNiven.
Available from May 3rd.

Champions #10 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Humberto Ramos.
Available from July 5th.

Secret Warriors #1 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.
Available from May 10th.

Secret Empire #2 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis.
Available from May 17th.

Champions #11 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Humberto Ramos.
Available from August 2nd.

Ultimates 2 #7 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Travel Foreman.
Available from May 17th.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #17 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andres Guinaldo.
Available from May 24th.

Secret Warriors #2 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.
Available from May 24th.

Secret Empire #3 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis.
Available from May 31st.

Secret Empire: Uprising #1 (one-shot) (tie-in)
Written by Derek Landy. Art by J. Cassara.
Available from May 31st.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #22 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Sean Izaakse.
Available from May 31st.

Doctor Strange #21 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.
Available from May 31st.

Secret Empire: Underground cover by R.B Silva.

Secret Empire: Underground cover by R.B Silva.

Secret Empire: Brave New World #1 (of 5) (tie-in)
Written by Paul Allor, Jeremy Whitley and Nick Kocher. Art by Brian Level, Diego Olortegui and Will Robson.
Available from June 7th.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #23 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Joe Bennett.
Available from June 14th.

Secret Empire #4 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Leinil Francis Yu and Rod Reis.
Available from June 14th.

Secret Empire: United (one-shot) (tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Ario Anindito.
Available from June 14th.

Secret Warriors #3 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.
Available from June 14th.

Uncanny Avengers #24 (tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Kim Jacinto.
Available from June 14th.

Deadpool #32 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.
Available from June 14th.

Secret Empire: Underground (one-shot) (tie-in)
Written by Jeremy Whitley. Art by Eric Koda.
Available from June 21st.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #18 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Javier Pina.
Available from June 21st.

Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (of 5) (tie-in)
Written by Paul Allor, Fabian Nicieza and Rodney Barnes. Art by Brian Level, Tana Ford and Juan M. Frigeri.
Available from June 21st.

U.S.Avengers #7 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.
Available from June 21st.

Ultimates 2 #8 (tie-in) – TBC
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Christian Ward.
Available from June 21st.

Doctor Strange #22 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.
Available from June 21st.

Secret Empire #5 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis.
Available from June 28th.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Michelle Bandini.
Available from June 28th.

Occupy Avengers #8 (tie-in)
Written by David F. Walker. Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta.
Available from June 28th.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 (tie-in)
Written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims. Art by Danilo Beyruth.
Available from June 28th.

Secret Empire #6 cover by Mark Brooks.

Secret Empire #6 cover by Mark Brooks.

Secret Empire: Brave New World #3 (of 5) (tie-in)
Written by Paul Allor, Ethan Sacks and Magdalene Visaggio. Art by Brian Level, and Sean Izaakse.
Available from July 5th.

Avengers #9 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Mike Del Mundo.
Available from July 5th.

X-Men: Gold #7 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Guggenheim. Art by Ken Lashley.
Available from July 5th.

Uncanny Avengers #25 (tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Kim Jacinto, Jahnoy Lindsay and Juanan Ramirez.
Available from July 12th.

Secret Warriors #4 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.
Available from July 12th.

X-Men: Blue #7 (tie-in)
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Cory T. Smith.
Available from July 12th.

Deadpool #33 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.
Available from July 12th.

Occupy Avengers #9 (tie-in)
Written by David F. Walker. Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta.
Available from July 26th.

Secret Empire #6 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Leinil Francis Yu.
Available from July 19th.

Secret Empire: Brave New World #4 (of 5) (tie-in)
Written by Paul Allor, Karla Pacheco and Amy Chu. Art by Brian Level, Katie Niemczyk, and TBD.
Available from July 19th.

Doctor Strange #23 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.
Available from July 19th.

X-Men: Gold #8 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Guggenheim. Art by Ken Lashley.
Available from July 19th.

U.S.Avengers #8 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.
Available from July 19th.

Secret Empire #7 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino.
Available from July 26th.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #19 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Jesus Siaz.
Available from July 26th.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #24 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Joe Bennett.
Available from July 26th.

X-Men: Blue #8 (tie-in)
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Cory T. Smith.
Available from July 26th.

Deadpool #34 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.
Available from July 26th.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #7 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Michelle Bandini.
Available from July 26th.

Avengers #10 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Mike Del Mundo.
Available from August 2nd.

Captain America #25 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Jesus Siaz.
Available from August 9th.

Doctor Strange #24 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.
Available from August 23rd.

Secret Empire #8 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Daniel Acuña.
Available from August 9th.

Secret Warriors #5 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.
Available from August 9th.

Amazing Spider-Man #31 (tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.
Available from August 9th.

Secret Empire: Brave New World #5 (of 5) (tie-in)
Written by Paul Allor and Anthony Piper. Art by Brian Level and Anthony Piper.
Available from August 16th.

X-Men: Blue #9 (tie-in)
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Cory T. Smith.
Available from August 16th.

U.S.Avengers #9 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.
Available from August 16th.

Secret Empire #9 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Leinil Yu.
Available from August 23rd.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Michelle Bandini.
Available from August 30th.

Secret Empire #10 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Steve McNiven.
Available from August 30th.

Deadpool #35 (Set during Secret Empire #10)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Mike Hawthorne.
Available from August 30th.

Secret Empire Aftermath

The below have been listed as Secret Empire “aftermath” issues. They’re currently not in any particular order and will be rearranged when an order can be identified.

Uncanny Avengers #26
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Sean Izaakse.
Available from August 30th.

NOTE: Uncanny Avengers #26 comes as a suggestion from J in the comments and is worth reading for those who are interested in Scarlet Witch’s story. 

Secret Empire Omega (Aftermath)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino.
Available from September 13th.

Secret Warriors #6 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Juanan Ramirez.
Available from September 13th.

U.S.Avengers #10 (Aftermath)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Diaz.
Available from September 20th.

Deadpool #36 (Aftermath)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Mike Hawthorne.
Available from September 13th.

Avengers #11 (Aftermath)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Mike Del Mundo.
Available from September 20th.

Comics Spinning Out Of Secret Empire

While Secret Empire might be over, there are a few comics which will be spinning out of this Marvel event in one way or another. These comics will be part of Marvel Legacy, Marvel’s latest publishing initiative – which you can find out more about here.

Captain America

Cap will travel America on a path to have America trust him again.

Start with Captain America #595 in November.

Tales of Suspense

Winter Soldier and Hawkeye explore the mysteries left in the wake of Black Widow’s death.

Starts with Tales of Suspense #100 in December.

Deadpool

Deadpool is wanted for his actions in Secret Empire. Because of this he decides it’s time to go full bad-guy.

Starts with Deadpool #287 in October.

View more Reading Orders

Have Your Say!

Are you reading Secret Empire? Have you found this reading order guide helpful? Let me know in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

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Trevor Van As

Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.

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Comments (83)

  • This was a great list! Tried a couple others before finding this secret empire list and this one is fantastic. Thank you so much for creating this site!

  • I haven’t started reading this event yet and am wondering if I should purchase/read Avengers Standoff which includes:

    Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill 1, Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha 1, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3-4, Uncanny Avengers 7-8, All-new, All-different Avengers 7-8, New Avengers 8-10, Captian America: Sam Wilson 7-8, Illuminati 6, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. 6, and Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega 1

    Thanks for the GREAT list!

  • Secret Warriors #6 is another title that isn’t a direct tie-in to the aftermath of secret Warriors, but it has Daisy going after Wade for what he did to Coulson during the event.

  • Thanks for putting this together. It’s been very helpful. Now that its about complete I’ll start binge reading the two Captain America series leading up to Secret Empire and then read all Secret Empire and the tie ins. That should keep me busy for a bit. Thanks again Great job

    • Not that it matters much at this point since it’s a week old, but Champions #12 has no references on either the cover or the standard Marvel intro-recap page (there is none in this book). I won’t spoil anything in the book itself, but it seems this book doesn’t belong in the Secret Empire bibliography.

  • Hey Trevor this list is great, I just put them all in order and plan on giving it a try tomorrow. I am curious though as to why you’ve placed the two champions issues in reverse order? Is this on oversight or have you meant to do this?

  • Hey! Having just read U.S Avengers #6 (Yes, I’m a little behind) – it’s set during the same time period as Secret Empire #0 and before Secret Empire #2. I would say it goes directly after The Mighty Captain Marvel #5 – which means #5 is also out of place, where #5 happens before Secret Empire #0, I would have it directly placed after Thunderbolts #12.

    I have been reading through, and purchasing, in the order of this, so can confirm it’s out of order.

  • Updates:

    Moved:
    Champions #11 – Now after Secret Empire #2.
    Doctor Strange #24 – Now before Secret Empire #8

    Added:
    Uncanny Avengers #26 – See note next to listing for more information.

  • I don’t think Uncanny Avengers #26 is crucial to the story but it deals with Wanda post-Cthon. Just a suggestion for the aftermath part.

  • I think that Doctor Strange 24 happens before Secret Empire 8, bc the dome is still up in the issue, and they took it down in Secret Empire 8?

  • Hi Trevor, Champions #11 is explicitly located during the events of Secret Empire #2… I’d probably put it right after it.

    Cheers!

  • Updates made: Releases for August 9th have been shifted around as per feedback in the comments. X-Men: Blue #9 date corrected and pushed back in the list also.

  • Changes: Occupy Avengers #9 moved before Secret Empire #6 on suggestion of FC.
    Additions: Dates for aftermath issues.

  • please revise the location in the timeline of Occupy Avengers #9, should be prior to the events of Secret Empire #7 or even Secret Empire #6

  • Is there a way you would be able to post a comment when updates are made so we know what changes are made to the reading order, any additions, etc?

  • I noticed that originally you had Secret Empire #6 before Amazing Spider-Man #30 in the reading order but when the release date for Secret Empire #6 got pushed back, I noticed that you changed the order. I was wondering if you just did this to list the issues by release date or does Amazing Spider-Man #30 really go before Secret Empire #6? I just find it odd that the order would change just because an issue got pushed back since only the release date changed and not its contents. Please let me know. Thanks.

    • Hi Arturo, Usually when a major chapter of an event is delayed Marvel moves around any tie-ins that are directly effected (story wise) by it as well. Considering Marvel didn’t move Amazing Spider-Man #30 at the same time makes me think that it is okay to read before Secret Empire #6. If that doesn’t happen to be the case I will update the list accordingly.

      • Trevor, thanks for clearing that up. I just finished reading both Amazing Spider-Man #29 and #30 and it’s obvious that they take place way back in the beginning of the Secret Empire story. Based on the events that take place during those issues, I believe Amazing Spider-Man #29 goes right after Secret Empire #0. Furthermore, Amazing Spider-Man #30 fits right after the FCBD issue of Secret Empire. I know it was virtually impossible for most of us to read those in the correct order because of their release date, but for someone who is just starting to read the Secret Empire story, I recommend reading them in that order.

  • The Mighty Captain Marvel #5 followed by U.S.Avengers #6 should follow Secret Empire #0 (as it recaps a lot of its events from different perspectives) and precede the Secret Empire FCBD 2017 Special (as the events in those issues end where the FCBD issue begins).

  • Ultimates 2 #8 came out yesterday and it’s not in the list. Just wanted to let you know and so that I can know how to read that one in order. Thank you for all you do

  • Should Captain America : Sam Wilson #23 be before Secret Empire #4? It ends with them getting ready to head to the location where most of Secret Empire #4 takes place. Appreciate the list man.

  • great reading order! Yet it seems that the captain america; steve rogers #18 is mentioned twice? yet the other one has a later release date.. i think this might be a misstake and is supposed to be #19 the second time it’s mentioned? further then that, great help! great job!

  • Thanks for the list, really convenient! I was kinda lost between the tie-ins.

    Would you happen to know the number of issues for :
    – United
    – Uprising
    – Underground

    • Hey Jordan, most likely the release date changed since I last updated the reading order. I’ve updated it with the new date.

  • I have no problem with this alternative scenario, as I remember these are all just…you know, fictional stories. It’s a huge imaginary story to begin with, and then they create an alternate timeline which they can call a huge ‘What if…?’ as they will. The controversy is a non-issue.

    I read the first issue–hell, I don’t buy this shit, I just have a desperate friend here overseas who has no girlfriend or wife and happily downloads all sorts of shit to read…and lets me read it, too. Wouldn’t spend $3 frickin 99 for this crap, I’ll tell you that much. But it was written well, I can see the ‘true’ Steve Rogers peeking through, and it might be fun.