How To Love Comics

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.

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 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: 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: 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.

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.