Secret Empire Reading Order Checklist

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.

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’t read it all, the most important issues to read are #1, #2, #15 and #16.

Captain America: Sam Wilson
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by various.

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.

Avengers: Rage of Ultron
Written by Rick Remender. Art by Jerome Opena.

This explains the statusquo for Ultron.

Avengers: Standoff!
Written and art by various.

Find out more about Avengers Standoff! in this handy reading order.

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.

Thunderbolts #12 (Opening Salvo)
Written by Jim Zub. art by Jon Malin.

U.S.Avengers #5 (Opening Salvo)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.

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

Secret Empire #0 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Daniel Acuña.

Amazing Spider-Man #29 (tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #5 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Ramon Rosanas.

U.S.Avengers #6 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.

Secret Empire Free Comic Book Day (Prelude)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino.

Amazing Spider-Man #30 (tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.

Secret Empire #1 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Steve McNiven.

Champions #10 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Humberto Ramos.

Secret Warriors #1 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.

Secret Empire #2 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis.

Champions #11 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Humberto Ramos.

Ultimates 2 #7 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Travel Foreman.

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

Secret Warriors #2 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.

Secret Empire #3 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis.

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

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

Doctor Strange #21 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.

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.

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

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

Secret Empire: United (one-shot) (tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Ario Anindito.

Secret Warriors #3 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.

Uncanny Avengers #24 (tie-in)
Written by Jim Zub. Art by Kim Jacinto.

Deadpool #32 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.

Secret Empire: Underground (one-shot) (tie-in)
Written by Jeremy Whitley. Art by Eric Koda.

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

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.

U.S.Avengers #7 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.

Ultimates 2 #8 (tie-in) – TBC
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Christian Ward.

Doctor Strange #22 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.

Secret Empire #5 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino and Rod Reis.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Michelle Bandini.

Occupy Avengers #8 (tie-in)
Written by David F. Walker. Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta.

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

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.

Avengers #9 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Mike Del Mundo.

X-Men: Gold #7 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Guggenheim. Art by Ken Lashley.

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

Secret Warriors #4 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.

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

Deadpool #33 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.

Occupy Avengers #9 (tie-in)
Written by David F. Walker. Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta.

Secret Empire #6 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Leinil Francis Yu.

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

Doctor Strange #23 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.

X-Men: Gold #8 (tie-in)
Written by Mark Guggenheim. Art by Ken Lashley.

U.S.Avengers #8 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.

Secret Empire #7 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Andrea Sorrentino.

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

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

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

Deadpool #34 (tie-in)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Lolli.

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.

Captain America #25 (tie-in)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Jesus Siaz.

Doctor Strange #24 (tie-in)
Written by Dennis Hopeless. Art by Niko Henrichon.

Secret Empire #8 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Daniel Acuña.

Secret Warriors #5 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Javier Garrón.

Amazing Spider-Man #31 (tie-in)
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.

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

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

U.S.Avengers #9 (tie-in)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Medina.

Secret Empire #9 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Leinil Yu.

The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (tie-in)
Written by Margaret Stohl. Art by Michelle Bandini.

Secret Empire #10 (of 10)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Steve McNiven.

Deadpool #35 (Set during Secret Empire #10)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Mike Hawthorne.

Secret Empire Omega cover by Mark Brooks.
Secret Empire Omega cover by Mark Brooks.

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.

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 and Joe Bennett.

Secret Warriors #6 (tie-in)
Written by Matt Rosenberg. Art by Juanan Ramirez.

U.S.Avengers #10 (Aftermath)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Paco Diaz.

Deadpool #36 (Aftermath)
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Mike Hawthorne.

Avengers #11 (Aftermath)
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Mike Del Mundo.

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
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Chris Samnee.

Cap will travel America on a path to have America trust him again. Start with Captain America #695 and read through til #697

Tales of Suspense

Winter Soldier and Hawkeye explore the mysteries left in the wake of Black Widow’s death. Start with Tales of Suspense #100 and runs through til #104

Generations

This spins out of Secret Empire thanks to the Vanishing Point. These are stand-alone one-shots that team up different generations of heroes. The one-shots are:

  • Generations: The Strongest
  • Generations: The Phoenix
  • Generations: The Best
  • Generations: The Thunder
  • Generations: The Archers
  • Generations: The Iron
  • Generations: The Bravest
  • Generations: The Marvels
  • Generations: The Spiders
  • Generations: The Americas

Deadpool

Deadpool is wanted for his actions in Secret Empire. Because of this, he decides it’s time to go full bad-guy. Start with Deadpool #287 and runs through to #291

Secret Empire Trade Paperbacks

Prefer to read your comics in a collected format? These are the ones you’ll need to track down.

Secret Empire
Collects:
Secret Empire #0, Free Comic book Day 2017, Secret Empire #1-10, and Secret Empire Omega.

Secret Empire: United We Stand
Collects: Secret Empire: United, Secret Empire: Underground, Secret Empire: Uprising, and Uncanny Avengers #24-25.

Captain America: Secret Empire
Collects: Captain America: Steve Rogers #17-#19 and Captain America: Sam Wilson #22-#24

Secret Empire: Brave New World
Collects:
Secret Empire: Brave New World #1-5

Secret Warriors
Collects:
Secret Warriors #1-5

Avengers Unleashed Volume 2: Secret Empire
Collects: Avengers #7-11

Deadpool: World’s Greatest Volume 10: Secret Empire
Collects:
Deadpool #31-#35

Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide Volume 7: Secret Empire
Collects: Amazing Spider-Man #29-32

U.S.Avengers Volume 1: American Intelligence Mechanics
Collects:
U.S.Avengers #1-6

U.S.Avengers Volume 2: Cannonball Run
Collects:
Collects: U.S.Avengers #7-12

X-Men: Gold Volume 2: Evil Empires
Collects: X-Men: Gold #7-12

X-Men: Blue Volume 2: Toil and Trouble
Collects:
X-Men: Blue #7-12

Champions Volume 2: The Freelancer Lifestyle
Collects:
Champions #6-11

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.

Have you found this reading order helpful? Share it on social media or with your friends so it can help even more people.

Previous Marvel Event Reading Order: Civil War II
Next Marvel Event Reading Order: Monsters Unleashed

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Comments (87)

  • I been reading Captain America Sam Wilson
    Then in issue #21 also lead to secret empire.
    Can you add it to your list.

  • its been a while when i started comics and events are the best part about reading comics but for the same event there exist different reading order and different comics in different sites and been really confusing which one to follow….. plz help

    • Hey Vince, for big events like Secret Empire there may be differences between people’s lists. That’s not to say one might be wrong, but when you have sooo many tie-ins the reading order can become a bit fluid. Most tie-ins interact with the main series and so are placed in between different tie-ins themselves. Sometimes it won’t matter which order the tie-ins are placed in as long as they are between the right main issues. As a result, some lists might be a bit different. Also, some lists might include everything that leads up to the event no matter how small where I have just included the major things. I hope this helps!

      • so you are basically saying that tie ins can be read in any order but the main storyline is important..
        is that so that was a big help
        thanks

  • 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.

      • Thanks for letting me know! I’ve updated the list with your suggestions.

  • 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.