Secret Empire Reading Order

Secret Empire is a massive Marvel crossover storyline published in 2017 which revolves around Captain America Steve Rogers and his defection to Hydra and the subsequent fallout when his friends rebel to put an end to their former leaders dastardly plans. Although it is ultimately a Captain America storyline it does have a host of tie-ins and sprawls a few different series. Now that Secret Empire is over it is possible to plot the entire Secret Empire reading order from the prologue all the way to the epilogue.

In this guide, as is the custom on Gotham Archives, we will provide the complete issue by issue reading order and an alternative trade/omnibus reading order which would be the easiest and cheapest method to read this colossal crossover storyline.

The Full Secret Empire Reading Order

The full, chronological reading order for Secret Empire is as follows:

*italics denote tie ins

*bold denotes main series

  • Deadpool #31
  • Thunderbolts #12
  • U.S.Avengers #5
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
  • Secret Empire #0
  • The Mighty Captain Marvel #5
  • Amazing Spider-Man #29
  • U.S.Avengers #6
  • Secret Empire Free Comic Book Day
  • Amazing Spider-Man #30 
  • Secret Empire #1
  • Champions #10
  • Secret Warriors #1
  • Secret Empire #2
  • Champions #11
  • Ultimates 2 #7
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers #17
  • Secret Warriors #2
  • Secret Empire #3
  • Secret Empire: Uprising #1
  • Captain America: Sam Wilson #22
  • Doctor Strange #21
  • Secret Empire: Brave New World #1
  • Captain America: Sam Wilson #23
  • Secret Empire #4
  • Secret Empire: United
  • Secret Warriors #3
  • Uncanny Avengers #24
  • Deadpool #32
  • Secret Empire: Underground (one-shot)
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers #18
  • Secret Empire: Brave New World #2
  • U.S.Avengers #7
  • Doctor Strange #22
  • Secret Empire #5
  • The Mighty Captain Marvel #6
  • Occupy Avengers #8
  • All-New Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1
  • Secret Empire: Brave New World #3
  • Avengers #9
  • X-Men: Gold #7
  • Uncanny Avengers #25
  • Secret Warriors #4
  • X-Men: Blue #7
  • Deadpool #33
  • Occupy Avengers #9
  • Secret Empire #6
  • Secret Empire: Brave New World #4
  • Doctor Strange #23
  • X-Men: Gold #8
  • U.S.Avengers #8
  • Secret Empire #7
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers #19
  • Captain America: Sam Wilson #24
  • X-Men: Blue #8
  • Deadpool #34
  • The Mighty Captain Marvel #7
  • Avengers #10
  • Captain America #25
  • Doctor Strange #24
  • Secret Empire #8
  • Secret Warriors #5
  • Amazing Spider-Man #31
  • Secret Empire: Brave New World #5
  • X-Men: Blue #9
  • U.S.Avengers #9
  • Secret Empire #9
  • The Mighty Captain Marvel #8
  • Secret Empire #10
  • Deadpool #35
  • Champions #12
  • Secret Empire Omega
  • Secret Warriors
  • U.S.Avengers #10
  • Deadpool #36
  • Avengers #11

Secret Empire Trade Reading Order

At time of writing, there is no omnibus for Secret Empire which means the easiest and cheapest way to read Secret Empire is via the trades. Here’s the trades you’ll need to pick up to get the full Secret Empire experience.

Secret Empire: Prelude

Where better to start than with the prelude which contains Captain America #21 and #25, Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 and #8, Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha, Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega; Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 & #2. This isn’t quite the early issues that the issue by issue reading order has but it does set up Secret Empire well enough.

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Secret Empire: Prelude
7 Reviews
Secret Empire: Prelude
  • Marvel Comics
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 248 pages

Secret Empire

The Secret Empire main trade collection contains Secret Empire #0-#9 and Secret Empire Free Comic Book Day. This is pretty much the only trade you need if you just want to enjoy the main storyline and no tie-ins.

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Secret Empire
54 Reviews
Secret Empire
  • Nick Spencer
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 432 pages

Secret Empire: United We Stand

Secret Empire: United we Stand collects the Secret Empire tie ins and one of the more important trades you can collect for the full picture of what happened during this epic crossover storyline. It collects Secret Empire: United, Secret Empire: Underground, Secret Empire: Uprising and Uncanny Avengers #24-#25.

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Secret Empire: United We Stand
3 Reviews
Secret Empire: United We Stand
  • MARVEL
  • Derek Landy, Jim Zub
  • Publisher: Marvel

Secret Warriors, Volume 1: Secret Empire

Secret Warriors covers the Inhumans/Ms. Marvel/S.H.I.E.L.D tie in segment of the Secret Empire storyline and again is one of the more important trades to get the full SE storyline. Collects Secret Warriors #1-#5 so there’s no extra fluff here.

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Secret Warriors, Volume 1: Secret Empire
5 Reviews
Secret Warriors, Volume 1: Secret Empire
  • Matthew Rosenberg
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 112 pages

Captain America: Secret Empire

Captain America: Secret Empire includes both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson’s issues during the Secret Empire storyline. Although not the ‘main series’ per se, this is nevertheless a very important part of the crossover as a whole and shouldn’t be missed. Captain America: Secret Empire includes Captain America: Steve Rogers #17-#19 and Captain America: Sam Wilson #22-#24.

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Captain America: Secret Empire
8 Reviews
Captain America: Secret Empire
  • Nick Spencer
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

Secret Empire: Brave New World

Secret Empire: Brave New World catalogues the experiences of our other Marvel heroes and where they stand following Captain America’s shocking change of sides. Secret Empire: Brave New World contains Secret Empire: Brave New World #1-#5.

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Secret Empire: Brave New World
4 Reviews
Secret Empire: Brave New World
  • Paul Allor, Ethan Sacks, Jeremy Whitley
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 112 pages

Avengers, Unleashed, Volume 2: Secret Empire

The Avengers have their say on what they think about Steve Roger’s defection to Hydra with their second volume of Unleashed dedicated to the Secret Empire storyline and slips into the reading order effortlessly. Avengers, Unleashed, Volume 2 contains Avengers #7-#11.

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Avengers, Unleashed, Volume 2: Secret Empire
3 Reviews
Avengers, Unleashed, Volume 2: Secret Empire
  • Mark Waid
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

Deadpool: World’s Greatest, Volume 10: Secret Empire

Deadpool plays a petty big role in Secret Empire and volume 10 collects the Secret Empire issues. This trade collects Deadpool #31-#35.

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Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 10: Secret Empire
6 Reviews
Deadpool: World's Greatest, Volume 10: Secret Empire
  • Gerry Duggan
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

Amazin Spider-Man Worldwide, Volume 7: Secret Empire

Peter Parker and Spider-Man tend to always play a big role in Marvel’s crossover storylines but in Secret Empire it is only a side story which involves Doc Ock working with Hydra/Steve Rogers. Still, if you want the complete Secret Empire reading order then you’re gonna need this. Amazing Spider-Man Worldwide Volume 7: Secret Empire includes Amazing Spider-Man #29-#32 and Amazing Spider-Man #789-#791 so there will be some extra unnecessary issues included.

Amazing Spider-Man Worldwide, Volume 7: Secret Empire
1 Reviews
Amazing Spider-Man Worldwide, Volume 7: Secret Empire
  • Christos Gage, Robbie Thompson, Stuart Immonen (artist), Greg Smallwood (artist), Mark Bagley (artist) Dan Slott
  • Publisher: Panini Books

Thunnderbolts, Volume 2: No Going Back

There’s only one Thunderbolts issue that ties in with Secret Empire and that’s #12 which included in this trade. Bit of a waste if you’re just collecting Secret Empire if you ask us.

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Thunderbolts, Volume 2: No Going Back
3 Reviews
Thunderbolts, Volume 2: No Going Back
  • Jim Zubkavich
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 144 pages

U.S.Avengers, Volume 2: Cannonball Run

Issues #5-#10 of U.S.Avengers are Secret Empire tie in so this trade is good value for money as it includes #7-#12. You can get volume 1 which has #5 and #6 if you wanted.

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U.S.Avengers, Volume 2: Cannonball Run
3 Reviews
U.S.Avengers, Volume 2: Cannonball Run
  • Al Ewing
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

X-Men: Gold, Volume 2: Evil Empires

Not even the X-Men can get away from the massive impact of the Secret Empire and Hydra! Only #7 and #8 are Secret Empire tie ins so there is a bit of wastage here as this trade collects #7-#12.

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X-Men: Gold, Volume 2: Evil Empires
13 Reviews
X-Men: Gold, Volume 2: Evil Empires
  • Marc Guggenheim
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

X-Men: Blue, Volume 2: Toil and Trouble

X-Men: Blue, however, has three tie in issues with Secret Empire so this one has a little more meat on the bone than Gold. X-Men: Blue, Volume 2: Toil and Trouble collects #7-#12.

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X-Men: Blue, Volume 2: Toil and Trouble
14 Reviews
X-Men: Blue, Volume 2: Toil and Trouble
  • Cullen Bunn
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

Champions, Volume 2: The Freelancer Lifestyle

There are three Champions Secret Empire tie ins and all three are included in the Freelancer Lifestyle trade. You’ll also get another three issues thrown in as this trade includes Champions #6-#11.

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Champions, Volume 2: The Freelancer Lifestyle
7 Reviews
Champions, Volume 2: The Freelancer Lifestyle
  • Mark Waid
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Paperback: 136 pages

Last update on 2019-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API