The Hilariously Gross Moment Behind This Week's Big Secret Empire Win

Image: Marvel Comics. Art by Jesus Saiz, Joe Bennett, Joe Pimentel, and Rachelle Rosenberg.

After weeks of one grim setback after another, Marvel’s superheroes finally earned a real victory in Secret Empire in the latest issue. But it turns out there was an amazingly silly start to that victory that you didn’t get to see in the pages of the main Secret Empire book.


The victory brought about in Secret Empire #8 is partially due to the scattered remnants of the superhero resistance—ousted from their secret mountaintop base—discovering the final fragment of the Cosmic Cube that played a part in transforming Steve Rogers into the fascist leader of Hydra. But you don’t actually see how our heroes got this incredibly valuable relic in Secret Empire (thanks, event comic series!) That story is told in the pages of this week’s Captain America #25, by Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Joe Bennett, Joe Pimentel, and Rachelle Rosenberg.

The issue mostly deals with Steve declaring war on Wakanda and the newly-formed Mutant principality of New Tian, in an attempt to get the final pieces of the cube for himself. But it also sees the tired, nearly-hopeless heroes rally around Sam Wilson, who re-dons his Captain America flightsuit to begin actively taking the fight to Hydra, starting with an assault on a nearby prison camp housing rounded-up Inhumans.

The battle is won pretty quickly, thanks to the fact the Inhumans had already started a riot before Sam and his Avengers showed up. It turns out they used the help of a little-known Inhuman we met in the opening pages of Secret Empire’s first issue, Brian McAllister, who’s become known among his fellow detainees as “Barf.” Why? Because, as we saw in Secret Empire #1, Brian’s Inhuman ability is to visualize something in his mind... and then throw it up.

Secret Empire #1 Art by Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Matthew Wilson, and Travis Lanham.

Gross, right? Apparently, Brian vomited up the keys to his fellow prisoner’s cells, letting them rise up and riot against Hydra. But when Sam and Tony Stark hear this, they have a very different idea... and Tony makes Brian look at and visulaize a holorecording of the last Cosmic Cube fragment.


Yes, this really happens.


Isn’t it amazingly silly? And kind of great? The 2013/14 comics event Inhumanity posited that that the Terrigen Mist is, in some manners, slightly sentient—it is receptive to the environment, and can help provide abilities to newly-emergent Inhumans coaxed out of what is needed for the good of the species. So, at some point, the Mist knew that someone who could barf up a piece of a Cosmic Cube, and other things, at will, would come in handy.

The true fight back against Captain America’s fascist regime, kickstarted by a random Inhuman vomiting something up. God bless comic books.


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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!