Marvel has released a new wave of teasers for Secret Empire, which is presumably its next big summer event. The teasers use words such as “Champion,” “Amaze” (via PreviewsWorld), “Avenge” (via CBR), “Defend” (via ComicBook), “Guard” (via Blastr) and “X-citing” (via ComicVine), referencing Champions, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Defenders, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the X-Men, implying that the entire Marvel Universe will be drawn into Secret Empire – which would not be surprising if Steve Rogers winds up being the story’s villain.
Secret Empire takes its name from the fictional super-terrorist group, which has connections to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America dating back to the 60s. The teasers also bear the shield Steve Rogers currently wields as Captain America.
The Secret Empire began as a branch of THEM (itself a subsidiary of Hydra) with its original purpose being to divert the attention of authorities such as S.H.I.E.L.D. away from Hydra’s activities. Following the first death of Baron von Strucker, the Secret Empire gained independence from Hydra.
Members of the Secret Empire are given a numerical codename that designates their rank within the organization. The Secret Empire is headed by a nine person council made up of the highest ranking members called the Council of Nine with Number One serving as the supreme leader.