The first details on May 2017's Secret Empire: Uprising 30-page one-shot tying into the larger Secret Empire event have been revealed, as first reported by CBR. Black Widow will recruit from "Marvel's next generation of heroes" a team to engage in a "special espionage mission" against Captain America's Hydra machinations. The one-shot will reportedly take place between the events of Secret Empire #3 and #4.
"They are really in the deep end here and they’re given an assignment that’s the complete opposite of the espionage, spy work, and black ops they’re expecting because they’re being trained by the master of all those disciplines, the Black Widow," said Secret Empire: Uprising writer Derek Landy. "So essentially they have to take what she’s teaching them and apply it to a most unusual situation where they don’t quite get to be as cool as James Bond, but they struggle on."
According to the cover, Black Widow's recruits are the Miles Morales Spider-Man, Falcon, Totally Awesome Hulk, Ironheart, Wasp, and Viv - some of the Champions roster, with a few outsiders.
"These characters are Marvel’s new generation. For some of these characters, this will be the first time they take part in one of Marvel’s events. And most of them are pretty new to the superhero game," said Landy. "So to suddenly be standing side by side with the heroes that they had grown up with and toe-to-toe against the biggest hero of all is a rude introduction to the world of Marvel big events."
This isn't just about Secret Empire, as Landy confirms that he will address the fact that this is the first time Black Widow and the new Wasp - both alumni of Russia's Red Room - will meet.
"So this is the first time that they’ll be in contact where they know about each other and that they come from the same place," said the writer. "That is touched on in the story. The kind of training that Natasha is giving is the kind that Nadia basically fled. The conflict for her is what is she willing to do? She’s run away and gotten a new life. Then this horrible event happens and she has to deal with getting pulled back in. That becomes part of the conflict."
The recently introduced Freelancers from Champions will be a part of Captain America's Secret Empire forces, and Landy said they're more than just a group of mercenaries.
"The Freelancers are fun, and they’re different from what I was expecting when I first heard about them. I thought they would just be a gang of young villains. They have an extra dimension, though, that I wasn’t really expecting. Bringing them into Uprising added layers," said Landy. "If you have villains who are layered, it’s naturally going to add something to the story. So you have the masked, uniformed soldiers of Hydra and then you have the Freelancers who are almost a bit iffy about this whole thing. They’re doing this job because they’re getting paid for it, but do they really subscribe to the Hydra ethos? No."
Although this is seperate from the Secret Empire event miniseries itself, editor Alanna Smith says Secret Empire: Uprising and other planned one-shots are "integral to the main story."
"So when you read Secret Empire #3, you’ll see the jumping off point where Uprising starts. You can go right from #3 to Uprising, and then Uprising tees up events that will happen later in the series," Smith said. "It’s really a critical part of reading this event."
Secret Empire: Uprising will be illustrated by J. Cassara. Although originally solicited for release May 31, the one-shot has been pushed back to June according to CBR.