This week’s Secret Empire: United #1 one-shot from writer Jim Zub and artist Ario Anindito goes inside New Tian, the sovereign nation state run by mutants which borders Hydra Nation. With seeds of dissent sowing within Hydra’s ranks, the truth about New Tian’s leadership - and the mutants’ deal with Hydra - are revealed.
Spoilers ahead for Secret Empire: United #1.
On the border of New Tian, Sunfire leads a charge against the border wall, saying that mutants will not be sequestered in a “reservation.” His small team, consisting of Random and Frenzy, are quickly taken down by Superior Octopus and his troops. Sunfire is taken into custody.
Sensing something amiss, Xorn, the leader of New Tian, sends Magik, Strong Guy, Boom Boom, and Marrow to free Sunfire and bring him back to Xorn to answer for his attack on Hydra Nation. After a fight with Captain America’s Hydra Avengers, the mutants manage to rescue Sunfire.
Venturing over the border into New Tian under the accompaniment of Hank McCoy, Captain America privately confronts Xorn over the attack and incursion into Hydra Nation.
It is quickly revealed that Xorn is in fact a puppet ruler, serving under Emma Frost’s control. Emma reveals to Cap that Sunfire’s attack was caused by a post-hypnotic suggestion from Doctor Faustus, who wants Hydra to crush New Tian and end what he perceives as the mutant threat.
As Captain America departs, Emma, in her crystalline form, clutches the New Tian shard of the Cosmic Cube.
Secret Empire #5, the next chapter in the saga, is due out on shelves June 28.