There are a number of parallels to be drawn between Secret Wars and Secret Empire, one of which being that neither event comic seems to have any truly necessary tie-ins. Sure, there are some gems with Secret Empire just as there were for Secret Wars, but even those books written by Nick Spencer himself aren’t contributing a huge amount to the larger picture. Case in point – Captain America: Steve Rogers #18. This issue adds some extra context to the strained interaction between Namor and Steve in Secret Empire #4, but there’s a nagging sense that more could have been accomplished here.
Perhaps the real problem with this issue is that it never seems entirely sure which side of the story it wants to tell. We see Namor lamenting the fall of his kingdom, but his perspective is only shown through two brief scenes that bookend the issue. Much of the remainder focuses on Steve paying a visit to the UN (such as it is after the fall of New York) and delivering a speech full of bluster and intimidation. But again, the script doesn’t really attempt to delve into his mind or explore how Steve is reacting to these events on a personal level. That, more than anything else, should be the goal with this series, but it instead seems content to fill a few gaps and leave it at that.