Appearing in "It's Always Darkest...!"
- Peggy Carter (Behind the scenes)
- Secret Empire
- Moonstone (Lloyd Bloch)
- Quentin Harderman (Only in flashback)
- Richard Nixon (Topical Reference)
- Number 68 (Gabe Jones)
- 🢐 Beast (Hank McCoy) 🢒 (Main story and flashback)
- Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
- 🢐 Mesmero (Vincent) 🢒
- Magneto (Only in recap)
- Tumbler (John Robert Keane) (Only in flashback)
- Banshee (Sean Cassidy) (Only in flashback)
- Frank (First appearance)
- Miss Kearny (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Cyclop's Visor MK I
- Falcon's Wings
- Magneto's Helmet (Only in recap)
- Atomic Annihilator
Synopsis for "It's Always Darkest...!"
Cap and Falcon are disguised as possible employees of the Secret Empire to gain entry into their secret base to spy on what they are planning. They are found out and almost executed by laser beams; however, they're able to escape down an exhaust vent and then find a way to let in Professor X, Cyclops, and Marvel Girl, who are looking for lost X-Men and some other X-Men's villains who have mysteriously disappeared.
They locate the missing mutants, Beast, Iceman, Angel, Lorna Dane, Havok, Mastermind, Blob, Unus, and Mesmero, who have been attached to a turntable that will use their mental patterns to project a force field. The mutants are set free, but then the Secret Empire uses the Atomic Annihilator on the heroes and appears to kill them all.
- The Beast was last seen in Hulk Vol 1 161.
- Havok and Lorne Dane were last seen in Hulk Vol 1 150.
- Angel and Iceman were last seen in Avengers Vol 1 111.
- This issue contains a letters page, Let's Rap With Cap. Letters are published from ("Name and Address Unknown", Bob Rodi and R.E. Miller. The letters page also contains a 1/2 page ad for Doctor Strange Vol 1 1 with a cover reproduction.
- This issue contains a Series "A" Marvel Value Stamp: Vol 1 48 - Kraven
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Secret Empire.
Links and References
- The Grand Comics Database: Captain America Vol 1 174 
- The Unofficial Marvel Value Stamps Site