"Number One", also called "Number #1", is a title to a succession of leaders of the Secret Empire and a villain in the Marvel comics.
This Number #1 was described as a high ranking government official. Number #1 developed an elaborate overthrow of the government by capturing mutants and channeling their mutant power into a powerful weapon.
Under his reign a great number of mutants were mysteriously captured including The Beast, Angel, Ice Man, Blob, Unus, Havok, Polaris and several others. For some time, all mutants in America were on the run. Number #1 also believed that he had slain Captain America, Falcon, Professor X, and his remaining X-men: Jean Grey and Cyclops. However SHIELD operatives Gabe Jones and Peggy Carter merely created a ruse where the Secret Empire only appeared to kill these heroes.
When Number #1 and the Secret Empire later invaded the White House lawn, Captain America and the Falcon were able to defeat the Empire. Avoiding capture, Number #1 committed suicide.
- The letters page of Captain America #175 tried to distance the parallel of Number #1 and President Nixon and his resignation from office. However Steve Englehart has stated his intention was for Number #1 to be the President.
- The suicide of Number #1, and the disclosure to Captain America that he was a "high ranking" government official, led to Steve Rogers' disillusionment with America and him abandoning his role as Captain America. Rogers would eventually create a new alter ego for himself as Nomad in Captain America #180.
- The memory of Number #1's suicide tormented Captain America in flashbacks and nightmares for some time.