[Now here is one of my comic reviews, and with these I typically do either recent comics or really old ones. This was new when I wrote it.]
As you all know, I went to Comic-Con. At the Comic-Con, they were offering special variant editions of some comics. One of them intrigued me, so I bought it. This comic was Dark Avengers #1. I had decided to buy this in the hopes that the Marvel Universe had been salvaged after its last few giant crossovers. I gotta say, I do feel better about this one, for one of three reasons. Either,
1. I'm a sap,
2. A Spider-Man villain is at the forfront, or
3. This big storyline isn't dependent upon major retcons.
I'm going to guess it's some combination of the three. Anyway, I have that comic in my possesion and I decided it needs a review. Since that's apparently what I do now, it's time for...
Comic Review: Dark Avengers #1
Okay, now this is going to take a bit of recapping. The two big crossovers before this were Civil War and Secret Invasion. Civil War started when some group of superheroes made some guy blow up that killed an entire town. After that people were all "SUPERHEROES SHOULD BE REGUMALATED!" And Tony Stark decided it was a good idea to make a superhero registration act. Then the heroes talked about it and this is pretty much how that went down.
TONY: You'll release your secret identities, work for the government, and everything will be fine!
SPIDER-MAN: Yeah, but what about--
TONY: Everything will be FINE.
So anyway, the heroes disagree, Captain America leads those who oppose the act while Iron Man leads those who don't, Iron Man turns all Hitler when he throws malcontents into a negative zone prison for eternity so Spider-Man switches sides, there's a big battle, Captain America surrenders, and gets shot in the head. After this, Spider-Man has a bit of trouble when people know his secret identity, which leads to Aunt May getting shot, which leads to One More Day. But that's for another blog post.
Then Secret Invasion happens, where the Skrulls, evil green shapeshifting aliens, impersonate people all over the Marvel Universe, in an attempt to take it over. Suffice to say, things got really confusing, but eventually it all boiled down to a climactic battle with the Thunderbolts, a team of "reformed" supervillains. Norman Osborn, the "former" Green Goblin was the one who shot the Skrull Queen in the head. Osborn becomes a war hero, and Tony Stark, who had become director of SHIELD at some point, was disgraced, and is now a convict because Norman Osborn can really work the press. And the government, apparently.
Our story starts when Norman becomes head of SHIELD, but he just disbands it and creates something new in its place: HAMMER. He's not sure what it stands for yet, but his assistant is on it. With that in place, he begins to form a new group of Avengers. The first he recruits from the Thunderbolts is Bullseye.
Wait, Bullseye has to take meds? What, is supervillainy a curable mental disorder now? Just take a few pills and you don't wanna rob banks anymore? I don't know how that works. Anyway, he then tries to get Ms. Marvel back from the original Avengers, but that doesn't go so well.
With that slight failure, Osborn just gets some other busty blonde super-woman to do the job, which really isn't that hard. Next is... wait, what? Venom? Awesome!
So Venom, after eating a Skrull that looks like Spider-Man, gets fed medication by Norman, (Man, what is it with medication in this thing?) which makes him writhe in pain for a bit, before he looks like this:
Norman then goes to get a Wolverine replacement, which is some guy who is apparently Wolverine's illegitimate son. I don't really know.
After getting a Captain Marvel and Ares, god of war, Osborn notices something is missing in the team. Ares points out that there's no Iron Man or Captain America analogue. The scene then shifts to Osborn with some other guy, who breaks into Tony Stark's Iron Armor vault, which now belongs to Osborn because Stark paid for it all with SHIELD money. We are then treated to the full team.
He then does a little grin, which for the life of me I can't believe nobody noticed.
Come on! He's EVIL! Why can't you tell?!
At the end of the issue, we get a little preview of the next step in the Dark Reign saga, Secret Warriors Declaration. Starring guess who:
Hint: It's not who you think. He's still dead.
So yeah, this was a pretty good comic and a nice recovery from two storylines I don't really like. The art was well done, realistic enough to show how the grittiness. I like how it just showed Norman's point of view, with no hero intervention, because he's in goddamn charge now. The process of making the new superhero/villain team was interesting, and better than a hero suddenly seeing all of them banded together for no reason. The writing was top-notch, making sure all of the characters involved retained their character through the Thunderbolts series they were in before. I can see a lot of places this plot could go, so I'm interested in buying the next issue, along with any others that tie into this storyline. The main thing I like is that there's a main villain again that everyone can agree is evil. Well, all the superheroes anyway. If you like comics, which most of you don't, I'd suggest picking this one up, if it's not already sold out.