Dark Avengers 1: Assemble

dark avengers volume 1 assemble cover review team
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 6/10

Bad guys are always fun

Too much cross over action is killing mainstream titles

Comic Info

Comic Name: Dark Avengers

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Michael Deodato

# of Issues: 6

Release Date:  2009

dark avengers #4 cover iron patriot doctor doom daniel acuna art

Dark Avengers #4

Reprints Dark Avengers #1-6 (March 2009-August 2009). Norman Osborn has dismantled S.H.I.E.L.D. to form H.A.M.M.E.R. and now he needs someone to back him up. Enter the Avengers…Osborn’s Avengers. Made up of Moonstone, Venom, Daken, Bullseye, Marvel Boy, and Sentry, Osborn has the villains impersonating Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Hawkeye and with his new power, Osborn knows the public never needs to know. When Morgan Le Fey threatens to destroy Dr. Doom in Latveria the new Avengers are off to stop her and a threat from Atlantean forces makes the team question if Sentry could become a threat.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Dark Avengers Volume 1:  Assemble spun out of the Dark Reign series.  The comic featured the art of Michael Deodato and was also collected in Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis:  The Complete Collection.

Dark Avengers was one of the better things that came out of the whole overdone Secret Invasion. The Dark Reign title mostly used the idea of the Thunderbolts (which was really good at this time also under Warren Ellis…Check out Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters and Caged Angels). The art of Michael Deodato (who also did Thunderbolts) is good, but sometimes feels a bit over inked in the attempts to make the comic more “dark”.

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Dark Avengers #5

I have some Brian Michael Bendis Avengers “issues”. He is fantastic on things like Powers and Alias, but Avengers seems like he can’t really ever get a grasp on. He keeps pulling the team into really big battles and the battles never pay off. This story arc is no different. The Morgan Le Fey issues feel like they abruptly end and the Dark Reign ties to issues #5 and #6 are really hard to follow if you haven’t been keeping up. A great contrast to a series like this is Marvel’s space comics (Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova) which were running at the same time which do a much better job of carrying a major storyline within a story without forcing the readers to collect all issues to understand what is going on.

That being said, Dark Avengers does a much better job then New Avengers in keeping control of the story and not overwhelming readers with crossovers. Norman Osborn’s control of H.A.M.M.E.R. and even the Thunderbolts seemed pretty unbelievable. The public has short memories, but not that short since Marvel Comics time is suppose to pass much much slower than real time…probably putting his Green Goblin experiences two or three years in the past. This can be forgiven with good storytelling like in Thunderbolts but here it barely makes it over the hump.

Dark Avengers is a title that is pretty enjoyable but feels like it could be so much more. The characters are all interesting, though the Sentry was transformed from a great limited series into a character that the writers didn’t know what to do with. This is touched on in this collection of issues, but it becomes part of the thrust of Siege which ends the “Dark Reign” and starts to dominate an otherwise interesting series.  Dark Avengers Volume 1:  Assemble is followed by the crossover series Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men:  Utopia.

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Siege:  Dark Avengers

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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