Or – “Boogedy Boogedy!”


Heh heh hahahahaaaaa…  QUADRUPLE!  ESPRESSO!  LATTE!!! HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!!!

Previously, on Dark Avengers:  Norman Osborn’s first mission as leader of “The Avengers” DA2.jpgturned out to be less than optimum: a high-profile save of his Cabal pard Victor Von Doom.  Turns out that Vic had been dallying with one Morgaine Le Fay before his incarceration at the hands of the Mighty Avengers some months ago, and hell hath no fury like a 12th Century sorceress scorned.  She cut through the Dark Avengers like corn through a goose (or something like that, I’m sure) even killing the Sentry before Vic and Norm went back in time and issued her requisite smackdown.  With his team in disarray (Bullseye has vowed to kill Venom, Moonstone and Marvel Boy are either going to kill each other or sleep together, Daken is just generally annoying, and Ares is ready to kill all his teammates for their disrespectfulness) Norman returns home to Avengers Tower, only to find the Sentry floating outside, his unearthly gaze frightening even the former Green Goblin…

We open this issue some time after last issue’s climax, with Norman about to go on nationwide TV to address the accusations of Hawkeye (Clint Barton, now Ronin, not Benjamin Poindexter who used to be Bullseye) regarding his stability and intentions.  Taking a moment to compose himself (a silent and disturbing panel) he puts on a broad smile and greets the public.  After a couple of slow balls, the interviewer actually throws a question with some teeth, addressing thet fact that his position is appointed, not elected.  “I was appointed by people who WERE elected into office.  So I AM, by that definition, the will of the people…”  All teeth and charm, Osborn talks about the amazing people he interacts with, cuing the flashback to his return from Latveria.  Face to face with the Sentry, he again calls up his psychological manipulations skills in dealing with the Sentry.  “I don’t want to talk to you, ” he says to Sentry.  “I want to talk to BOB.”  While the team tensely watches, Norman talks Sentry down again, refusing to admit that he died, refusing to admit that the Void exists, pulling Bob Reynolds back to reality with only his words and his will.   “Let’s go relax and talk…”  It’s a really impressive display, especially given that Norman is obviously dealing with pants-wetting terror.

Moreover, Norman is nothing if not brilliant, as he fakes sincere contrition and regret over his actions in his purple hood and green tights.  “Was I the Green Goblin?  Yes, I was.”  He proceeds to explain his history (carefully edited to leave out the impregnation of a teenage girl and subsequent murder thereof, as well as his battle with a sixteen-year-old kid all over Manhattan) and giving the public enough information to think they have the whole truth.  We flashback again, as Venom and Bullseye go head to head, only to have their squabble separated by the son of Zeus.  “Up until now, it mattered NOT what kind of men you were…  but now the gods have chosen you… to fight.  Together.”  He smacks the crap out of Bullseye (just because he can) and returns home to find that his son is gone, recruited by Nick Fury into his Secret Warriors.  (This bodes not well for Fury.)  As the interview continues, Norman nearly slips when he refuses to reveal who his Avengers are.  “Do people care WHO is in the Army or the Navy?  Or do they just want one?”  That’s an awesome argument, actually, and Norman handles it beautifully.  At the same time, back at headquarters, Moonstone manages to bed Marvel Boy (and also let’s slip the secret that his teammates are all criminals, something that Noh-Varr isn’t thrilled with) but before he can press her, before Norman’s interview can continue, a special report intrudes.  Something is attacking the City of Los Angeles, and it’s “Dark Avengers Dark Assemble” time!

Brian Bendis continues to mine the territory opened by Thunderbolts, to great effect, with the amorality of the characters providing a great deal of the fun here.  Moonstone and Marvel Boy provide the most shocking moment this issue, while the Sentry manipulations have to come to a head soon enough (and I suspect that Norman and his team won’t be nearly enough power to clean up that particular mess.)  Mike Deodato does great work with an issue that is mostly closeups of Norman at a desk, providing incredible “acting” from the big guy throughout.  Norman’s retorts to the questions we’ve all been asking ACTUALLY SOUND PLAUSIBLE, and even believable (if you’re not an omniscient reader, that is) which is an amazing achievement for writing.  This is the best issue yet of a series that has been good from the get-go, and Dark Avengers #5 earns an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.  To get this kind of drama out of what is essentially a monologue and three flashbacks is impressive indeed…  Dark Reign just got interesting.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. Dan Hunter
    June 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm — Reply

    Liked Thunderbolts and now this series sounds interesting. Is it time to hang up my DC cape and become a Marvel zombie?

  2. ~wyntermute~
    June 9, 2009 at 2:14 am — Reply

    No, no zombification required. Trust me on that one. I’m no zombie, and I like this. Mostly for The Sentry (and somewhat for the way Normie can actually deal with him… It scares me.), but also for the fact that when Norman goes DOWN it will most likely be in this book. :D And, like Our Noble Reviewer said, it got 4.5 snowflakes for a sit-down tv interview with cut-flashback-scenes. This? This is not bad comicking, regardless of which “House” you get most of your publications from.

  3. Salieri
    June 9, 2009 at 6:19 am — Reply

    Interesting tagline – I recall Paul Jenkins & Humberto Ramos once did a story where Peter & Norman hit each other so hard that they eventually just sat down and had an adrenalin-fuelled conversation about random stuff. It included Norman confessing that his earliest idea for a codename was “Mister Coffee”.

  4. Brother129
    June 9, 2009 at 10:24 am — Reply

    It’s no secret that Bendis can nail dialogue and when he hones in on a character like Norman Obsborn-it makes for a fun read. The manipulation of the Sentry makes perfects sense. Although I’m tired of him being “broken”. What was the point of his mini-series and earlier focus stories in New Avengers?

    What Bendis has yet to convince me of is how the other “good guys” on this team are rolling with this-namely Ares and Marvel Boy. You can’t hang around Bullseye and Venom and think this is an okay thing.

  5. June 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm — Reply

    What Bendis has yet to convince me of is how the other “good guys” on this team are rolling with this-namely Ares and Marvel Boy. You can’t hang around Bullseye and Venom and think this is an okay thing.

    This issue addresses both, actually. Ares believes that his comrades need to step up their heroics, while Marvel Boy just found out what’s really going on from Moonstone. More updates on how that shakes down in future issues, I think…

  6. Randallw
    June 9, 2009 at 8:06 pm — Reply

    I had the impression Ares knows they’re villains but he’s only doing the hero stuff to get paid so he can look after his son. I expect he’ll go on a rant at his son about how everything he’s doing is to look after his son, who you now say has run off with Fury?

  7. June 9, 2009 at 8:32 pm — Reply

    I know Bendis gets criticism at times for comics that are all talk. When the talk is THIS good, I don’t mind it one damn bit…

  8. kaskos
    June 10, 2009 at 3:50 am — Reply

    The most astonishing revelation here is that kree warriors can have huuuge errections the size of a human girl’s leg.

  9. CF
    June 10, 2009 at 11:34 am — Reply

    HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE LIKE THIS BENDIS GARBAGE. Warren Ellis’ Thunderbolts run was thousands of times better than this crap. Bendis, parasite that he is, is just trying to copy what Warren Ellis started. AND HE’S DOING A TERRIBLE JOB. Gone is the subtle and steady characterization of Norman Osborn’s ever present insanity. Gone are the wonderfully psychotic expressions of Karla Sofen. Bendis completely neglects all the wonderful things that Grant Morrison brought to the Marvel Boy character.

    It’s not enough to have an odd collection of characters doing random “nasty” things. There actually has to be some thought behind the plot. THERE IS NONE HERE.

    On top of all that, the book now is $4 and I believe it was only 18 pages.

    It’s outrageous that Marvel Comics is getting away with this SHIT.

    • June 10, 2009 at 12:08 pm — Reply

      Cory: We gave you a chance to come back and participate in a civil discussion with everyone, and you do this. Once again, and it is something I am going to say for the last time – Not everyone subscribes to your world view. If someone doesn’t share the same idea as you, you need to have a civil conversation without going nuts. Calm down.

    • June 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm — Reply

      HOW CAN YOU PEOPLE LIKE THIS BENDIS GARBAGE. Warren Ellis’ Thunderbolts run was thousands of times better than this crap. Bendis, parasite that he is, is just trying to copy what Warren Ellis started. AND HE’S DOING A TERRIBLE JOB.

      Part of the reason that I like it is that I’m not personally invested in a smear campaign against the writers and editorial staff. Part of the reason that I like it is that I am able to accept the book for what it is, and not rage like a lunatic at the fact that another book did this first. (Protip: In comics, virtually every idea has been used somewhere before, thus I try to judge the execution for itself and not comparitively to similar efforts.) But the biggest reason that I’m able to enjoy this book is that parts of it are enjoyable. Which is, in itself, the product of a subjective worldview. Which, thus is my opinion… Let’s all take a moment to meditate on diversity…


  10. June 10, 2009 at 9:57 pm — Reply

    I prefer Dark Avengers because I thought that Thunderbolts was so nasty and mean-spirited under Ellis I barely made it through the first issue. I still dislike Deodato’s art but Bendis is my flavor of writer. I agree that Ellis is technically a better writer but his experiments in style and tone tend to alienate people more than Bendis…

    And I SO knew that was Cory!

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