Or – “Boogedy Boogedy!”
Heh heh hahahahaaaaa…Â QUADRUPLE!Â Â ESPRESSO! Â LATTE!!! HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!!!
Previously, on Dark Avengers:Â Norman Osborn’s first mission as leader of “The Avengers” turned out to be less than optimum: a high-profile save of his Cabal pard Victor Von Doom.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â Taking a moment to compose himself (a silent and disturbing panel) he puts on a broad smile and greets the public.Â 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.Â “I was appointed by people who WERE elected into office.Â So I AM, by that definition, the will of the people…”Â All teeth and charm, Osborn talks about the amazing people he interacts with, cuing the flashback to his return from Latveria.Â Face to face with the Sentry, he again calls up his psychological manipulations skills in dealing with the Sentry.Â “I don’t want to talk to you, ” he says to Sentry.Â “I want to talk to BOB.”Â 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.Â Â “Let’s go relax and talk…”Â 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.Â “Was I the Green Goblin?Â Yes, I was.”Â 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.Â We flashback again, as Venom and Bullseye go head to head, only to have their squabble separated by the son of Zeus.Â “Up until now, it mattered NOT what kind of men you were…Â but now the gods have chosen you… to fight.Â Together.”Â 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.Â (This bodes not well for Fury.)Â As the interview continues, Norman nearly slips when he refuses to reveal who his Avengers are.Â “Do people care WHO is in the Army or the Navy?Â Or do they just want one?”Â That’s an awesome argument, actually, and Norman handles it beautifully.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.)Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â To get this kind of drama out of what is essentially a monologue and three flashbacks is impressive indeed…Â Dark Reign just got interesting.