Or -“Want To Know How To Maximize Profitability?”


How about a cover featuring not ONE, but TWO Wolverine cameos, while simultaneously containing no Wolverine at all?  It’s sort of like the state of having Tea and No Tea at the same time, causing the universe to implode…  That’s deep, Ogre.

DA2.jpgPreviously, on Dark Avengers:  Norman “Iron Patriot” Osborn has discovered an important truth about the Marvel Universe:  Not all teenage geeks turned costumed adventurers fold like a house of cards when you impregnate and kill their girlfriends.  Scott Summers has buried his wife twice and his girlfriend three times, and IT’S ALL THE SAME WOMAN.  Beat that with your corduroy hairdo, pally.  When the mutants came to San Francisco, Cyclops declared that ALL mutants were welcome in his sanctuary, but Norman and his shadowy government connections disagreed.  Forming a squadron of Dark X-Men (using Prince Namor, Cloak and Dagger, Weapon Omega, The Mimic, The Dark Beast, Wolverine Junior, Mystique, and Emma Frost) to parallel his Dark Avengers, Iron Patriot swooped in, only to find that the mutants are harder to squash than a pack of drunken cockaroaches.  With his safe haven under attack, Cyclops didn’t panic, instead putting into motion a secret plot involving the X-Club, a dozen or so of his most versatile students, and the fruits of a life lived as a cultural outcast.  The Dark X-Men don’t stand a chance…


Last issue, Summers sent out Dani Moonstar (founding member of the New Mutants and, strangely enough, former Valkyrie of Asgard) to Las Vegas in search of a boon from an old friend:  Hela, goddess of the Norse underworld.  “I’ll need a new ride home and a big ol’ sword,” says Dani as her bargain is accepted.  Meanwhile, the Dark X-Men easily overcome Simon Trask’s ‘bio-Sentinels,’ essentially just cyborgs with poor coping skills.  Over the coming days, the team makes a very public show of being the superest superheroes of all, even going on television with “Professor Xavier” to talk about their new role.  The role of Chuckie X is played, of course, by the blue-skinned shapeshifter Mystique, but the overall effect finds the viewing populace slowly accepting the new X-Men.  Under San Francisco Bay, the X-Men Science Team works on a mysterious device of some sort, but to what ends is still unclear.

We’re also given a disturbing glimpse into the psyche of Weapon Omega, who is powered by mutant energies, as Dark Beast tortures the X-Men’s Beast to drain him of his mutant energies and power up Omega.  But when he goes to bring out the rest of the prisoners, he finds X-Force instead, and the captured mutants all gone.  Wolverine and the Wolverettes attack, causing Normie to scramble the rest of his team to confront them.  Meanwhile, Cyclops gives one last pep talk, and radios his science squad.  “The order is given, gentlemen.  Rise…”  Man, I hope their secret weapon isn’t a Black Lantern!   As Wolverine goes head to head with his wayward son, Emma Frost suddenly diamonds up and smashes Daken’s face into the pavement…  Namor takes down The Mimic with a single shot, and the twosome offers Cloak and Dagger a way out.  As half the Dark X-Men turn away from the dark side and teleport home, Norman Osborn watches with rage in his eyes, as an immense technological island rises out of the bay.  Cyclops calls an immediate press conference, and announces his intentions.  “We reject Norman Osborn’s pogroms against mutants.  We reject the hate crimes of Trask and his ilk…  It seemed to us the people of the United States wanted us gone, so we’ve left.”  As the story ends, Osborn sends out his remaining forces to find and kill Emma and Namor, and take Cyclops down for good…

I’ve been very happy with this crossover, showing as it does the heroes’ first real response to Norman’s Dark Reign, or at the very least the first response that might actually ACHIEVE something.  Cyclops instinctively plays the same game as the former Green Goblin, using television and grand gestures to create goodwill among the public.  Who knew that PR could be a super-power?  Luke Ross does a good job with the art here, in a style that’s somewhat different than his recent Captain America work.  Rather than emulating  Steve Epting (or emulating the Captain America house style WITH Steve Epting, whichever) Ross an altogether less angular look to his figures while maintaining a clear and pleasant line.  Matt Fraction again shows why he’s one of Marvel’s best writers, delivering another fun chapter, and incorporating concepts and characters from ALL eras of the X-Men.  If I were to register anything resembling a complaint, it would be the almost complete LACK of Dark Avengers in this Dark Avengers issue, with only a few Bullseye panels and the obvious presence of Norman himself.  Still, it’s a minor complaint given the quality of ‘Utopia’ to date, and I’m actually looking forward to the big climax in the “Exodus” special (though I hope it doesn’t actually FEATURE Exodus.  I hate that guy.)  When you’re in the throes of a massive company-wide event like Dark Reign, things can get a little hard to follow, but this one delivers the goods.  Dark Avengers #8 earns 4 out of 5 stars, even if they did punk out poor Calvin Rankin a bit…



About Author

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.


  1. Fraction might be writing the best Scott Summers ever. Other writers have the dialogue or captions tell you what a great leader Scott is. Fraction proved it through actions. Yay, Fraction! My personal favorite moment was that Emma and Scott’s separate plans worked perfectly well without consulting each other or discussing a thing because both trusted implicitly that the other would come through. It was again a case of show over say. For decades writer SAID Jean was Scott’s true love, partner, and soulmate but when someone is SHOWN by actions to actually be all three of those, it’s Emma!

  2. Is Omega the same postal worker who absorbed the mutant energies after M-Day and then wiped out Alpha flight? because that guy specifically didn’t weant to do that.

  3. The only thing that would have made this issue even more enjoyable…the return of Jet Pack Cyclops. I guess there is still one more chapter.

    Darn you, Fraction…I thought I was done with the X-Men. A random trade I checked out at the library, lead to purchasing the other trades, which lead to picking up the issues at the store.

  4. Well, written Mr. Peterson. I will agree that this issue was great. And I have now become a huge fan of Matt Fraction. Now, I am tempted to buy a book that he is writing even if I know nothing about it.

    FYI, Exodus comes out today! Must go to comic shop…

  5. Can you punk out Calvin Rankin? I mean, more than previously? Is there a point at which you need a new term for the treatment of the Mimic? Hmm…punknasty? Punkification? Mimiced? Mimic-d? Mimified?

  6. I have long held the belief that Cyclops’ REAL super-power (and only reason to exist) was “banging way hotter chicks than he has any right to.” So imagine my surprise when I _actually_ started buying him as a leader because of this arc…. For once, I found myself thinking he was doing and saying the right things! SOMEBODY GAVE HIM HALF (or more) A BRAIN!~!~!

    Also, “Scott Summers has buried his wife twice and his girlfriend three times, and IT’S ALL THE SAME WOMAN.” is possibly one of the greatest sentences committed to the Intarwubs EVAR.

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