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The Avengers #1 Project: Dark Avengers #1

Written by Steven Harris on Thursday, June 10 2010 and posted in Reviews

Porcelain38 Reviews Marvel's Dark Avengers! Sex! Lies! Muder! Tommy Lee Jones!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

Dark Avengers # 1
32 full color pages
Written by
Brian Bendis
Art by
Mike Deodato Jr
Release Date
: January 21, 2009
Price: $3.99

The start of an explosive new era in the Avengers mythos! Who are the
Dark Avengers? Who is the Iron Patriot? The answers will shock you!
Brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr.



The Dark Avengers series was an interesting experiment for Marvel Comics. Since Bendis took over the creative control of the entire Avengers franchise, an Avengers book in any carnation has been a best seller for Marvel. What separates Dark Avengers from anything else Marvel has published is that it was THE top seller at Marvel and it focused not on heroes, but villains masquerading as heroes.

The star (if you can call him that) of the book is Norman Osborn. In a rare form Osborn is seen as a man who is on the ball and on top of everything. He orders everyone around, makes demands and does it with confidence. Osborn is finally in charge and he seems to be doing everything possible to stay in that position.  This is a complete turnaround from the goblin faced villain most people recognize Norman as, but AH-HA! There lays the rub. You know Osborn can't remain in that position because he IS crazy and it's only a matter of time until the mask of sanity slips and his green faced alter ego rears his ugly little head. You know that fun of the book will be waiting to see when Norman finally looses it.

The team that Norma Osborn assembles is unique and has a dynamic never seen in an Avengers book before. At first glance it looks like the team consists of Captain Marvel, The Sentry, Mrs. Marvel, Iron Man, Ares, Wolverine, Hawkeye and Spiderman but looks are never what they seem. The team actually consist of murderous psychopaths (Sounds like fun right?)!  Bullseye is hopped up on drugs and placed in a Hawkeye costume. The Skrull eating Venom is reduced in size to look like your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman. Crazed skank Moonstone is Ms. Marvel. Wolverine is actually Wolverine's manipulative son Draken. Ares is still Ares, just more blood thirsty. Captain Marvel is Marvel Boy who is contemplating changing from villain to hero and sees this as his chance for redemption.  The Sentry is just bat shit crazy....Nuff' Said. The Iron Man lookalike is actually your Iron Patriot Norman Osborn.  All of these people on their own are freighting but throw them in a room together and you know eventually that the powder keg is going to explode.

 Mike Deodato's art fits the book perfectly. Deodato was Warren Ellis's artist on Thuderbolts where much of the groundwork on this series was laid. With most of the issue devoted to talking heads Deodato manages to perfect emotion on every characters faces. His depictions of Venom and Ares are huge and bulky figures and exaggerated they maybe, but it shows how massive and dangerous the characters are. There is only complainant and it's that Deodato uses actor Tommy Lee Jones as a model for his Norman Osborn. At first you're trying to figure out since when Tommy Lee Jones is a Marvel villain but after awhile you get used to it.

Bendis and Deodato do a wonderful job of carrying over the crazy fun antics of Warren Ellis's Thunderbolts run while introducing new readers to these characters. While not much happens plot wise within the book, you are introduced to the "Avengers" which in and of it's self is a fun thing.  This book sets up the following year and a half of storytelling for the entire Marvel Universe with being the starting point for Norman's "Dark Reign".  This book will always stand out as a book that succeeded when it shouldn't have and proves that everyone loves super villains more than superheroes.


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