I finally got a chance to read some of the comics that I’ve been stockpiling over the last few months. Here are some of my thoughts. Keep in mind that spoilers are in effect, so if you don’t want to know what happens in a particular issue, skip what I think about it. This will be updated as I read, so stay tuned!
Dark Avengers #1: I honestly don’t know how to feel about this series. On one side, I can respect the radical changes that they’ve made because it does take some balls. On the other, they are perverting everything I loved about The Avengers.
First off, I’m not sold on Norman Osborn as the leader of everything. I don’t see how someone that’s been so publicly branded as a lunatic and a villain be all of a sudden given so much power and freedom. Just not so long ago, he was basically coerced into being the leader of the Thunderbolts and now it seems like that’s all absolved because Stark is no longer in charge. That’s the problem with taking the semi-realistic approach that Marvel has taken with this, some of your decisions will be questioned because they seem a bit far-fetched for the reality you are trying to sell the reader on. Yes, I realize he took “the shot heard around the world” but that still doesn’t excuse all the shit he’s done.
Then, there’s these New Avengers who are basically the new Thunderbolts since the majority of the group is made up of villains and lunatics. Now we have a team made up of Venom as Spider-Man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Logan’s son as Wolverine, and Moonstone as Ms. Marvel just to name a few.
Something about Venom dressing up as Spider-Man and possibly killing people just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t know the logistics of this whole thing, but it seems to me like this could cause a lot of confusion. Will the fact that there are two Spider-Mans running around be addressed or ignored? This same thought is echoed through each superhero who is being impersonated to make up this Avengers group.
Then there’s the big reveal…Norman Osborn is the Iron Patriot. Again, I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. I didn’t like the fact that Osborn found all of Stark’s suits and is wearing then, using them to his advantage. Perhaps this is what Marvel is going for though. They want you to hate Norman. They want you to hate the very thought of this. I guess only time will tell whether I like the ideas put in motion or not.
Invincible Iron Man #8: This marks the beginning of the “World’s Most Wanted” arc. This sets up the premise for the rest of the arc fairly well. This arc already has one thing going for it; The fact that no one reading wants Norman Osborn to win. Tony Stark pretty much declared war on Osborn so it will be interesting to see what happens.
I’ll start with the bad news first, I still don’t like the art in this series. Larroca used to do really good work but that hasn’t been the case so far in Invincible Iron Man. Sometimes character’s faces will be off and the art looks simplistic. The coloring looks like everything was colored with spray paint using paint by numbers. This isn’t the case 100% of the time but it’s noticeable enough that it can be a bit distracting.
I like the fact that he took the SHRA database from Norman and fucked with him in the process by taking out H.A.M.M.E.R’s network. I’m not sure what this will mean and how Norman Osborn will respond, but I don’t expect anything less than a Iron Patriot/Iron Man fist fight!
As far as the SHRA database, I don’t really know what he has in mind as far as purging the database from his brain. There are some clues dropped that hint towards Stark not being Iron Man anymore which I hope is not the case. The only way I can think he’d be able to get rid of the database from his brain is by getting rid of Extremis…not only that, but he stated more than a few times that he was “gone” after Norman took over which could have been posturing for Norman’s sake (I haven’t read Secret Warriors, so I don’t know if Stark is a part of that).
Obviously all questions won’t be answered in one issue so I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
Invincible Iron Man #9: This was more of a setup issue but that’s usual for the second part of a story arc. Lots of things setup here that will seemingly set the tone for the rest of the arc.
Norman once again shows how unstable he is and I can’t help but to think that he won’t be in charge for very long if he keeps throwing around his power the way that he is. There is such a large “paper trail” being left that it’s only a matter of time before it will all spiral out of control.
In the meantime Stark is feeling pretty sorry for himself and starting to hatch a plan as a last ditch effort to make things right. Overall, the story is starting to ramp up and my interest is piqued. I know that there is no way that anything will be completely resolved in this story arc seeing as Dark Reign is knee deep in every Marvel book right now to simply end it after an arc’s worth of stories, but I’m still hoping that there is some kind of satisfying resolution to this arc regardless.