Dark Avengers started out as the best of the Bendis Avengers titles. The first few issues were very good. Around issue 5, the title started suffering from the same problems (lack of focus, a lot of sitting around and talking, no progression of the plot, etc.) as Bendis’ other Avengers titles. Hopefully, he can get the title back on track this month.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Two young girls drive into the town of Dinosaur, Colorado. They stop at the Dino Burger for a break. One of the patrons warns them to leave. While one of the girls is in the bathroom, she begins to melt. The second girl screams as she melts. Outside, their car also melts.
In the Louisiana Bayou, Ares slices the Man-Thing in two with his axe. Spider-Man (Venom) is feeling simpathy for the creature. The Sentry (I guess he recovered from being killed last issue) and some troops arrive.
The next morning in Avengers Tower…the team is sitting around a table and talking. Ms. Marvel (Moonstone) is wondering where Norman Osborn is. Bullseye askes if he is on her to do list. She says no, that Bullseye is next on her list.
Bullseye tells Ms. Marvel that she could not handle him. Bullseye makes fun of Venom. Bullseye says that the drugs they are giving Venom are “turning him into a girl”.
Victoria Hand starts to yell at the team when she is interrupted by Norman.
The Secretary of State wants Norman’s team to investigate the disappearance of his daughter in Dinosaur, Colorado. Norman agrees because the Secretary controls the financing for the Avengers. He sends the Sentry to investigate.
Moonstone and Bullseye go off to another room. She tells him that he is a jerk when he is Bullseye but when he is very impressive as Hawkeye. She starts to seduce him.
Norman assembles the team and heads to Colorado. He takes a fleet of HAMMER vessels with him. Venom starts to panic. Norman orders him to leave the battlefield. Norman says that he does not have the time to worry about the effects of the drugs on Venom during a fight.
Suddenly, the team vanishes and Norman starts to panic. He hears a voice say “And there he is. Norman Osborn. King of the World.” The voice goes on to say that Norman does not look like he is in charge of anything.
The voice belongs to Molecule Man. He is sitting on demonic throne. With him are Mephisto, Enchantress, and others.
The Good: Mike Deodato turned in some very nice pages. Mostly on the splash pages this month. If Marvel ever decides to do another Man-Thing comic, I hope they give the book to him. He did a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the swamp. The page of Ares slicing through Man-Thing with his axe is one of the better Man-Thing art jobs I have seen.
The final pages are stunning. Deodato portrays the right nightmarish atmosphere called for by this scene.
The Bad: I read team books for good storytelling, subplots, and team adventures. Bendis did not choose to include this in Dark Avengers. We continue to see page after page of the Avengers sitting around and talking about nothing.
The only action in this issue was a one page shot of Ares chopping Man-Thing in two. Hopefully, when we get to Siege Bendis will remember that these teams do go into battle and actually get to fight sometimes.
Bendis has the members of the Dark Avengers sit around and rehash the same old arguements that we have seen from them in the past. There is absolutely nothing new at all in this issue.
I have to ask this one question: What happened to Sentry at the end of the previous issue? Bendis had the Sentry supposedly killed. This month the Sentry shows up like nothing happened. Now the Sentry “dies” again at the end of this issue. What is this? A tribute to South Park? How will Bendis kill Sentry next month?
Deodato drew some of the women in positions that I am not sure are possible. Moonstone’s back is arched in a typical Greg Land pose. Still, overall, Deodato does a good job with the material he has to work with.
Overall: I would think that this book is nearing the end of it’s run since Dark Reign is ending. This is an issue that you can skip. Nothing happens at all that moves the story forward.