While I’ve by no means been buying more than a fraction of Marvel’s Dark Reign titles, I’ve still been enjoying what I’ve bought a lot, so I figured it made sense to do a more general catchup than focus on specific issues.
Iron Man I’ve talked about in depth on the blog before, so I’ll not really go over that again, except to say that its been great.
The other main Dark Reign titles I’ve been buying have been War Machine, Dark Avengers, and lately Ms Marvel.
Dark Avengers has been a bit of a mixed bag. In that, I love the basic idea for the series and the team composition, and I think that seeing how this team react to their new public personas should be interesting. However the first arc has been tied up with a big fight alongside Doom against Morgana Le Fay. For myself I’d rather have seen more about the team trying to settle into their new roles as the “official” Avengers team. The Doom/Morgana storyline has been fun, but just not what I was expecting.
However Ms Marvel has currently been exactly what I was looking for. With Carol Danvers seemingly (recent solicits have her back) dead, Moonstone is now the only Ms Marvel in town, and so has been headlining the book.
While its only been two issues so far, its been fun seeing Moonstone fit into the role of Ms Marvel. Obviously the general public have no idea who she really is, so we see them reacting to her killing escaping villains for example. The latest issue is the first of storyarc that saw her go up against AIM. Of course, Osborn wanted to offer them a deal, but the fun in this story is seeing the different viewpoints. We have the version that Osborn gives to the public, but then we have Moonstone’s report to Osborn. However this plays over the third version of events, which is what actually happened, so we’re seeing that Moonstone is more than happy to try and play Osborn at his own game.
Its this aspect that I think makes Moonstone one of the most interesting of the Dark Avengers. The likes of Venom and Bullseye, its a question of how long Norman can keep them on a leash. With Moonstone, there’s a feeling that she could be Norman’s equal in many ways, and will only be willing to play Osborn’s game as long as it suits her.
War Machine has so far been operating a story largely removed from Dark Reign. Osborn did show up for a bit though, with War Machine telling him to stuff it, so its a bet he’ll have a larger role in later issues, and of course, Ares is part of the Dark Avengers (and to be honest, this series has probably had the best characterisation of Ares so far, its not to be missed if you like the character). The latest issue sees Rhodey and his team about to launch an attack on a US military base where an Ultimo virus was being developed, so its a safe bet Osborn and HAMMER will be keen to get their hands on him.
However, there’s probably another aspect to it. We’ve seen Osborn find one of Tony’s armouries in Dark Avengers, and retrofit (or at least copy, its not clear) one of the suits. However we also know from Iron Man that while Osborn has Tony’s suits, he’s been unable to properly use them. He can’t access the repulsor technology that is key to Tony’s technology. He’s tried to get it from Pepper’s suit, and I wonder if he’s wanting to get at Rhodey’s cyborg body to try and unlock the Iron Man technology for himself.
Overall I’m finding Dark Reign a big success so far. Marvel have been really great with their big events introducing big change to the Marvel Universe, whose impact is felt across the line. First with Civil War, and now with Secret Invasion/Dark Reign. There’s a very strong feeling that the Marvel Universe is currently a very dangerous place to be a superhero in.