Dark Reign Update IX

by Jeff

by Elisabeth@TFAW

Hey there, true believers! Josh and I are back to live blog Marvel’s Dark Reign titles for the week. We’ve got seven comics to cover this time, so go get yourself a tasty beverage and a comfortable seat. As usual, we try not to give too much away, but be warned: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092465d Dark Reign Update IXLet’s kick this off with Mighty Avengers #23. I have to admit, I was not looking forward to this one–the team’s mystical adventure battling the Chaos god Chthon seemed pretty far removed from the other Dark Reign happenings, and frankly, this team seemed made up of a bunch of also-rans. The Vision? Stature? Hank Pym? Borrrring!

But this issue surprised me–not only did the action come to a satisfying conclusion, but I was drawn in to Hank Pym’s need for respect and admiration. He knows he’s considered an also-ran, and he’s still fighting the damage his Skrull impostor inflicted on his reputation. Throw in a cameo by Thor and the realization that Wanda isn’t quite what she seems, and I’m actually intrigued. Mighty Avengers #24 should be interesting!

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092490d Dark Reign Update IXThis month’s War Machine #4 had a small piece on how Rhodey met Glenda way back when, so that was worth the read. I like seeing his character-defining moments and other motivations. It’s comic book voyeurism. After a little skirmish and a heart-to-heart convo between Rhodey and Ares, there’s a couple of explosive endings.

I think this title jumped the shark a little. I was a big fan of the first couple of issues, but I don’t like where it’s heading. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who are happy about Ultimo tech coming into play, though. We’ll see you back here next month for War Machine #5. We’ll see if Pak and crew can bring me back into the fold.

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092464d Dark Reign Update IXNow we’re getting to my favorite title of the week–New Avengers #51! I know I’m not the only one, because we’ve already sold out of this issue. If you missed out, make sure to pre-order New Avengers #52, because demand is growing every month!

So the battle is on to see who will fill the shoes of Dr. Strange and become Sorcerer Supreme. If that isn’t heady enough, there are also Avengers (past and present) coming out of the woodwork, denouncing Norman Osborn on national television! Is Osborn’s Dark Reign starting to show some cracks, or is public opinion still in his favor?

What I like the most about this book is the interaction between the Avengers themselves. The dialogue is hilarious, and there’s an easy sense of humor that comes across. It’s definitely a treat if you’re a longtime comic book fan, but frankly, I can see this title appealing to newcomers as well. My only quibble: Wolverine is not an Avenger. Wolverine is not an Avenger!  This is something that needs its own series of blog posts, so I’m stopping here.

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092476d Dark Reign Update IXThunderbolts #130 is the second part of the “Magnum Opus” arc that started in Deadpool #8. Dazo’s art takes a little getting used to. I was so comfortable with Medina’s Deadpool that this issue was a little difficult for me to get into.

This issue really advances the “Magnum Opus” story arc, and I’m really happy with the action throughout. Follow the Crimson Comedian in his attempt to exit Avengers Tower, evade Osborn’s Thunderbolts kill squad, and get even with the guy at the top.

This issue is good stuff. This has been a really popular book, so be sure to get your pre-orders in soon for Thunderbolts #131 and see if Waid can tame the heart of a Widow. All sources point to no.

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092485d Dark Reign Update IXNew Avengers might be my favorite title this week, but I was really, really looking forward to Ms. Marvel #37. I don’t want to give away the major event in this issue (although it’s all over the Internet), but–yeah, it kind of left me flat. Suffice it to say that Carol Danvers has left the book, and the Dark Avenger’s Ms. Marvel, a.k.a. Moonstone, will take over next issue.

My problem with this issue is two-fold: it kind of shuffled Carol, a 40-year veteran, out the door without a lot of fanfare. There was a really interesting character development that happened, and then–poof!–out with the old, in with the new. Also, there hasn’t been a lot of setup for Moonstone. It would have been a lot more interesting if there had been some contact–and conflict–between the two Ms. Marvels beforehand. Instead, I’ll be reading about a stranger next month in Ms. Marvel #38.

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092471v Dark Reign Update IXElektra is the most dangerous assassin on the planet, but after returning to Earth from Skrullville, she’s in pretty bad shape. After being caught by S.H.I.E.L.D. and interrogated by H.A.M.M.E.R., she shows us what she’s really made of in Dark Reign Elektra #1.

Get. This. Issue. If you’re even teetering on the edge, get this issue. One of the Thunderbolts has crossed Norman Osborn, and the events of this issue might spark a change to the Thunderbolts lineup. We’ll see you back here next month for Dark Reign Elektra #2! It’s going to be a good time, to be sure!

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update IXjan092483d Dark Reign Update IXAlrighty–the Greek gods enter the picture with Incredible Hercules #127! Let me just say that I have never read this title before, so I was a little lost at first, but the story was straightforward and easy to latch onto–it seems designed to snag new readers who are following Dark Reign.

So Hercules, his sister Athena, and his boy-genius sidekick, Amadeus Cho, are locked in battle with Hera, the evil stepmother from hell. Except this Mommy Dearest is a Greek goddess and a corporate titan. Ulp. Just when the action starts heating up, Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers enter the fray, which throws everything even further into chaos. So now I’m eagerly awaiting Incredible Hercules #128. Norman Osborn couldn’t possibly prevail against immortal gods . . . can he?

Whew! Okay, folks, that’s all she (and he) wrote. Now it’s your turn: what’s your favorite Dark Reign title? How is this comic book event stacking up next to Civil War and Secret Invasion? Entertain us today, it’s Friday!

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