Dark Reign Update V

by Jeff

Eight. Count ‘em, eight Dark Reign issues last week, and with ‘em comes our weekly Dark Reign update. We’ll do our best not to give away anything too major, but reader beware: SPOILERS AHEAD!

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082324d Dark Reign Update VOur old pal Nick Fury stops by Wolverine Origins #33 this week to shed some light on who commissioned the Weapon X project. If you’re at all interested in seeing Wolverine’s familial ties, you’ll definitely want to check out this issue.

Most of the story is told in flashbacks, and Andy Troy’s colors are some of the best I’ve ever seen for flashback sequences. He leads us through this complex story, and we never get lost. The end of this one has me chomping at the bit to get my hands on Wolverine Origins #34! All I’m gonna say is there’s gonna be a pretty big confrontation next month, and you won’t want to miss it!

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082316d Dark Reign Update VAs some of you may know, Ms. Marvel is due for some drastic changes in the next couple of issues. I don’t want to give anything away, but Ms. Marvel #36 definitely sets the stage for what’s to come. We’re treated to flashbacks of Carol Danvers before Rogue stole her powers and personality, as well as previously unknown events that happened during Secret Invasion.

Ms. Marvel is starting to exhibit powers that resemble that of her last incarnation–Binary! But is this a blessing in disguise? Norman Osborn is also on the scene, of course, digging up an old enemy of Carol Danvers’ to try to bring her down. We’ll find out if he succeeds in Ms. Marvel #37, an issue I am hotly anticipating.

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082319d Dark Reign Update VLast time we saw the Thunderbolts, Norman Osborn was on Air Force One with President Obama, and the Green Goblin stopped in for a chat. Thunderbolts #129 picks up where the action left off.

Is there a new Green Goblin in town, or is Osborn trying to frame a hulked-out Doc Samson and get in good with the new Prez? I think you already know the answer to that one. The new Thunderbolts have passed their initiation, and their sights will turn toward the Crimson Comedian (Deadpool) for their first real mission.

This issue is really good for those of you who like behind-the-scenes type stuff, as Norman puts on his little song and dance for the newly elected president. I can’t wait for the action to spill over to Deadpool #8! From there, it’ll spill right back into the next few issues of Thunderbolts.

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082323d Dark Reign Update VSo far, The Mighty Avengers hasn’t had much to do with Dark Reign, but it’s still intriguing. The Mighty Avengers #22 picks up where #21 left off. Chaos is sweeping the Earth, and the Scarlet Witch has reappeared–or at least her astral projection has–to grab various Avengers, including Hank Pym, the Hulk, Vision, Iron Man, and Stature, and pit them against a mysterious, seemingly all-powerful enemy known as Chthon.

The action this issue starts with a flashback of Quicksilver in Wundagore, racing against time to defeat the legendary Modred. Things don’t go as planned, which is why the Avengers have been called in, but first they’ve got to stop fighting amongst themselves! I’m mildly intrigued as to where this is going–hopefully The Mighty Avengers #23 will provide more answers.

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082318d Dark Reign Update VI’ve been a big fan of the first couple issues of War Machine, but I’m not quite sure I like where War Machine #3 is going.

There are some good moments in this book. Ares and Rhodey go at it for a bit, and there’s a couple good panels where Davis Harmon gets what’s coming to him, but the end left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m not gonna give it away, ’cause you might dig it, but it’s just not my cup of tea. The art’s still great, though . . .

Here’s hoping that War Machine #4 surprises me and brings me back on board. I feel an Ares/War Machine team-up coming on.

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082317d Dark Reign Update VOkay, The New Avengers #50 was a total hoot–my favorite this week by far. The action and overall plot were great, but what really made this issue for me was the hilarious dialogue! Whenever you take characters like Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Captain America and put them in the same room, the in-jokes are bound to fly. Spider-Man questioning Wolverine’s sex life made me laugh out loud!

The New Avengers are hiding out, furious over Norman Osborn’s so-called “Avengers,” and ready for some payback! One excellent feature of this issue is the big fight scene, in which each character gets his or her own page–and his or her own guest artist. Instead of being gimmicky, each page’s art reflects the individual character. Luke Cage’s page is bold and striking, Spider-Woman’s is sketchy and almost psychotic looking–you get the jist. Can’t wait for The New Avengers #51!

bb3dd94b1ab4274556a0c364901f7928?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082325d Dark Reign Update VDark Reign Files is a stand alone one-shot that introduces us to 189 characters of the Marvel Universe. It’s not an exhaustive background on each and every character, but if you’re into the Marvel U and have a couple of hours to kill, you’ll dig this issue.

You’re not getting this issue for the art. This issue is a dossier of mercenaries, supervillains, and thugs compiled to bring Norman Osborn up to speed on who he should use as pawns and who has the potential to stand in his way.

There are boundless possibilities for Easter Eggs in this issue. With each character judged on five measures (Threat, Loyalty, Influence, Power, and Expendability), I can see hints of what’s to come.

0c842b2b69939fd9135cda132c3792d5?s=48&d=wavatar&r=PG Dark Reign Update Vdec082312d Dark Reign Update VOkay. Avengers: The Initiative still hasn’t quite grown on me, and Avengers: The Initiative #22 didn’t do anything to change my mind. To me, it still seems like a clearinghouse for second-run characters, and there’s nothing in the story that makes me care about any of them.

The members of the Initiative are still fighting Ragnarok, the delusional Thor clone, as he proclaims himself the true Thor and throws his hammer around. Elsewhere, another group of operatives is in Madripoor, searching for Hardball, who is now in the loving arms of Hydra.

Perhaps if I read this comic on a regular basis I would have more of an idea of what’s going on, but frankly, I have little interest and will drop this one as soon as my Dark Reign duties are complete! Here’s hoping Avengers: The Initiative #23 changes my mind next month!

Author : Josh@TFAW

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