Dark Avengers

Dark Avengers
Dark Avengers
Cover of Dark Avengers 1 (Jan, 2009).Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
Series publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero
Publication date March 2009 – June 2010
Number of issues 16
Creative team
Writer(s) Brian Michael Bendis
Artist(s) Mike Deodato
Colorist(s) Rain Beredo
Creator(s) Brian Michael Bendis
Collected editions
Dark Avengers Assemble ISBN 0-7851-3851-X
Molecule Man ISBN 0-7851-3853-6
Siege ISBN 0-7851-4811-6
Dark Avengers
Group publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Dark Avengers #1 (January 2009)
Created by Brian Michael Bendis
In-story information
Leader(s) Norman Osborn
Member(s) Current Members:
Hawkeye (Trickshot)
Ms. Marvel (Superia)
Scarlet Witch (Toxic Doxie)
Spider-Man (Decapitator)
Thor (Ragnarok)
Wolverine (Gorgon)
Former Members:
Ares (John Aaron)
Captain Marvel (Noh-Varr)
Hawkeye (Bullseye)
Ms. Marvel (Moonstone)
Sentry (The Void)
Spider-Man (Venom)
Wolverine (Daken)
Victoria Hand [liason]

Dark Avengers was an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. It is part of a series of titles that have featured various iterations of the superhero team the Avengers. Unusually, the series stars a version of the team that, unknown to the public in its fictional universe, contains several members who are supervillains disguised as established superheroes.


Publication history

The series debuted with issue #1, dated January 2009, as part of a multi-series story arc entitled "Dark Reign".[1] In the premiere, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato[2] (working from a continuity begun in a previous, company-wide story arc, "Secret Invasion", involving an infiltration of Earth by the shape-shifting alien Skrulls and that race's eventual defeat) chronicled the aftermath of the U.S. government's disbanding of the federally sanctioned superhero team, the Avengers. Bendis described the thinking behind the team: "These are bad-ass, hardcore get-it-done types. They'll close the door and take care of business and he's dressing them up to make them something that the people want".[3] This is in contrast to the changes Osborn is shown making to the Thunderbolts, where, according to writer Andy Diggle, he turns that team into "something much more covert and much more lethal: his own personal hit squad".[4]

The series ended with Dark Avengers #16, at the culmination of the Siege storyline.[5]


The government assigned the team's redevelopment to Norman Osborn (the reformed supervillain now calling himself the Iron Patriot) whom the government had previously assigned to head the superhero team the Thunderbolts and who had become a public hero for his role in repelling the Skrull threat. Osborn, also given leadership of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., reforms that agency into H.A.M.M.E.R. and creates a new Avengers team under its aegis.

Issues #1-6

The initial line-up consists of former Thunderbolts members and new recruits, including the Sentry, who is now fully under the Void's control, Ares, Noh-Varr (now Captain Marvel) as well as disguised super-villains Moonstone (portraying Ms. Marvel), Venom (Mac Gargan, portraying Spider-Man after being given a formula that resets the symbiote to the size it was when it possessed Spider-Man), Bullseye (portraying Hawkeye) and Wolverine's disgruntled son Daken taking on the Wolverine mantle. Osborn also takes on the identity of Iron Patriot, wearing a red white and blue themed Iron Man armor.[6] The team rescues Doctor Doom from Morgan Le Fay.[7] Upon returning from Latveria, Osborn deals[8] with the aftermath of Ronin's appearance on live TV reminding the public of Osborn's murderous past and that he should not be trusted.[9]

Issues #7-8 (Utopia Crossover)

The Dark Avengers arrive in San Francisco to set up martial law and to quell the anti-mutant riots. In doing so, Norman sets up his own team of X-Men consisting of Cloak and Dagger, Mimic, Emma Frost, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Daken, Weapon Omega and Mystique (posing as Professor X) much to the chagrin of his Avengers.[10] After Emma Frost, Namor, and Cloak and Dagger betray the team, Norman swears vengeance on the X-Men.[11]

Issues #9-12

A series of disappearances throughout Colorado causes Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers, except for Venom, to visit the small town of Dinosaur, Colorado. Everyone except Norman is teleported away, while Osborn finds himself in front of a throne with Molecule Man seated on it, flanked by the Beyonder, Mephisto, Zarathos, and the Enchantress.[12] However, it is revealed that these others were merely Molecule Man's creations. Molecule Man tortures Norman mentally and physically and seemingly kills his Avengers.[13] Osborn's assistant, Victoria Hand, successfully stalls Molecule Man with a false surrender until the Void is able to reform and kill Molecule Man. It is revealed that the Sentry and the Void have the same powers as Molecule Man. The Sentry regains control of himself and agrees to begin therapy with Moonstone, while Victoria Hand demands Norman to undergo therapy as well after being tortured. Inside his office, Loki is manipulating Norman into having a Green Goblin relapse.[14]

Issues #13-16 (Siege Tie-Ins)

After declaring war on the Asgardians, Norman Osborn has the Dark Avengers and those in The Initiative prepare for the invasion of Asgard.[15] Norman reveals that The Sentry's dark side, known as The Void, is his secret weapon.[16]

It is revealed that the Sentry received his powers from experimental drugs, using his might to live the life of a superhero, while his darker emotions and memories manifested as the Void. After the Void once again regains control of the Sentry, Norman orders Bullseye to kill Sentry's wife Lindy, blaming her for Sentry's relapses.[17] When Bullseye takes Lindy on a helicopter ride, he strangles her to death and dumps her body into the ocean. When Sentry arrives looking for Lindy, Bullseye states that she committed suicide by jumping out of the helicopter in the countryside. Sentry then leaves to look for her body.[18]

Following the events of Siege, Norman Osborn is incarcerated in The Raft penitentiary. Moonstone, Bullseye and Venom are captured by the heroes, while Daken manages to escape capture by military personnel. After being interrogated by Captain Rogers, Victoria Hand is informed that she has been reassigned.[19]


Moonstone joins the new Luke Cage led incarnation of the Thunderbolts.[20] Noh-Varr is recruited into the Avengers team to help them build a time machine to save the future.[21] Victoria Hand is assigned by Steve Rogers to be the liaison for Luke Cage's team of Avengers, dubbed the New Avengers, because he feels that she can provide an important insight to the team.[22] Bullseye escapes custody and is killed by his old nemesis Daredevil when he attacks his fortress of Shadowland. Daken eludes capture at the conclusion of the Siege and is confronted by Franken-Castle (who he had killed during the Dark Reign). Mac Gargan's symbiote was removed and he was taken into custody. He was later broken out by Alistair Smythe and transformed back into the Scorpion.[23]

The New Dark Avengers

A new Dark Avengers team formed by Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. . The roster includes Skaar, Gorgon, Ai Apaec, Dr. June Covington, Superia, and Trickshot, backed up by HYDRA and A.I.M. Norman Osborn also has A.I.M. rebuild Ragnarok so that he can join the Dark Avengers.[24]


Dark Avengers I

Character Real Name Joined in Notes
Iron Patriot Norman Osborn Dark Avengers #1 (March 2009) Former leader, captured in Dark Avengers #16. Designed to represent both Iron Man and Captain America.
"Spider-Man" Mac Gargan Captured in Dark Avengers #16. Was later broken out and returned to being the Scorpion again.
"Ms. Marvel" Karla Sofen Captured in Dark Avengers #16 and joined Luke Cage's Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts #144.
"Hawkeye" Lester Captured in Dark Avengers #16. Killed by Daredevil in Shadowland #1.
"Wolverine" Daken Akihiro James "Logan" Howlett's son. He avoided capture in Dark Avengers #16 and is currently at large.
Captain Marvel
Noh-Varr Left the team in Dark Avengers #6 and joined the Avengers.
Ares Ares (a.k.a. John Aaron) Killed in Siege #2 by The Sentry.
Sentry Robert Reynolds Went rogue in Siege #3 before being killed by Thor in Siege #4.

Dark Avengers II

Character Real Name Joined in Notes
Norman Osborn Norman Osborn New Avengers #18 (November 2011) Current leader. Currently searching for his Iron Patriot armor.
"Wolverine" Gorgon Fought and killed by Wolverine in Wolverine #31. Revived by the Hand in Secret Warriors #2.
"Hulk" Skaar Recruited by Osborn in the Savage Land.
"Ms. Marvel" Deidre Wentworth Led a H.A.M.M.E.R. team after Osborn's incarceration. Defeated and captured by the New Avengers in New Avengers #13. Released by Osborn during his escape in New Avengers #16.1.
"Hawkeye" Barney Barton Joined after having his death in a hospital bed faked by Osborn.
"Spider-Man" Ai Apaec South American spider god. First encountered by Osborn in Osborn #1. Changed into a six-armed humanoid form resembling Spider-Man by an unknown substance.
"Scarlet Witch" June Covington Biologist and geneticist. First encountered by Osborn in Osborn #1 following the Siege of Asgard.
"Thor" Ragnarok Currently held and being repaired by A.I.M. on Norman Osborn's behalf.


  • Dark Avengers #1–16
  • Dark Avengers Annual #1

Spin-off series:

  • Dark Reign: Hawkeye #1-5
  • Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man #1-4
  • Dark Avengers: Ares #1-3
  • Dark Wolverine #75-90
  • Ms. Marvel #38-46

Collected editions

The series is being collected into individual volumes:

  • Volume 1: Dark Avengers Assemble (collects Dark Avengers #1–6, 160 pages, premiere hardcover, September 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3851-X, softcover, December 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3852-8)
  • Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men - Utopia (collects Dark Avengers #7-8, "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia" "Utopia Finale" and Uncanny X-Men #513-514, 352 pages, hardcover, December 2009, ISBN 0-7851-4233-9, softcover, April 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4234-7)
  • Volume 2: Molecule Man (collects Dark Avengers #9-12, 112 pages, premiere hardcover, February 2010, ISBN 0-7851-3853-6)
  • Dark Avengers: Siege (collects Dark Avengers #13-16, and Dark Avengers Annual #1, 144 pages, Marvel Comics, premiere hardcover, July 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4811-6)

All the issues (Except the Utopia crossover) are being collected into one hardback book:

  • Dark Avengers Marvel (collects Dark Avengers #1-6, #9-16 and Annual #1, hardcover, 400 pages, July 2011, ISBN 078515650X)

As were the spin-offs:

  • Ms. Marvel:
  • Dark Wolverine:
    • Volume 1: The Prince (collects Wolverine #73-74 and Dark Wolverine #75-77, 112 pages, Marvel Comics, premiere hardcover, October 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3900-1, softcover, March 2010, ISBN 0-7851-3866-8)
    • Volume 2: My Hero (collects Dark Wolverine #78-81, 112 pages, Marvel Comics, premiere hardcover, April 2010, ISBN 0-7851-3977-X)
    • Siege: X-Men - Dark Wolverine & New Mutants (includes Dark Wolverine #82-84, 128 pages, Marvel Comics, premiere hardcover, June 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4815-9)
  • Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man (collects Dark Reign: The Sinister Spider-Man #1-4, 112 pages, Marvel Comics, softcover, January 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4239-8)
  • Dark Avengers: Ares (collects Ares #1-5 and Dark Avengers: Ares #1-3, 192 pages, Marvel Comics, softcover, April 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4406-4)
  • Dark Reign: Hawkeye (collects Dark Reign: Hawkeye #1-5, 120 pages, Marvel Comics, softcover, May 2010, ISBN 0-7851-3850-1)


  1. ^ Getting Dark: Brian Bendis on Dark Avengers & Dark Reign, Newsarama, September 29, 2008
  2. ^ Mike Deodato Explores His Dark (Avengers) Side, Newsarama, December 23, 2008
  3. ^ "The Osborn Supremacy: Dark Avengers", Comic Book Resources, January 22, 2008
  4. ^ "Andy Diggle: The Future of the Thunderbolts", Newsarama, December 17, 2008
  5. ^ George, Richard (January 15, 2010). "Siege Ends the Avengers". IGN. http://comics.ign.com/articles/106/1061476p1.html. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ Dark Avengers #1 (March 2009)
  7. ^ Dark Avengers #2 (April 2009)
  8. ^ Dark Avengers #5
  9. ^ New Avengers #50
  10. ^ Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1
  11. ^ Dark Avengers #8
  12. ^ Dark Avengers #10 (2009)
  13. ^ Dark Avengers #11
  14. ^ Dark Avengers #12
  15. ^ Siege #1
  16. ^ Dark Avengers #13
  17. ^ Dark Avengers #14
  18. ^ Dark Avengers #15
  19. ^ Dark Avengers #16
  20. ^ Thunderbolts #144
  21. ^ Avengers #2
  22. ^ New Avengers #1 (2010)
  23. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #651
  24. ^ New Avengers #18

External links

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