Page 45 Review by Stephen
How have you been?
Better than you.
How is motherhood treating you?
Yeah, thats what I want to do: talk to your about my kid.
You know Im going to kill that baby.
Its all about the baby.
During the Dark Reign while Norman Osborn was in charge of American security (see DARK AVENGERS volume one to DARK AVENGERS: SIEGE and the first series of NEW AVENGERS volume ten to NEW AVENGERS SIEGE plus SIEGE itself), he hounded this team of then-illegal superheroes until his psychopathic megalomania finally got the better of him. He overplayed his hand with an assault on Asgard against the Presidents express wishes. It landed him in prison where, as this book opens, he remains.
The H.A.M.M.E.R. organisation he put together in place of S.H.I.E.L.D. was disbanded, but they never went away. They believed in what Osborn was doing so they slipped underground instead. Now they are back, and Osborn is soon free, drawing in the combined resources of Hydra, the Hand and A.I.M. and building a new, more powerful team of Dark Avengers with one extra secret weapon. Now hes using the very corporate-owned media Madame Hydra despises to destroy the Avengers reputation. And for me it works infinitely better than AVENGERS VOL 3 because instead of telling the world what he wants it to believe that he is the put-upon hero, and the Avengers the irresponsible villains he shows the world on TV, baiting an angry Luke Cage into doing his work for him.
Its also far more successful than AVENGERS VOL 3 because a) you have the neo-classical art of Neal Adams and Mike Deodato which is impossible to take your eyes off, b) this is where the sub-plots been brewing all along with the suspect loyalties of Victoria Hand finally revealed. This is the family with the most at stake. This is where the heart is. The good news is that is can be read without AVENGERS VOL 3 if you can just accept Captain America having got himself into a certain predicament when he appears.
The best lines throughout the book go to a Madame Hydra biding her time, and choosing her words with care. Here Gorgon speaks first:
Im wondering what drives Norman Osborn.
Same thing that drives us, no? We know the world should be different. We know our place in the world is being withheld from us. So we fight the tides.
But what youre asking yourself
Is Norman a narcissist with multiple personalities, or does he have multiple personalities and one of them is a narcissist?
I wonder the same thing about you.
No, I am a narcissist. But Im a self-aware narcissist.
The most dangerous kind.
All true leaders are.
Especially you. Death couldnt kill you, Gorgon. Thats the narcissists dream.
But if you think this is all talk, I can assure you otherwise: the new Dark Avengers gathered from existing villains are pretty impressive (no clues) and then theres that secret weapon (CIVIL WAR?). Fight after fight after monumental Mike Deodato fight scene, all orchestrated to show the New Avengers doing more damage to property then they preserve. The publics pretty pissed, Jessica Jones is scared witless and Brian Michael Bendis is even naughtier than ever.
Always wondered what would happen if I Iron-Fisted a Hulk.