Dark Avengers, a Marvel published series written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Mike Deodato, is a direct result of the events that occur in the Secret Invasion mini series. After Norman Osborn takes out the Skrull queen, ending the war, he is deemed the savior of the world and is given Tony Starks position of headingS.H.I.E.L.D and leading his own Avengers team. Osborn Dismantles S.H.I.E.L.D firing all who have an allegiance with Stark and renames the team H.A.M.M.E.R. His Avengers team is mostly assembled from A and B list super villains disguised as former Avenger members to keep a clean public image. Venom as Spider-man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, And Daken (Wolverine's son) as Wolverine. Norman himself, who is best known as Spider-man's greatest villain the Green Goblin, takes on the leading roll as Iron Patriot, using Stark technology to create his own Iron Man suit. Also on the team is God of war Aries and the endlessly powerful schizophrenic Sentry. Osborn uses his team of Dark Avengers for good and to keep the world protected and uphold the super Human Registration Act established in Civil War. All this is an obvious front for Osborn to devise behind the scene plans which seem to directly influence the new Siege storyline that just hit the shelves.
Brian Michael Bendis is one of my favorite writers these days. I was a big fan of his Ultimate Spider-Man and Mighty Avengers runs so it was a given for me to pick up the Dark Avengers. Like most Marvel books Dark Avengers is directly tied into other story lines in other series in the Marvel Universe. Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron man (another must read) stands as the most impacted as Norman Osborn hunts down the on the run Tony Stark for vital information Osborn needs. It's a very engrossing book with great action and great character development, my favorite being Bob Reynolds, the Sentry. Sentry is probably the most powerful person in the Marvel universe, he is also a schizophrenic who can snap at any moment and destroy the planet. Some how Osborn convinced Reynolds to be on the team in exchange for Osborn helping him with his schizophrenia. Knowing Norman's background you can just feel where this is going to lead. That alone makes me itch for the next issue every month. Deodato does a great job of illustrating this series. He adds great depth, movement, and power to the panels. Its nothing new and innovative but he is definitely at the top of his game and adds a lot to the story. Every time Osborn is on the page you feel like something isn't right with him, even though the words says other wise. Every time Sentry appears you feel his power and I sometimes get goose bumps. This is all from Deodato's work, me likey.
So yeah, if you are are a slight bit of a Brian Michael Bendis fan i suggest picking up this series. There's great action, great characters, and great story. I believe there are 13 issues out by now. The series IS related to a lot of other series but it does stand well on its own. You don't need to start from the beginning, but if you are the type of person that likes being connected to the Marvel universe as a whole, (like i do) i do suggest picking up a hard cover of the first few issues to get the full effect. 'till next time, Keep geeking.