Over the holiday I read the 400 page hardback compilation of the Dark Avengers series written by Brian Bendis. If you are not familiar with the series, the storyline places the Avengers underground after the Skrull invasion. Harry Osborne, aka the Green Goblin, had the good fortune of being a key figure in repelling the Skrull threat. Because of this Osborne has been assigned to be the head of S.H.E.I.L.D. which he renames H.A.M.M.E.R. He takes the organization from a defensive to offensive position. He creates his own version of the Avengers placing himself as Iron Patriot the leader of the team. The rest of the team includes a team of villains posing as heroes: “Spider-man”, “Hawkeye”, “Ms. Marvel”, “Wolverine”, Captain Marvel, Ares, and Sentry. The quotes are used because these are not the original key players of these heroes’ identities as Avengers.
I have yet to finish X-men: Utopia, but I really enjoyed the Dark Avengers. Don’t be fooled by the description of the Dark Avengers hardback. It does not contain the entire story. I look forward to finishing it out with X-Men: Utopia. The take down of Osborne and his Dark Avengers is completely omitted from the book.
It appears, however, that the Dark Avengers have returned with Osborne at the helm in the H.A.M.M.E.R. Wars. In November of last year the Dark Avengers returned as The New Dark Avengers. The team consists of Skaar, Gorgon, Ai Apaec, Dr. June Covington, Superia, and Trickshot and the team is 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. Ragnarok is of course the cyborg clone version of Thor derived from a hair collected by Tony Stark at the first meeting of the Avengers. Reed Richards and Henry Pym were essential to the development of Ragnarok.
The New Avengers VS. The New Dark Avengers occurs in Issue #20 of The New Avengers out January 11, 2012
It should be EPIC!
Here is a link to the Marvel Preview Page: THE NEW AVENGERS ISSUE #20