REVIEW: Dark Avengers #16 by Brian Bendis


Dark Avengers #16

Written by Brian Bendis

Art by Mike Deodato

The king has fallen, long live the king. At this point it’s not a spoiler to say that Norman Osborn lost, and that he and his Dark Avengers would have been taken into custody in the aftermath of Siege. After all, in the Heroic Age, they don’t really fit in. We’ve got a Hawkeye, his name is Clint Barton. We’ve got a Spider-Man, and he’s not a brain eating symbiote. And we’ve got a Ms. Marvel who….well, they’re both hot, but our Ms. Marvel isn’t a sociopath! But of course, our favorite villains aren’t going down lightly, and a few make a break for it. A failed break, but hey, they tried.

One Dark Avengers….the one with a solo series, does manage to get free, but in his case he was never really captured, he just did his own thing….most likely in his solo series, and then bails out here. I’ll admit, the fact that this character is hanging around post Siege peaks my interest, as one of my fundamental issues with jumping on board was that, well, I didn’t want to invest in a short term character. Same reason I dropped Ms. Marvel, I realized that no way was Karla going to be the lead longer then ten issues.

Ares gets a moment via a moment between his son and Thor, as we’re reminded that the God of War does leave someone behind (to those who don’t read Secret Warriors and thus are shamed).

We even get to see Victoria Hand and a teaser about what’s next for Norman’s second in command, and while it wasn’t surprising to me (as I read solicits slash critically think), it might surprise a few people. I’m in all favor for it, as I do like the character, and the depth she was given in the Molecule Man arc really helped that out. Bendis made her more then the girl with the red streaks in her hair that acts as Norman’s yes-girl.

And then the issue ends with Norman, in custody, and I have to say that I did like the little twist that Bendis gave us with it, even if it wasn’t so much of a twist as him acknowledging….you know what, I’m not going to spoil it. To me it was pretty cool, but I could easily see people brushing it off.

Mike Deodato turned in his usual level of awesome on this book, and I’d say that I’m sad to see him go, but it’s like, Secret Avengers is out inside the next month, and that means more Mike Deodato Avengers. And he gets to draw Steve! Win!

All in all, this issue provides a thematic finale to a book that truly could have been great, and definitely had moments where it was close to achieving it. But like every other issue of the book, it fell just short. I’ll miss seeing Norman’s crazy ass on a monthly basis, that much is for certain, but the rest of them? Karla will be around, Bullseye will definitely be around, and the same goes for Venom and Daken. So while this may be the end of the Dark Avengers, the stories continue elsewhere.


A lifelong reader and self proclaimed continuity guru, Grey is the Editor in Chief of Comics Nexus. Known for his love of Booster Gold, Spider-Girl (the real one), Stephanie Brown, and The Boys. Don't miss The Gold Standard.