As someone who was immediately enthusiastic about Dark Avengers, it’s good to see that the second issue holds up well to the first. The main draw, initially, was finding out who was on the team, and how they got there. The second issue… well, that’s where the fun needs to start. Especially since Dark Avengers is one of Marvel’s $3.99 ongoings, I’m expecting a LOT of entertainment from this series.
And entertainment is what I got. Without spoiling it, there’s at least one moment in this issue that utterly blew my mind. There’s not an Avengers fan around who wouldn’t have the same reaction to that scene. If Dark Avengers keeps up this level of consistency then I can almost begin to forgive the price tag.
After introducing the cast one at a time last issue, Bendis takes the opportunity to show them interacting a bit this time, with particular amusement being generated by Moonstone wondering exactly who Daken is, no doubt speaking with the voice of thousands of Dark Avengers readers. Bullseye gets some great dialogue too. The danger with using villains as your cast members is that many of them have poorly-defined characters, so it’s nice to see them getting a little time to be rounded out a bit.
Bendis is also avoiding – so far – the obvious reformation trope. The danger with villains is that the more you establish them as characters, the more sympathetic they become. So far, none of these characters want to reform, they’re just glad to be on top for a change.
If you’re not a Bendis fan, there’s little here that’s going to convince you to give the book a chance, of course. There are even some particularly self-indulgent scenes that consist mostly of Doom and Morgana Le Fey ranting at each other in an invented language that, one suspects, most writers would recognise as a bit superfluous to requirements, but it’s a bit par for the course for Bendis. At least he’s improved his Doom dialogue since the character turned up in Mighty Avengers, though…
Between Deodato’s art and Bendis’ writing, Dark Avengers looks like it’s going to be a rather epic series. The concept is great fun, and both creators are clearly having fun with it. If they can keep up this level of excitement in the future, then, despite the price tag, Marvel are going to be a lot of pleased customers on their hands.