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Dark Avengers #10: Review

Dec 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Dark Avengers #10 Review by (January 23, 2018)
Marvel Boy is on the cover again! Mike Deodato must like drawing him, because he hasn't been in the comic since #5.

Man-Thing was last seen helping repel a zombie invasion in Marvel Zombies (2009). He can't be killed just by chopping him up so he'll be back several times within Dark Reign:- As 1 of a supernatural gang under the control of Nightmare in Dr Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #5. With his old pal Howard the Duck in Amazing Spider-Man: Back in Quack. And he is part of a Legion of Monsters who reassemble the bits of Punisher's body into FrankenCastle in Pu(2009)#11-12, after Daken dices him in DR: The List - Punisher.

Dinosaur, Colorado is a real place which was renamed after the nearby Dinosaur National Monument - a park containing many dinosaur fossil sites.

Molecule Man has kept a low profile since he escaped the Raft prison as part of the mass breakout in New Avengers #1. But the Marvel Chronology Project assume he was among the villaions sucked into Mad Thimker and Puppet master's scheme in Fantastic Four: Foes #1 because he was 1 of those captured by the FF and sent to the Negative Zone prison in #5. And he was back on the Raft in Secret Invasion #1 when the Skrull computer virus freed everyone (again).

Next issue will reveal that Molecule Man's pals here aren't real but confirms that they are supposed to be Beyonder (from Secret Wars I and II), Enchantress (Asgardian sorceress), Mephisto (lord of (a) Hell) and Zarathos (the demon inhabiting the various Ghost Riders).
We also see a dragon which reminded me (and Marvel Wiki and comicbookdb.com) of the Dragon of the Moon (who featured in the Defenders and corrupted Moondragon). I didn't make anything of the 6 serpent heads whose bodies might connect off-panel, but MW and cbdb list them as the 7-headed elder-demon Set. However they don't do anything significant in the next 2 issues so maybe they're just set dressing.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Avengers #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
2 college girls (named Betty and Veronica) drive their open-top caddy into Dinosaur, Colorado. Ronnie is putting distance between herself and her cheating boyfriend. They pull into a burger joint (surrounded by dinosaur models). Ronnie goes to the bathroom (but only to sneak a phonecall to the boy) while Betty orders some coffees.

2 male diners mumble that they should get out of here. Ronnie finds something weird about the restroom mirror, her phone melts and the doors of the cubicles collapse when she stumbles against them. Betty hears her scream. The diners and the waitress turn grey. And outside the car turns to dust.

In the Louisiana Bayou Ares slices completely through the middle of Man-Thing with his axe. The other Dark Avengers applaud and H.A.M.M.E.R. troops take the carcass away in a helicopter. Hawkeye (Bullseye) comments that it's just 1 more item on Norman Osborn's list. But Spider-Man (Venom (Mac Gargan)) feels sorry for him. Ms Marvel (Moonstone) thinks Gargan's medication needs adjusting.

Next morning at breakfast in Avengers Tower Victoria Hand has another task for them. But Bullseye opines that they've been working too hard - they deserve a break. Daken agrees. Moonstone wants to know why the boss Norman Osborn hasn't been seen for days. Bullseye cutely asks if Osborn is next on *her* to-do list. (He was the 1 who saw her seduce Marvel Boy before he quit in #5.) Karla Sofen replies with a smile "No, you are." Bullseye suggests she couldn't handle him. Karla matches his stare and says "Try me." The other Avengers look on in shock.

Bullseye blinks 1st and changes the subject to Mac Gargan. He says Mac's meds (that keep his Venom-side under control) are turning him into a wimp. Gargan proves his point by begging him to stop making fun of him. Victoria says she'll see about changing the dose.

Daken repeats the question about where Norman Osborn is. Hand tries to bluff (last issue he wouldn't come out of his basement workroom) but Akihiro calls her on it. But just then NO enters as Iron Patriot. Victoria tries to take him aside to assess his state-of-mind but he insists on getting down to business.

Hand tells them the 1st thing on the agenda is the 2 girls missing for 2 days in Colorado. 1 of them is the daughter of the Secretary of State, and he wants Norman to investigate as a personal favour. Osborn has to do it because the Secretary runs their funding committee. Bullseye jokes about Norman licking the boss's boots. Osborn hits back that Bullseye used to be Kingpin's errand boy. Bullseye says that was because KP paid him. NO says "Exactly."

Ms Hand outlines the situation and says Veronica's last call put them in Dinosaur. The boyfriend was a suspect but he was at the college in Washington DC. HAMMER have also found 44 other recent missing person reports in that area. Satellite surveillance just shows a small quiet town. Iron Patriot sends Sentry to zoom over there and check it out.

While Bob Reynolds is en route Victoria gets her quiet moment with her boss. She asks him why he was locked away in his lab for 2 days. He says he was working. Why is he at breakfast in full armour? He's testing new software, but refuses to take his helmet off.

Bullseye tells psychiatrist Karla Sofen to stop trying her mind games on him. He doesn't trust her and whatever she did to make Marvel Boy run away (we know it was just that she made him recognise that his teammates were mainly psycho villains). Moonstone says that she didn't like him as Bullseye, but he's impressed her in his new Hawkeye role. And as she walks away she strips her top off.

Sentry lands in the town and reports that the streets are empty apart from dinosaur statues. But then a man approaches. And Bob's hand dissolves into raw energy. Followed by the rest of him in a large explosion, which the Avengers witness by satellite.

The Dark Avengers and HAMMER head for Colorado in force. IP and Ms Marvel fly under their own power. Ares, Daken, Hawkeye and Spider-Man ride sky-sleds, backed by a HAMMER helicarrier and troops on more sky-sleds. Mac Gargan is worried about whatever took out Sentry. Whoever it is will be powerful enough to kill them all. Victoria Hand has to explain about the problem with Venom's medications, so Osborn benches him and sends him back to the 'carrier.

Ares says that Gargan was right. Patriot uncharacteristically says they can't pick their fights. Ms Marvel offers to take point because she can go in intangible. But she can't get an OK out of Norman, who remains incommunicado until they get there.

But he does send Moonstone down. Karla lands and says there's no-one about. Then she starts to say something else and her transmission goes dead. Ms Hand suggests retreat. IP agrees but realises he's lost comms ...

... and the next thing he knows he's standing naked in front of an enthroned Molecule Man surrounded by Beyonder, Enchantress, Mephisto and Zarathos.


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Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Rainier Beredo
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Inker)
Rainier Beredo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)
Moonstone
Moonstone

(Karla Sofen)
Venom
Venom

(Mac Gargan)

Plus: H.A.M.M.E.R., Man-Thing, Victoria Hand.