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Dark Avengers #4: Review

Jun 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Avengers #4 Review by (May 16, 2017)
1 fight that *doesn't* happen inside is the cover scrap between Iron Patriot and Dr Doom.

Doom seems free of Le Fay's paralysis spell here after making a big deal of it last issue.

The battle still happened even though Morgana never started it. It's not just Norman Osborn who can't figure it out!

Clint Barton's interview happened at the end of New Avengers #50, which was twinned with our #2.

We'll see Dr Doom next in Fantastic Four #566-569. His kingdom is back up and running but then his ancient mentor, conveniently called the Master of Doom, arrives. He's not impressed by his student's villainy and sets about showing how it *should* be done. The battle with the FF ends with Doom even more sorcerously powerful than before.
Then in Captain Britain & MI:13 #10-14 he'll appear to aid Dracula in taking over the UK, but is really on the other side.
And in Thor #600-602 Doom welcomes the Asgardians to Latveria, minus Thor who's been exiled for killing his grandfather Bor. It's all part of a cunning plot with Loki.

Morgana Le Fay may possibly have a cameo in New Avengers #53 as 1 of the contenders for the role of Sorcerer Supreme. But her next definite app won't be until Fearless Defenders #12 where her daughter Caroline frees her from Doom's banishment.

It'll be a long time before Norman Osborn gets his reply interview to Barton next issue. (At least according to the Marvel Chronology Project, but they've got to fit all of NO's other apps in somewhere!) But there's a couple of flashbacks in #5 that follow on directly from this issue - Norman dealing with Sentry and Ares slapping down Bullseye.
After that there's lots of stuff before the main part of #5. There are several full (or nearly full) team apps, and some major arcs for individual members. There are also some brief cameos, including some of other team members supporting the 1 in the spotlight, which I shall ignore. I'll also only go half the way here, and leave the rest for #5.
Daken fights his dad Wolverine and the X-Men in Wo: Origins #34-36 as he goes after the Muramasa blade - the only thing that can kill Logan.
The group team up with the NAv to help Thor fight Ymir and his Frost Giants in Free Comic Book Day 2009: Avengers.
The team tangle with Lyra, daughter of Hulk and Thundra from an alternate future, in All-New Savage She-Hulk #1-4.
They get caught up in a battle between Thor again and his grandfather Bor in Th#600.
Daken takes over and renames his dad's main mag with #75, and in Dark Wolverine #75-77 he connives against NO and the team, especially Bullseye - involving the Fantastic Four in his scheme.
Then it's Bullseye's turn for the spotlight in the Dark Reign: Hawkeye mini-series. As Hawkeye he faces a series of fake Bullseyes sent to kill him by his father Kingmaker.
The DAv join with the NAv again briefly for the finale of the Timestorm 2009-2099 limited series.
Here I'll leave off until #5.

Norman Osborn makes many more apps than the rest of the team put together. I'll be following his career in detail in each of the apps that I cover here, starting with Free Comic Book Day 2009: Avengers. So I'll only go over his apps before that point.
W:O#34 - Osborn, Ares and Venom cameo as Emma Frost uses her membership of the Cabal to try to get NO to stop Daken from coming after Logan.
DR: Young Avengers #3 - NO cameos at the end as we learn that he's behind the plot of this mini-series. The rest of it follows after FCBD09:A.
DR: Elektra #1 p5-6 - NO and HAMMER take over from SHIELD 'looking after' the body of Elektra, in a meditative coma since she came back from Skrull captivity at the end of Secret Invasion.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Dark Avengers are in Latveria fighting Morgana Le Fay and her demon horde to protect Dr Doom from her. They're not doing very well:- They've killed her twice but she keeps coming back from the past. Sentry has been disintegrated. Ares is turned to stone. Spider-Man/Venom has been taken over and is trying to eat Hawkeye/Bullseye. Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) has fled with Doom.

Now Captain Marvel/Marvel Boy and Wolverine/Daken fight monsters on the ground Ms Marvel/Moonstone takes to the sky to meet Morgana on a flying dragon. Morgana tries to kill her with a mystic sword but Karla Sofen avoids it with her Moonstone intangibility power. And then blasts Le Fay off the beast.

Meanwhile IP and DD have gone back to Morgana's home time of 690 AD. Specifically to just before she launched herself through time to initiate this battle. Morgana tries to make them distrust each other - but they already do! Then she taunts Victor von Doom that he can't afford to kill her because their timelines are too interwoven. His response is to cast a spell in a language Le Fay doesn't recognise. And she is sent into the magic cauldron she uses to see through time.

Doom tells Osborn she was right - he daren't kill her. So he just sent her elsewhen. Norman tries to make sense of it all. Morgana has been stopped from starting the future fight in which she did die - twice. But during which she was able to return to the battle because she was still alive here? Victor just dismisses him as ignorant in such matters.

Morgana finds herself in 1,000,000 BC being chased by a T-Rex and some cavemen. (Impossibility piled on impossibility!)

Doom tells Patriot they must leave the Arthurian age immediately to avoid damaging the timestream more than they had to. And for the same reason they must return to exactly the moment they left - he can't allow Osborn any opportunity to change things nearer the present either. When Norman protests Victor points out that he owes his current position of power to being in the right place at the right time to kill the Skrull Queen and end the Secret Invasion - small changes in time could jeopardise that. NO concedes the point, and Doom summons his time cube.

When they get back the battle is over. Demons lie strewn about but Morgana's not there. Venom is free of his possession and apologises for attacking Bullseye - but Bullseye calmly says he'll kill him later. Ares is still stone until Doom magically restores him. Sentry is still gone. Osborn calls Victoria Hand to send a HAMMER craft to pick them up.

They survey the ruins of Doom's castle. Osborn brought the team to Victor's aid because Doom is part of his Cabal. But his Avengers can't be seen openly helping him so it won't happen again. And Norman will keep this incident secret, including Doom being defeated by Le Fay.

After they've gone Doom creates his time cube again and uses it to bring his castle from its unruined past.

On the way back Moonstone tries her psychological tricks on Marvel Boy by praising his battle skill. And telling him she is Kree like him, or at least the moonstone bonded with her is Kree. Ares smiles as he sees MB admiring her curves as she walks away. Norman gets some news from Victoria about Clint Barton, the real Hawkeye/Ronin, giving a television interview to insult him. NO wants to respond, despite Hand warning him not to.

And Sentry rematerialises in front of their plane. And Osborn doesn't like the look Bob Reynolds gives him.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Rainier Beredo
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Inker)
Rainier Beredo (Cover Colorist)

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