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Dark Avengers #9: Review

Nov 2009
Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Avengers #9 Review by (January 16, 2018)
The long-gone Marvel Boy may not be on the cover like he was for #6-7 but he's mentioned in the solicit. (And he'll be *back* on the cover next issue and he'll *still* be *not in the issue*.)

Nick Fury was fired as head of SHIELD after his disastrous Secret War. Going undercover he detected the buildup of something bad, and recruited and trained his young Secret Warriors (as described in Mighty Avengers #13 and #18). It all came to a head in the Skrulls' Secret Invasion. All that was written by Brian Michael Bendis.
When Norman Osborn replaced SHIELD with HAMMER (and took over the Avengers) Fury  swore to oppose him with his Warriors in the Dark Reign: New Nation 1-shot. That was co-written by Bendis and Jonathan Hickman. They co-plotted the SW#1-6 which precede this issue but Hickman wrote them. While HAMMER continued to be an enemy, Fury's old foes Baron Strucker and Hydra became more important.

Ares and Fury met before in the final battle against the Skrulls in Secret Invasion #7-8.

Norman Osborn tangling with Deadpool (and the X-Men again) in DP4#17-18 (with a cameo by Bullseye in #17) is the only thing involving our cast since the Utopia crossover.

Nick Fury and the Secret Warriors will go back to their own #7-9 which I will be covering as part of a crossover with Thunderbolts featuring more of lovable Norman.

There's nothing between this issue and the 3-parter starting next issue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Avengers #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Victoria Hand goes down to Norman Osborn (Iron Patriot)'s private workshop in the basement of Avengers Tower to tell him the Secretary of Defence wants to talk to him on the phone. She's obviously tried calling down and got no answer - she's stalling the Secretary by blaming poor reception. But the lab door denies her entry, and she tells the Secretary that Osborn's out on a mission. But as she walks away she doesn't hear Norman calling her for help.

Ares of the Dark Avengers is at home in his Bronx apartment. He wakes his young son Alexander for school. As they eat breakfast the TV news shows stuff about the DAv fighting the X-Men in the Utopia crossover including our last 2 issues. The reporter is relaying Osborn's spin that they drove the mutants into exile off US territory. Ares also tells his son that the DAv won the fight (which is far from the truth).

Alex asks if fighting the mutants was the right thing to do. He says that some people on TV think Norman Osborn is a bad guy - should Ares be working for him? Ares answers yes to both these questions. Alex asks how he knows. Daddy says it's because he's older and wiser - and he leaves to go to work. The TV says 76% of Americans support Osborn's treatment of mutants, and 66% think them a serious threat.

A horn sounds - it's Daisy Johnson on a motor scooter to take Alex to 'school'. But we saw in #5 that Ares discovered that his son hadn't been attending his real school, so now he follows them on a motorbike. Daisy tells Alex they're going to another new 'clubhouse'. On the way they discuss what happened in San Francisco with the mutants. Daisy doesn't know if they're going to get involved. Although she keeps an eye on her sidemirrors she never spots the big man with the big axe on the big bike following them.

Their destination is Nick Fury's Safehouse #7 in Soho, current home to his Secret Warriors. (As well as Daisy (Quake) and Alex (Phobos) there's Druid (Sebastian Druid), Eden Fesi, Hellfire (J T James) and Stonewall (Jerry Sledge) - Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez) isn't here because she was severely injured in Secret Warriors #3.) Fury gives them all a thick manual of intel on AIM to study. Stonewall and Hellfire aren't keen.

An alarm goes off as Ares smashes his way into the deserted barbershop that fronts this hideout. Nick recognises the man on the security cam as Alex's father Ares. He's pissed that Daisy let him trail her here. Ares detects the signs of recent use and works out that the safehouse is down below (I think). And his axe brings the floor/ceiling down and him with it.

Impetuous Hellfire attacks with his flaming chain. Ares knocks him out with 1 blow of his axe handle. Fury tells the rest to stand down. Ares greets Nick and asks him what he's doing with his son. Fury replies that he's training him to be a warrior. And Alex indicates that's what he wants. Then Nick sends the others out of the room, but the boy can't help peeking through a door.

Fury tells Ares his son has great potential, and the God of War accepts it. He says he doesn't know how to raise the boy. His own father (Zeus) didn't set a good example. He had to leave Olympus to find his true self. He doesn't want Alex to have to run away to do the same, and he thinks that if he takes his son from Fury that's what will happen. So he agrees to leave Alex with Nick.

However he warns Fury that if he lets Alex get killed then Zeus will probably come after him. Nick says if it happens Alex will have died a warrior. But he takes the opportunity to tell Ares to his face that he shouldn't be working for Norman Osborn. Ares replies that Osborn is filling Fury's shoes very well.

After Ares leaves, Nick tells the team to pack up - they're all leaving. They can't take the chance of Osborn finding out where they are. Alex says his honourable father won't tell, but Fury says Osborn has telepaths. Hellfire at last wakes up, and Nick suggests he consider this as the day he survived a fight with the God of War. And he tells Quake to be more careful. This meeting *could* have gone very badly.

In Avengers Tower Daken, Hawkeye (Bullseye), Ms. Marvel (Moonstone) and Spider-Man (Venom (Mac Gargan)) are having breakfast with Victoria Hand. Daken is bragging about cutting off Deadpool's hand. (Maybe Bullseye mentioned seeing Osborn getting involved with 'Pool in DP(2008)#17-18 recently, because the hand incident happened a while ago in Wolverine: Origins #25.) They notice that Sentry (or Captain Crazy) has returned. (Last seen fleeing from his evil alter-ego the Void in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus (the end of the Utopia crossover) - and we don't get an explanation how that resolved.)

Sentry flies into his Watchtower atop Avengers Tower to be greeted by his wife Lindy pointing a gun at him. It's an alien 1 left behind by Marvel Boy. She can't take living with his insanity any more. She shoots him in the head and he appears to die. (He'll be back next issue but we won't find out what happened until a flashback in #13.)

And in the basement Norman Osborn's door opens.

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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

(Karla Sofen)

(Mac Gargan)

Plus: Hellfire (JT James), Manifold (Eden Fesi), Phobos, Quake (Daisy Johnson), Sebastian Druid, Secret Warriors, Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez), Stonewall (Jerry Sledge), Victoria Hand.

> Dark Avengers: Book info and issue index

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