Dark Reign: New Nation #1: Review

Dec 2008
Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

Secret Warriors: Declaration

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Reign: New Nation #1 Review by (July 12, 2012)
Comments on New Avengers: The Reunion:- Mockingbird was probably the first superhero replaced by a Skrull, between Avengers West Coast #88 and #89. The Skrull replacement died in AWC#100, still believed to be Bobbi Morse. (This raises questions about her subsequent appearances in the afterlife.) Clint Barton (as Hawkeye) also died since then, killed by Scarlet Witch in Avengers Disassembled. But she brought him back to life after House of M. The end of this story makes it seem like Mockingbird is working for some villainous group. But she actually trying to contact ex-SHIELD agents (now Norman Osborn has replaced SHIELD with HAMMER), using her old Bobbi Morse codename as SHIELD Agent 19. In particular she will hook up in the following series with other ex-SHIELD agents who had been Skrull abductees.

Comments on Skrull Kill Krew:- Skrulls as cows is an homage to the original Skrull appearance in Fantastic Four #2 and to the origin of the Krew. At the end of FF#1 Mr Fantastic made Skrulls shapeshift to bovine form, and hypnotised them into believing they were cows. Meat from these cows created the Krew members. Ryder is the only one remaining from his original team in their first mini-series and in Secret Invasion. But in the new series he will succeed in recreating his teammates. This series will have little to do with Dark Reign apart from the cover banner.

Comments on War Machine:- I think the author here is using an invented name Anunquit instead of Inuit. Eaglestar International is a company that will feature heavily in the following War Machine series, as will Ultimo-tech derived from the alien Ultimo robot. Sakaar is the planet in Planet Hulk. I don't know if the atrocities Rhodey witnessed in Sin-Cong are supposed to be involved in the building of the pipeline there. In other contexts in Marvel Sin-Cong has been used as a euphemism for Vietnam, which would fit with atrocities and Jim's presence but not particularly with the pipeline.

Comments on Agents of Atlas:- The group was formed in the late 50's (an alternate reality version appearing in What If #9 as 'Avengers'). Early adventures of this time are often depicted alongside their modern tales, and in the digital mini-series Wolverine: Agent of Atlas. They were reformed (with some rejuvenation) in the modern day for the 1st Agents of Atlas series. After the Dark Reign series that follows this issue they will have more limited series X-Men vs Agents of Atlas, Avengers vs Atlas and just Atlas.

Comments on Secret Warriors:- Norman Osborn doesn't actually close the Initiative scheme down, but reuses it for his own purposes. Of the Howling Commandos on D-Day only 2 will survive:- Dum Dum Dugan will rejoin the rebuilt SHIELD after Dark Reign, and Reb Ralston is a Senator. Dino Manelli and Percy Pinkerton died before this point. Izzy Cohen and Gabe Jones will get involved in Secret Warriors and get killed in #19. The Secret Warriors are Druid, Hellfire, Phobos, Quake, Slingshot and Stonewall. Nick Fury actually organised this group during Secret Invasion. But now they will get their own book, which will revolve not so much fighting Osborn and HAMMER as battling Hydra. And they aren't Fury's only team of Secret Warriors. Fury hasn't been with SHIELD since his Secret War fiasco. His involvement in Secret Invasion and Dark Reign is entirely unofficial. He will remain underground even after Steve Rogers issues in the Heroic Age. He will finally (well, maybe) retire and be succeeded by his son Marcus Johnson in the Battle Scars limited series.

Dark Reign: New Nation contains 5 stories that introduce new series starting during Dark Reign:- Secret Warriors: Declaration leads to a regular series that will last 28 issues. The rest are only limited series. Skrull Kill Krew and New Avengers: The Reunion were designed as mini-series, but Agents of Atlas and War Machine were probably intended to be ongoing.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Reign: New Nation #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Nick Fury, disguised by an image generator, listens to Norman Osborn the new Director of National Security announce the closure of the 50-State Initiative and an investigation into those responsible for allowing the Skrull Secret Invasion to nearly succeed.

He remembers back to D-Day where Captain America gave an impassioned speech to the Howling Commandos and other US troops before the storming of the Normandy beaches. Cap says that one man with conviction can win a war if he has similar men to follow him.

Captain America is now (believed) dead, but Nick is ready to step up to the plate, and he's gathered a group of Secret Warriors to help him fight Osborn's rule.

Story #2

Agents of Atlas: The Heist

Writer: Jeff Parker. Penciler: Carlo Pagulayan. Inker: Jason Paz. Colorist: Jana Schirmer. Editor: Mark Paniccia. Letterer: Nate Piekos.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The Agents of Atlas (Gorilla Man, M-11, Namora, the Uranian, Venus, Jimmy Woo) steal all the gold from Fort Knox to stop Norman Osborn from using it to secretly buy advanced weapons.

They intend to wage war against Osborn's reign, pretending to be a criminal empire, in Agents of Atlas vol 2.

Story #3

War Machine: Crossing the Line

Writer: Greg Pak. Penciler: Leonardo Manco. Inker: Leonardo Manco. Colorist: Jay David Ramos. Editor: Bill Rosemann. Letterer: Joe Caramagna.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Anton Aubuisson representing Roxxon Oil has been authorised to build a pipeline through Anunquit territory in Western Canada. But the tribes don't want it for ecological reasons. After bribery fails he sets polar bears on them, controlled by an Eaglestar alien Sakaarian device, and outfitted with Ultimo-tech exoskeletons and adamantium claws.

The cyborg War Machine and Suzi Endo have been fighting Skrulls during Secret Invasion from Tony Stark's hidden satellite in Iron Man: Director of SHIELD #33-35. Now that's over James Rhodes tells Suzi she can go back to being a scientist, but he's going to investigate those bear killings. Suzi elects to stay, and guides him in.

But Suzi has seen what information Jim has retrieved, and knows he's really going after Aubuisson. She doesn't know why, but she does know that Aubuisson is there legally. So she's put a lock on Rhodey's cybernetic weapons control so he can't attack human beings for 24 hours.

War Machine confronts Aubuisson. Rhodey remembers being a marine in Sin-Cong with him, watching him commit atrocities. (The Anunquit also accused Aubuisson of destroying villages and lives in Sin-Cong to build a pipeline there.) Aubuisson does the gloaty villain thing and shows off his bears.

War Machine can't attack Aubuisson. But he destroys his control device, and leaves him to the mercy of the bears.

Suzi doesn't like what Jim's turned into, and quits.

Story #4

Skrull Kill Krew: Breakfast in America

Writer: Adam Felber. Penciler: Paulo Siqueira. Inker: Paulo Siqueira. Inker: Amilton Santos. Colorist: Chris Sotomayor. Editor: Steve Wacker. Letterer: Joe Caramagna.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Ryder kills a bunch of Skrulls disguised as cows, left over from the Secret Invasion. He rides off to look for more Skrulls in Skrull Kill Krew vol 2.

Story #5

New Avengers: The Reunion: Suspicion

Writer: Jim McCann. Penciler: David Lopez. Inker: Alvaro Lopez. Colorist: Daniele Rudoni. Editor: Jeanine Schaefer. Letterer: Dave Lanphear.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Ronin (Clint Barton) tries to get close to his ex-wife Mockingbird, but she's still haunted by her experiences as a captive of the Skrulls. That long episode has left her not trusting who might be a Skrull, even herself. She tests her own and Clint's blood, and establishes that they at least are human. But things have changed so much while she was away, so she's still not ready to try to renew their relationship.

The story ends with Mockingbird trying to contact a mysterious organisation as Agent 19.

To be continued in New Avengers: The Reunion mini-series.

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Daniele Rudoni
Daniel Acuna (Cover Penciler)
Daniel Acuna (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
War Machine
War Machine

(James Rhodes)

Plus: Dino Manelli, Druid, Gabe Jones (Gabriel Jones), Gorilla-Man (Arthur Nagan), Hellfire (JT James), Izzy Cohen, Jimmy Woo, M-11, Namora (Aquaria Neptunia), Percy Pinkerton, Phobos, Quake (Daisy Johnson), Reb Ralston (Robert Ralston), Ryder, Slingshot (Yo-Yo Rodriguez), Stonewall (Jerry Sledge), Suzi Endo, Uranian (Bob Grayson), Venus.

> Dark Reign: New Nation: Book info and issue index

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