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Dark Reign: Young Avengers #3: Review

Sep 2009
Paul Cornell, Mark Brooks

Story Name:

Young masters part three

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #3 Review by (May 23, 2017)
Norman Osborn has obviously been keeping tabs on the new Young Avengers since his meeting with Coat Of Arms described last issue.
The Marvel Chronology Project's NO history suggests there's a small gap since the decision to test the new group for membership of the old group in #2. That issue followed immediately after the unveiling of the Dark Avengers in DAv#1. Not only did that issue continue into DAv#2-4 but NO (and the other DAv) were involved with member Daken in Wolverine #34-36.

Enchantress occasionally forgets to speak Asgardian, which correctly suggests that her Sylvie Lushton story is her *true* origin.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A new Young Avengers team appeared on the scene whose 'heroic' deeds were more violent than the incumbents'. Our heroes asked them to refrain from using the name. But in return offered to let them each try out for a place on the original team.

The newbies have accepted the challenge. The real YAv have chosen a widespread Hydra operation as a useful test case, and now the 2 teams are pairing up individually in the the evaluation sessions.

Giant-size Stature and Big Zero deal with some helicopter gunships. Big Zero is enthusiastic but amateur. Stature uses her Initiative training to grab the copters, smash them against the Brooklyn Bridge to break their rotors and then put them on the ground for the police to arrest the occupants. Cassie Lang is disturbed by Amity's comment that there was no fun that way, but at least the Hydra guys might kill some 'pigs' before they're done.

Next we see the 2 team leaders, Patriot and Melter, fighting ground troops. Eli Bradley doesn't like BZ's Nazi tattoos but Chris stands up for his teammate. However, Patriot finds it a better sign that Melter refrains from using his dangerous power on the normal human Hydra guys. But he sees Chris' anguished look (because he accidentally killed an old woman in DRYA #1).

The next pairing is a threesome:- Hulking and Wiccan with Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), who has just turned their opponents into frogs. She gushes an explanation that she's not really Asgardian, she's Sylvie Lushton from Broxton (where Asgard is now located). As Wiccan turns the frogs back to trussed up Hydra agents, she continues that she just woke up with her magic powers 1 day and decided to come to New York as Enchantress, and adopted the lisping Asgard-speak. The NAv pair are relieved to find she's not evil, just thoughtless in the use of her power.

Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) and Executioner are up against robots. Danny guesses Hawkeye didn't want to find out if he would kill human opponents, but she says it wasn't planned. Executioner isn't ashamed of his violent methods, and he thinks that's the way the Avengers are going these days.

Speed and Coat of Arms face Hydra agents inside a giant mechanoid. As we learnt last issue, they know each other from juvie. Tommy would welcome Lisa in the group - someone less naive like him. And he flirts with her. When they've demolished their foe, COA tells him her origin. Soon after she got out on parole, she found the Coat seemingly waiting for her with a message painted on the wall behind it - asking if superheroes are good. It gave her the power to manifest 4 extra arms, and also a goal for her art - to explore the parameters of herodom.

Vision (Jonas) and Egghead just have 3 soldiers and a jeep to contend with. They both go intangible to let it drive through them and crash. Egghead resents Vizh's suggestion that his programming has been messed with (by Big Zero to make him share her POV), but he's easily distracted from his anger.

The teams gather together and Enchantress sends both groups back to their own bases.

In the ruins of Avengers Mansion, the NAv evaluate the other lot. Patriot likes Melter but thinks he's hiding something. Hulkling and Wiccan enthusiastically endorse Enchantress - she just needs a lot of training. Speed wants Coat Of Arms in more ways than 1. Stature doesn't trust Big Zero at all, and the others agree. Vision wants Egghead shut down - another unanimous vote.

Hawkeye tells the others how Executioner bragged about his Punisher-like methods. (And that his mom is a Green financier who also likes what he does.) But he also knows who Kate is because they went to school together. And he tried to use that as blackmail to get on the team. Wiccan offers to make him forget her identity, but Hawkeye doesn't want him to do things like that. But it also makes Stature and Vision question their own negative evaluations. And Kate worries that the other team have already started to infect their psychology.

Meanwhile in the other group's Invisible Manor, Executioner tells the others about his blackmail scheme without telling them who Hawkeye is, and how he expects that to get them all accepted. And Enchantress boasts that they were fooled by her origin story. Melter hopefully asks if they should tone down their aggression to be the YAv's sort of heroes. Big Zero, Egghead and Executioner laugh in his face. But Coat Of Arms wonders what she started when she formed this team.

Later Danny meets with his mother. He simultaneously seeks her approval and resents her continuous checking up on him. And he gets angry when she asks if he was dating Kate Bishop. As she leaves him she tells him she's arranged a continuous supply of money for him, so he doesn't have to keep coming to her for more.

And we learn that Norman Osborn / Iron Patriot is monitoring the Invisible Manor. He finds it funny that Executioner doesn't know his mother is actually criminal Princess Python (as we learned last issue). It turns out that 'Hydra' was really some of NO's HAMMER troops. He now has data on all the teens, of both teams, and has also successfully tested the Hydra disguise. He tells a minion to find out which of them has killed anyone, and to watch out for any of them calling him.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Mark Brooks
Mark Morales
Larry Molinar
Mark Brooks (Cover Penciler)
Mark Brooks (Cover Inker)
Christina Strain (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



(Kate Bishop)

(Billy Kaplan)

Plus: Big Zero, Coat of Arms, Egghead (Elihas Starr), Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Hulking, Melter (Bruno Horgan), Patriot (Elijah Bradley), Speed (Tommy Shepherd), Stature, Vision (Jonas), Young Avengers.

> Dark Reign: Young Avengers: Book info and issue index

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