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Dark Reign: Young Avengers #4: Review

Nov 2009
Paul Cornell, Mark Brooks

Story Name:

Young masters part four

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #4 Review by (June 6, 2017)
There's another gap in Norman Osborn's chronology between this issue and last. He and HAMMER took over the 'care' of Elektra SHIELD medics in part of Dark Reign: Elektra #1. Then he and the Dark Avengers joined the New Avengers in Free Comic Book Day 2009: Avengers to fight Ymir on behalf of Thor.

I think Executioner's statement this issue, and again next time, is the only use of the word 'masters' in this series apart from the arc title.

NO refers to Big Zero and Egghead as coming from "that fascist microscopic universe" implying it's 1 we know about. But I don't know what microverse he means, unless it's just *the* Microverse when run by Baron Karza. And I don't believe it's ever made any clearer.
He also says that Coat Of Arms has Tiboro's Coat. Tiboro is 1 of the many mystical beings introduced (Strange Tales #129) in Dr Strange stories. I don't know why the Coat is associated with him - it's not as if he's depicted with multiple arms. Or why he (or someone) chose to 'leave' it for Lisa to find.

Princess Python is considered dead here. But she'll eventually show up again in Secret Avengers #21.1.

Bullseye and Daken are here fresh from the Dark Avengers' app in Free Comic Book Day 2009: Avengers.

Loki has been in a female body since he reappeared in the 2007 Thor series. (S)he joined Osborn's Cabal in Secret Invasion: Dark Reign. This is hir 1st app since then. (S)he'll show up next disguised as Scarlet Witch in Mighty Avengers #21-23.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
It's a Green charity do attended by Zelda DuBois and her son Daniel. And with them is Kate Bishop. Zelda asks Kate about the project she and her son are going to be doing together. And 'confides' that Daniel likes her. Kate replies that she likes Daniel as a *friend*, and starts to deny the project. But the party is interrupted as the female Hawkeye, Hulkling, Patriot, Speed and Stature chase a costumed villain through the room. Danny is confused.

Later the Young Avengers all meet in the ruined Avengers Mansion that they use as a base. It turns out that 'Hawkeye' was Vision in a hologram and the 'villain' was Wiccan disguised by magic. It was all a scam to scuppper Danny's plan to blackmail his way onto the team with his knowledge of Hawkeye's civilian id as Kate. And they also mention that they know his mom is really Princess Python, which he apparently doesn't.

Next day they visit the other YAv's HQ, the Invisible Manor in Central Park, to give them the results of their practical test last issue. Patriot announces that only Coat Of Arms and Enchantress will be offered (provisional) membership of the YAv. Melter can continue to lead Big Zero, Egghead and Executioner on the the other team, but they must stop using the name Young Avengers. And the real YAv will be keeping an eye on them.

Chris/Melter isn't happy at all. He thought it would be all of them or none. Now he's losing his girlfriend Sylvie and his friend COA, leaving him with the other 3 (who he doesn't really like). And COA doesn't want to go without Melter either. But Enchantress has got what she always wanted. Eli Bradley tries to make him see the good side. Sylvie can still live here. And the YAv want him to stay as leader of the others to keep them in line. Chris dismisses him as a 3rd-rate Captain America clone, and Patriot responds by asking what's really bugging him.

Meanwhile Hawkeye and Executioner 'discuss' the party. It's clear that Danny really still knows who she is. But he's angry about Kate's dismissive comments about him in front of his mom. Kate angrily tosses back the info that his mom's a supervillain. Danny is stunned.

After the YAv have left Danny's anger explodes. Sylvie says she'll still keep the Manor going with her magic, but this doesn't mollify him. He says the Young Avengers have just treated them like kid sidekicks, when *they* should really be the masters. And if his mother is really a supervillain then he knows what he should do as a Punisher-type hero.

In bed with Sylvie that night Chris remembers his 'origin'. He was only 6-ish when he waved his hands and his parents melted. As Sylvie mumbles in her sleep how eager she is to leave, he goes into Coat Of Arms' art room and finds the card Norman Osborn gave her (in #2's flashback). He doesn't realise she's in there too as he rings Osborn up. And both of them learn that NO has the place bugged.

Afterwards Norman discusses the phone call with a member of his Cabal - the female Loki. He mentions that his business cards infest their surroundings with nanocameras. He says Melter made him an interesting offer. But mainly he asks her about Enchantress. Loki admits that *she* gave Sylvie Lushton her powers - but also that Sylvie also imagines that she really might *be* Asgardian.

Osborn is dismissive of Executioner. He says Big Zero and Egghead came from a fascist microverse, Melter is a "kid who doesn't understand his powers", and COA is the "girl who found Tiboro's Coat". He thinks maybe 3 of them could be useful to him. But he also plans to get the YAv under his control.

Back in the Manor Coat comes out of hiding and confronts Chris. She's not too surprised that it's Melter who took Osborn's bait - after all he has a villainous power. But she'd been hoping he would be the hero of the documentary she's making of this team - that he'd find a way to be a hero like heroes used to be. But Chris says he's not really the hero he wants to be.

Meanwhile in another of the Manor's bedrooms Amity/Big Zero lays plans with the android Egghead that she has subverted. They can't let Enchantress leave them because they need her power to keep them safe from people who'd want to use them for their own ends. So tomorrow she'll send him to attack Vision, as he's been longing to do.

Next day Enchantress joins the YAv (minus Speed and Vision) and learns that their base is the ruins of Avengers Mansion. (We learn that the team aren't revealing their identities to the new trainees.) Wiccan takes her to a room where he can train her in magic. But she's easily distracted by trivialities, and says she can already *do* magic. (And Billy *was* impressed by her in #2.) Sylvie then comes on to him. Billy protests that he's gay, and with Hulkling, but that doesn't stop her.

Speed and Coat Of Arms are out in a street market. Lisa warns Tommy that something is going to happen to the YAv today and she must be there to record it for her art project, but she wants him to stay away. Speed says he must warn his friends, but COA tells him it's something that will happen to the team sooner or later anyway in this post-heroism world.

Zelda DuBois is on the phone to Daniel as she approaches her car. She's disappointed that Kate Bishop isn't his girlfriend because her family connections would have been useful. But he'll get over it. Then she notices her window has been smashed, and there's a bomb in the car. Danny is watching and says "Goodbye, Mom ... or should I say Princess Python?", and it explodes.

Cassie/Stature has gone for a meal with her boyfriend Vision/Jonas in his human guise. She comments on how the others have kept the team going while she was away in the Initiative. But Egghead interrupts them and grabs Jonas by the head. Cassie punches him away and he phases out through a wall, but Vision says he already downloaded a load of data into his head. Including something they must tell the others about Enchantress.

An hour later Sylvie is back with the rest of her team saying the YAv threw her out without any explanation. Chris has phoned the YAv asking them to come over and explain themselves. But he has some other guests waiting for them.

Another hour later the YAv turn up (including Speed who hasn't heeded COA's warning) to find themselves facing Chris's group plus Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) and 2 of his Dark Avengers Hawkeye (Bullseye) and Wolverine (Daken).

Mark Brooks
Walden Wong
Emily Warren
Mark Brooks (Cover Penciler)
Walden Wong (Cover Inker)
Christina Strain (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



(Kate Bishop)

(Teddy Altman)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

(Loki Laufeyson)

(Billy Kaplan)

Plus: Big Zero, Coat of Arms, Egghead (android), Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Melter (Chris Colchiss), Patriot (Elijah Bradley), Princess Python, Speed (Tommy Shepherd), Stature, Vision (Jonas), Young Avengers.

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

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