By Jim Beard
This December, a new era begins for Marvel’s most dangerous team in DARK AVENGERS #184 as writer Jeff Parker and new artist Neil Edwards, bring in old comrades and new challenges.
“We'll still treat the villains as the heroes, and follow their paths,” notes Parker of the new beginning. “The interesting thing is that even being a shadow, cracked mirror version of a hero still puts you on course to be heroic.
“The Dark Avengers will make less-than-moral choices to achieve their ends. They will enjoy doing so.”
The writer refers to the long-standing foundation of the book, stemming from its original incarnation as THUNDERBOLTS, starring a team of antagonists who posed as heroes. Fans of the series should thrill to the return of all their favorite characters, plus a few impressive additions per Parker:
“We still have Ragnarok as Dark
“If you never saw it before, Moonstone co-opted Ms. Marvel's identity and will do so as Captain Marvel. Walker was USAgent, arguably the original Dark Avenger as a Captain America.”
After the duress of their clash with the Thunderbolts, the Dark Avengers’ path to redemption will be as unique as the characters themselves, according to Parker.
“It's important to remember that none of them think of themselves as particularly bad,” he says. “Trickshot may be the most honest with himself, admitting that he just wants what he wants. Others like The Witch have delusions of nobility, like she's a champion of science. Ragnarok is tragic; he didn't ask to be made in Thor's image and given his memories with lots of other fractured programming.
“Their first menace is a hostile landscape with even darker versions of the Avengers than themselves. [Former Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers leader] Norman Osborn has no idea about this. But some other Marvel villains do, and are studying this closely. They won't be revealing themselves willingly.”
The writer looks forward to revealing the new status quo to readers this December, as well as continuing his recently-minted association with DARK AVENGERS artist Neil Edwards.
“We have to create a whole new world and Neil is one of the few people who could possibly pull this off on our high frequency of putting out issues and make it look so good,” enthuses Parker. “Really, the man is some kind of mutant; I don't know how he does it. As a result, I've started asking for some really complex scenes that would kill a mortal artist. He single-handedly makes it a big budget spectacle and is a delight to work with.”
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