Dark Reign

Dark Reign: The List

Norman Osborn goes pro-active and brings the Dark Reign to every part of the Marvel Universe in a series of one-shots by the industry's top talent!

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By Kevin Mahadeo This fall, Norman Osborn plans on making a list, checking it twice and delivering an unhealthy amount of Dark Reign madness directly into the lives of super heroes both naughty and nice in DARK REIGN: THE LIST, a series of eight interconnected one-shots heralding the next major chapter in the Marvel Universe's current saga. "[Norman] composes a To-Do List—a list of things, not necessarily people to be targeted, but situations that have to be dealt with or addressed in one way, shape or form," explains Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort about the concept behind the one-shots. "In the course of each of these stories, different characters will become involved, not because they've specifically been targeted but because a particular objective on Norman's list falls within their sphere of activity."

The idea formed during one of the many Xbox Live sessions between writers Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction and spins directly out of the events of the crossover between DARK AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-MEN beginning in July. The fallout from that story spurs the Norman to address what he views as serious concerns throughout the Marvel U. Although a different writer and artist team lend their capable hands to each of the eight one-shots, all feature the overarching theme of Osborn's agenda by representing one element on the former Green Goblin's list. "It's a way of doing an event that's not the kind of crossover that we've done for the last couple of years," says Brevoort. "Events still work and people are still interested in them, but we've been doing them all in the same way with the same kind of style. So, maybe that's a little played out and we should switch things up a little bit and try to hit the same kind of notes and do the same kind of universe-changing stories, but do them differently." Bendis starts things off by assembling his Avengers teams in DARK REIGN: THE LIST—AVENGERS, joining with artist Marko Djurdjevic. The issue features both the Dark and New versions of the titular team in a story that brings the growing tensions between Osborn and the renegade group of heroes from slow simmer to roiling boil. "It has the New Avengers faced with the hard decision of really doing something about Norman because dramatic things are happening in the Marvel Universe and they feel if they don't do something right now, they'll never be able to," teases Bendis. "It's a very big Clint Barton story."

Fraction also gets in on the action with his merry band of mutants, teaming with legendary X-Men artist Alan Davis for DARK REIGN: THE LIST—UNCANNY X-MEN. However, as the writer's one-shot flows directly out of the DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN event, he refrained from revealing more than the fact that this particular item holds extreme personal interest for Norman and invokes the most Goblin-like behavior from him in quite some time. The recently christened Write Stuff writers all contribute to the one-shots as well, penning issues directly related to their respective ongoing titles. Jonathan Hickman and artist Ed McGuinness break the secret on Nick Fury's band of rebels in the DARK REIGN: THE LIST—SECRET WARRIORS one-shot. Unlike the other one-shots' protagonists, this special sees Fury teaming with Norman on an item of mutual interest for the two. Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.'s DARK REIGN: THE LIST—PUNISHER turns the tables on Frank Castle's campaign against the Dark Reign by making the hunter into the hunted, as Osborn sends all of his resources against the rebel with a cause. Andy Diggle begins his upcoming run on DAREDEVIL with DARK REIGN: THE LIST—DAREDEVIL, bridging the gap between DAREDEVIL issue #500—current writer Ed Brubaker's last—and issue #501—Diggle's first—with the help of artist Billy Tan. The final scribe with the Write Stuff, Jason Aaron, teams with artist Esad Ribic and pens DARK REIGN: THE LIST—WOLVERINE; however, although the clawed Canadian owns top billing, the focus of the issue falls onto the Weapon Plus facility from writer Grant Morrison's run on NEW X-MEN. "It just made sense to me that if Norman knew about Weapon Plus he'd want to get in on it," says Aaron. "It's not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole." The final two one-shots focus on the highly understandable threat of the Hulk and Norman's oldest and greatest foe, Spider-Man. Greg Pak and Ben Oliver bring the smash to DARK REIGN: THE LIST—HULK, tying into the newly re-launched INCREDIBLE HULK ongoing and featuring Green Genes' bashing baby boy, Skaar. Web Head writer Dan Slott swings the gears of DARK REIGN: THE LIST—AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with artist Adam Kubert as Peter Parker finds himself running out of walls to crawl as Norman's crazed gaze falls upon the amazing arachnid. While the series of one-shots all share the common theme of Norman's checklist, and can be each read independently of the other, they also further the continuing stories of the project's related ongoing titles. Expect THE LIST—PUNISHER to drastically alter the PUNISHER series, THE LIST—AVENGERS to create a new status quo for both Avengers titles, another brand new day for Spider-Man and so forth and so on. But even with all that change in the individual books, the biggest change comes over the Marvel Universe as a whole, as Brevoort hints toward Norman's ever-loosening grip on his sanity and a mysterious ninth item on the list. "In many, many titles we've seen Norman in power and Norman's influence," says Brevoort. "But what you really start to see is, as much as Norman's in a position of power and a position of authority, he's

starting to feel the pressure. It's a big job. It's a lot to deal with. There are many wolves at the door in all different arrangement. Norman's got a long history of being totally psychotic, particularly when he's under pressure. So, when these books start coming out you're going to see more of the Green Goblin in him peering out from behind his eyes and showing itself now and then. Really that's the largest story of that character—him struggling with this thing inside him and this situation he finds himself in and this driving ambition that pushes him to get more and more and more. "Really, all those stories are building to something further done the line. There's a ninth item on Norman's list, but we're not going to talk about that quite yet. One the one hand, it's a capstone to Dark Reign. On the other hand, it's a bridge between Dark Reign and something else. There are eight specials, but Norman's got nine items that he's going to be dealing with. By the time we get to the end of this, the ninth thing will become apparent and that will lead into something else."
For all the latest news updates from Heroes Con 2009 and Wizard World Philadelphia 2009, keep checking back right here on Marvel.com all weekend! For more on DARK REIGN: THE LIST, check back here tomorrow and then every day for the next two weeks as we'll be speaking with all the writers involved with the project! Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes!

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Comments

12 comments
squirrel
squirrel

At first everyone shudders at the thought of extraneous one shots and minis working their way into our lists, but comics are really about stories and art, and not about series' and big round numbers.When you look at the talent behind these one shots, Fraction, Bendis, Diggle, Djurdjevic, JRJR, Davis, Tan, Aaron, Pak... Damn they're really throwing the book (yes, in every sense) at this Dark Reign business, and that's good business.Just like Road to (CW), and (SI) Infiltration, when the excitement of a juicy new theme was more palatable than the drawn out tie-ins, Dark Reign has become a more than little tepid. It's time to move on and everyone (including Tom Brevoort) knows it. I think that they're doing the right thing to move on to the next Marvel U landscape and they'll do it in a classy manner.DDPunUncannyWolvieFurySpideySon of a HulkAvengerswith the exception of Amazing Spider-Man (poo book) and Secret Warriors (dope book), all titles I collect. And that's including all 3 X-Men Titles, Punisher MAX, Dark and New Avengers, Hulk and Son.These one shots are going to work directly with the titular character's books, so if you have any of those on your list, than I say you should pick these up when they come out. Otherwise you're either gonna kick yourself when you don't have it, or when you have to buy it on ebay from some dude out in wherever-the-hell-he-comes-from-ville for too damn much and too damn much on shipping (what?).

Spideybuff
Spideybuff

The ninth item...I have no doubt in my mind that it deals with DOOM! He's addressed every other threat to his rule in these one-shots and they clearly state that he is starting to lose his grip on reality so it is all leading to Doom's statement " he will self-destruct, his type always do".So the next big event would be when Doom is finally in control...Or then again, it could be the return of Steve Rogers being the 9th item to address, cause that would be a big event for next year as well..damnit, now I have doubts.

notapotatoe
notapotatoe

[quote@Tater490 Namor has a third leg on the Davis cover because its probably an excerpt from the cover for his issue, and they cant show the rest of the cover because it spins out of a crossover that hasnt started yet, if they show the whole cover, it could spoil something.[/quote] so why everything is covered except this other piece of leg ?Photoshop error ?

wyvern9
wyvern9

There, I gave you a nice little spoiler. Norman's "Lost Target" is the newly ****ing resurected Steve Rogers. I just saved you a bunch of useless worrying.

Tater490
Tater490

Namor has a third leg on the Davis cover because its probably an excerpt from the cover for his issue, and they cant show the rest of the cover because it spins out of a crossover that hasnt started yet, if they show the whole cover, it could spoil something.

notapotatoe
notapotatoe

[quote@GhostRider9112002 Norman will be lucky if if Ghost Rider doesn't get involved, because if he does..well, there goes the dark reign. Give ol' ghostie about a 5 second look, that's all it takes:) :grider:[/quote] Man...how much I wish you could be right...I like Ghost Rider very much but I hadn't read a decent story since a while...since World War Hulk actually, where Daniel Way used really the 'Spirit of Vengeance' nature about the Illuminati...I really hope that with 'The list', the main figures of the MU will be out-of-the-scene for a little while, and I hope to see some secondaries characters coming to the rescue : kind of an emergency Avenger team leading by Moonknight, with Songbird, Ghost Rider, Machine Man, Sleepwalker, Valkyrie...All my favourites, I must say...what do you think ?

notapotatoe
notapotatoe

C'mon, I was so glad to see Alan Davis back onto something at Marvel, and this cover screw everything...: Namor seems to have a third leg right from his foot... Did nobody else noticed...?

gamerwithnolife
gamerwithnolife

All I can say is Finally. Finally Dark Reign is going to mean something. For the past six ******* months we've been putting up with tie in after useless tie-in. Okay Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin is in control, how about he does something. about the most evil thing he's done so far is giving Moonstone her own ongoing series in Ms Marvel. He renamed S.H.I.E.L.D., who cares. He made his own Avengers and X-men teams, WHO CARES. Nobody cares that everyone deals with this change in their own way.Well FINALLY something is going to happen. My main question is with the series Hulk and the upcoming Incredible Hulk 600. When the red Hulk first appeared Iron Man and S.H.IE.L.D. were like the first ones on the case. Did nobody tell Osborn that there is a second Hulk running around. it's the same with Skaar, he's coming to Earth (or is already here I don't really follow his series) and from what i can tell Skaar is on that list of his.Okay I've written a lot, so I better wrap this up. I am really exited about this series because of what has finally arrived and I am sick of all this Dark Reign time wasting. At least The infiltration and road to Civil War was relatively quick.okay I'll shut up now. :dead:

megatronxxi
megatronxxi

Every month there is a new rediculous crossover series that puts the entire world / universe / team / whatever at stake. What I mean is that I'm old enough to remember the whole "Age of Apoc-o-crap" and how very shortly Marvel Comics went from being the highest sold label to being bankrupt and make super hero concoctions with DC to save its webslinging behind. From House of M, to the Civil War, to the Death of Captain America, to Timestorm, Noir, Messiah X, to Dark Reign and the Return of Steve Rogers (Deep Breath)! I'm done. No more Mini-series' for me, no cross-overs, and certainly no more B-card adventures of the silly Green Goblin. I'm sure the accountants at Marvel are having fun right now counting their blood money while every bit of stability, history, and fun is sucked out of the industry for some "OMG's!" Thanks, spineless writers! Thanks, jelly fish artists! I hope your checks clear and I'll loot for your next butchered piece of bad literature over at DC or Image when you finally bankrupt this place.Or you can always get back to basics; back to character building and maintain some integrity. You are charged with the care of heroes and villians that a lot of us care about and you should be thinking about the next generation of comic fans. All I've seen, for years, is a lot back flips for a little bit of wow factor. It used to be that a comic was valued because it had content, 1st appearances, deaths, and condition. Now, it has to be a 1 in 500 b&w pencil cover mini-series, signed and numbered by Alex Ross, and later recalled for curse words. When you mutilate something so much - a man :dead:, a house :x-men: , or a comic title :hawkeye: - it starts to scare people away. Beware silly marvel "creators," get back to basics and pure running titles with new characters and events and staying power or you'll end up like you were in the early 90's: Broke and backpedaling. We're tired of it, we can't keep up, we don't have the money to buy 90 titles a month, and we're just waiting for the next Image Comics to come along and distract us with something we can recognize as a "just plain, good comic" again and abandon ship. :juggernaut:

GhostRider9112002
GhostRider9112002

Norman will be lucky if if Ghost Rider doesn't get involved, because if he does..well, there goes the dark reign. Give ol' ghostie about a 5 second look, that's all it takes:) :grider: