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Dark Reign

The List: Dark Secrets

Writer Jonathan Hickman spills about the unlikely alliance between Norman Osborn and Nick Fury

By Jim Beard

Nick Fury knows a lot of secrets. Secrets surrounding our government, its agencies, its operations and its weaknesses-why wouldn't Norman Osborn seek him out for help? Oh, yeah: because they're bitter enemies.

In October 7's DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SECRET WARRIORS, Osborn wants the very best when it comes to dealing with a matter of national security. That's Nick Fury, head of the Secret Warriors and currently wanted by the government.

"Fury was part of the Greatest Generation," notes the one-shot's writer, Jonathan Hickman. "A better America, a higher ideal, while Osborn is perfect symbolism for these times. Moral ambiguity, a means to an end; that difference is reflected and underlined by [their] respective organizations."

DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SECRET WARRIORS preview art by Ed McGuinness
But Hickman also points out there's an excellent chance that Fury may be able to sympathize to an extent with Osborn having to shoulder weighty matters such a threat the country's security.

"It might help to think of this not only as an issue of THE LIST, but also a twisted version of MARVEL TEAM-UP," he says.

As stated, DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SECRET WARRIORS comes as the latest chapter in Osborn's current "listing" of those forces that continue to stand in his way and require focused attention.

"Well, in DARK REIGN: THE LIST - AVENGERS we saw [deleted by H.A.M.M.E.R.]-which was ridiculously badass," Hickman says. "And I know Dan Slott in DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SPIDER-MAN is going to [deleted by H.A.M.M.E.R] which sounds even cooler.

"But I felt like I should turn the whole thing on its ear a bit, so we start out with Fury looking for Norman, not the other way around."

The one-shot promises to be an integral part of the ongoing List story, one that Hickman assures readers will cover all the dramatic movements that the saga has to offer.

"It's definitely high-octane," he vows. "Big moments, lots of locations; as for grand scheme, end game events, it's one more domino in how Dark Reign shakes out."

DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SECRET WARRIORS preview art by Ed McGuinness
Regular readers of the ongoing SECRET WARRIORS title know how deep Fury and his superhuman team of operatives must often run to remain functional, but one may also wonder why Nick's allowed Osborn to maintain his slimy grip on the nation's throat this long.

"Honestly, he's got a lot bigger things going on," Hickman says of the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director. "What does Norman Osborn represent at the end of the day? Government corruption? Great power wielded by flawed men? Fury's been around and seen it all before and, right now, in SECRET WARRIORS proper, he and his allies are gearing up for his greatest conflict in the modern era."

Though reports in advance of the release of DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SECRET WARRIORS center on Nick Fury, his team will find themselves with plenty to keep them occupied, albeit behind the scenes.

"Heartbreaking news for their teenage fan club," notes Hickman of the Secret Warriors. "This is a big boy story-only grownups allowed. It's not for the faint of heart; and it's definitely not for the kids."

Hickman will be joined on the one-shot by fan-favorite artist Ed McGuiness, currently kicking butt and taking names on HULK.

DARK REIGN: THE LIST - SECRET WARRIORS preview art by Ed McGuinness
"Ed's a big name for a lot of reasons," Hickman comments. "His art [is] dynamic, his storytelling choices are top-notch, and like anyone that's got some serious game, he does those things in a way that is wholly his own. As for what he brings to this issue: it's a kickass story by a kickass artist. That simple."

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      Oh this sounds really interesting... What does Osborn represent here? A new government that wants what's best for the city? Or a dictator whose eyes are only set for his own gain? I can only see Fury helping out if Osborn is the former but hey we all know that he's the latter. Unless there's a third side involved one that is far worse than Osborn that forces this unholy alliance. Can't wait for this issue either way.