By Marc Strom
No villain can escape Norman Osborn's Dark Reign.
Writer Frank Tieri shines the limelight on some of the Marvel Universe's lesser-known villains in DARK REIGN: MADE MEN, a five-part series coming exclusively to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
Featuring the likes of Spymaster, Attuma and the Gamma Corps as well as new versions of the Enforcer and Jack O'Lantern, Tieri admits that this series seemed a bit of a no-brainer given his proclivity for the darker side of the Marvel U.
"After I had done some stuff for Marvel.com—the Hulk/ Nick Fury movie project and the MARVEL TV: GALACTUS thing—[VP Content and Programming John] Cerilli and I were talking about what we could do next together, and we came up with the idea of pitching something that tied into Marvel's next big event, Dark Reign," Tieri recalls. "With that being a villain-centric event and with me as
someone who's garnered a bit of a reputation as a 'villain guy,' it wasn't exactly going to be too much of a stretch, you know?"
With MADE MEN, Tieri wanted to utilize some villains who typically don't get a lot of face time in other series.
"The one thing I figured with Dark Reign was it would be the perfect opportunity to brush off some of these B-list characters and teams that we haven't seen in quite a while, bring them back in a big way and give them purpose again," the writer explains. "And that's what we were looking to do here.
"[There was] a little wrangling back and forth [with editor Tom Brevoort], trying to figure out who would make the cut and who wouldn't. And in the end, I actually think it was a good thing that it took as long as it did because it shows you that there aren't just plans for these characters for this project, but for them to have a life beyond."
Each story, while self-contained, will serve to illuminate another corner of Osborn's new world order and give fans unique perspectives on the larger event.
"The one thing I wanted to show as much as possible was how Norman Osborn and his actions in Dark Reign are affecting the so-called super villain community in general," Tieri elaborates.
"For example, if we look at the Jack O'Lantern story—on the surface it's a story about the new Jack O' Lantern, a criminally deranged man who's murdered a teenage girl. But what's more important about the story is it gives us a good indication as to what's happening to criminals in the new Norman Osborn-dominated law-enforcement system.
"Then if you take the Enforcer story, which deals with a new version of the character, somebody who's actually a protégé of the original. His is a more underworld- centric story, as he finds himself in a situation with the Hood, who's an important player in the Dark Reign scheme of things as he's part of Norman's cabal."
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