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Off My Mind: Can the Dark Avengers be Turned into Heroes?

They were gathered by a madman and now are under the control of the Avengers.

The idea of the Dark Avengers came from the twisted mind of Norman Osborn. In his scheme to rule the world, he managed to win the favor of the American public by being the one that pulled the trigger on the Skrull Queen during their Secret Invasion. He managed to rise in position and came up with the plan to form his own team of Avengers.

In forming his Avengers, he chose deadly and psychotic villains to mirror the heroes of the actual Avengers. They posed in public as a group of heroes but would perform whatever dark deeds Osborn wished. Or at least they did when they actually followed his orders and weren't off killing or maiming on their own.

After Osborn's defeat, incarceration and escape, he decided to repeat what he had done before, even if the plan didn't work the first time. Gathering new allies, Osborn created yet another team of Dark Avengers. This time, he chose the villains a little more carefully. Or so he thought. With Osborn's defeat once again, the Dark Avengers will soon be under the control of Luke Cage as the Thunderbolts appear to be trapped in the past. Is it possible for this team of Dark Avengers to actually become heroes?

== TEASER ==

The idea of the Dark Avengers is identical to what Baron Zemo planned with the Thunderbolts. A group of villains wore new costumes and pretended to be heroes. With the original Thunderbolts, they slowly warmed up to the idea of actually being heroes. They were on their way to redeeming their past sins and when Hawkeye took over leadership, he helped guide them along.

Today the Thunderbolts are based in Thunderbolts Mountain, which also serves as a prison for evil superhumans. Those that pass physical and psychological tests are sometimes sent on dangerous missions under Luke Cage's leadership. If a situation is going to be deadly, the idea is the team sent to deal with it would be disposable if necessary. Any members that died during a mission would just be collateral damage. Despite this notion, taking a group of deadly killers, even if they are under a tight leash, could be disastrous.

There's the notion that everyone deserves a second chance. Should that apply to cold-hearted and deadly killers? From the recent story arc in the pages of AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS, we saw that Skaar was actually a mole for the heroes. He may have anger issues with this father, Hulk, but he's not really an evil person. It's almost a shame that he has to be lumped with the other "Dark" Avengers but then again, he could be helpful to Luke Cage in helping to keep them in line.

What about the others?

Ragnorok

Ragnarok will be another member of the team. He may just be a programmed cyborg with advanced technology and Asgardian DNA mixed together but there's the possibility that he could have his operating system reworked and rebooted to prevent any deadly accidents from happening (as with Bill Foster). He was left in pretty bad shape against the Avengers and would need some retooling before seeing any action. It would be a little creepy fighting alongside a cold killing machine but with all the brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe, you would think it'd be possible to come up with a program that would prevent it from killing. It'd be interesting to see if Thor minds Ragnorok being active.

Trickshot

Maybe some of the good Barton DNA is in Barney. Maybe he's just angry his name is Barney Barton. If Hawkeye can be one of the most heroic Avengers, perhaps there's hope for his brother. He had his reasons for being angry. He could have tried to get over them rather than go along with Osborn's plan. Regardless, he could be controlled to some extent in the field. If the Dark Avengers will continue the process used in the Thunderbolts, with nannites in their bodies, that could prevent him from doing anything "bad." He's gone down a dark road but he isn't too far gone. There is still a decent chance at redemption for Barney.

Dark Scarlet Witch

June Covington is a killer, plain and simple. She was locked up in the secret prison that Osborn was sent to. That means, it was felt she was so dangerous, she was locked up and erased from the records. It was felt she had no place in society and there was no way she could be rehabilitated. Yet, now she will continue to be part of the Dark Avengers. Besides being a former killer and having a neurotoxin in her blood that can kill a person in ten seconds, she was also Osborn's girlfriend. She obviously won't be happy that Osborn has been defeated and she is now forced to work for his enemies. She could be the biggest loose cannon they have on the team.

Dark Spider-Man

The Decapitator is another deadly killer from the same super secret prison for crazy killers that Covington and Osborn were at. With a name like Decapitator, you can't imagine he'll play nicely with others or should even be allowed out in public. He's supposed to be a chimera god and was willing to take a pill that gave him extra arms (for a total of six). He's a close contender next to Covington as being the worst choice for a team member.

It's hard to decide who's more insane, the members of the Dark Avengers, the government for thinking they can use them as a team or Luke Cage for accepting the job of trying to lead this team. The idea of having a team where the members are dispensable is fitting for the darker objectives of the government. You can only imagine what horrible situations there are to deal with in the Marvel Universe. If there is a team that can be sent out to try to deal with it, with no concern over loss of life, it could help to clean things up.

We have seen many past members of the Thunderbolts begin to embrace the idea of actually being a hero but that doesn't seem possible with this lot. The members of the Thunderbolts were mainly criminals or super villains. They weren't necessarily insane and deadly killers. This team of Dark Avengers brings things to a whole new level. If it's even possible to control them for whatever purpose is needed, it's only going to be a matter of time until things explode. This is just a bad idea that's getting worse. Luke Cage, even with Skaar's help, is going to have his hands full. Trying to keep a leash on so many crazed killers could take away the focus he needs out on missions. I just have a bad feeling about this.

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Posted by The Stegman

Just like the previous Dark Avengers, they can be a team that occasionally does benevolent deeds, but full fledged heroes? nope, don's see it happening. 

Edited by Illuminatus

Of course Thor would mind if Ragnarok was active. Have any of you read a comic with Thor and Ragnarok? Thor detests the idea of a pseudo-clone of himself that honestly believes it is Thor going around and performing acts of "heroism".

Posted by TDK_1997

There is a chance for them becoming good guys but it ain't that big.

Posted by Illuminatus

Also, Trickshot is not better than his brother. 

Posted by InnerVenom123

No.

Posted by SexualLobster

why would Skaar join?

This story doesn't seem like a good idea at all to me.

Posted by saoakden

Now that I think about it, the Thunderbolts & Dark Avengers or New Dark Avengers aren't that different. It makes sense for the title to be renamed but I don't like the fact that it's being renumbered to Dark Avengers number 175. Couldn't be Dark Avengers Vol 2 instead?

Other than that, Skaar has hope, everyone else could follow Eddie Brock and just go from villain to anti-hero. There's going to be some trust issues when this title starts since Luke Cage fought these guys & Skaar betrayed them.

I'm not sure if Spider-Man is confortable with The Decapiator posing as a six-armed black suit version of him. Thor would rather see Ragnarock dead, Hawkeye's brother idk. I don't think any of the Avengers from the Avengers Disassmembled storyline are confortable with a Dark Scarlet Witch.

Why do both incarnations have a Dark: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye. Ms. Marvel and a god? Plus a power house like Sentry and Skaar?

One more thing, IF Osborn ever awakens from his coma, will he have all the powers he absorbed? Cause if so, Marvel Universe is screwed.

Posted by VictorGrey

They won't be heroes in their own right, but they may help out sometimes.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

Checking my Magic 8 Ball, It says "Don't count on it".

There are just far too many separate teams among all the Marvel cast..You have variety of X-Men, Avengers, and even more Spider-men.

Posted by NXH

@FoxxFireArt said:

Checking my Magic 8 Ball, It says "Don't count on it".

There are just far too many separate teams among all the Marvel cast..You have variety of X-Men, Avengers, and even more Spider-men.

lol! Mine says "Try again later."

Edited by Illuminatus

Like, seriously G-Man, do you really put this much thought into an Avengers arc that freaking Bendis wrote? I bet the man whipped up the script for this awful arc in an afternoon while snickering over how he plans to ruin another Marvel character like Moon Knight with his hack writing and forcing more Wolverine and Spider-Man appearances down everyone's throats. 

Posted by Phaedrusgr

@Illuminatus: Who wouldn't?

Posted by Eyz

They always got the chance to redeem themselves and tunr into actual heroes...until the big obvious betrayal!

Posted by obscurefan

The Osborn mini-series that introduced many of these characters was amazing... so of course Bendis felt the need to take those characters and make them cosplay and act out of character. Not saying another writer might not be able to salvage it, just saying its already off to a bad start.

Posted by BKole

If Jeff Parker is still writing it, then I'll read it.

Otherwise, in New Avengers, it was a seriously contrived storyline by Bendis which ultimately tried to recapture the glory of the Original Dark Avengers, failed, and ended with my most hated of all contrived and obvious plot points of overloading the villain with power, because obviously heroes can temper their powers so well when compared to a villain. BLAH. It's rinse and repeat of the New Avengers Annual from a few years ago.

Edited by Oedipus_Rex

I'm just tired of the Avengers at this point. I just think that after the whole Civil War arc onward it's just been non stop action with no real thought towards the consequences. Captain America was against the SHRA but now he's in charge and just about all the superheroes still work for the government. Isn't that kind of hypocritical? As long as Cap's in charge, somehow it's okay now? Carol Danvers spent her time under the SHRA hunting down and imprisoning superheroes but now there's no hard feelings? Hey let's make her Captain Marvel now cause she's a team player. At least Tony Stark is finally finding out what could happen to you when the government has you under their thumb in Iron Man.

At this point, I'm kinda hoping the X-Men destroy the Avengers.

Posted by Arevish

NOPE

Posted by THEBlaqueBasterd

........................... LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME.. ahem.. pardon the outburst &excuse me while i go find a dead horse to start beating - __ -

Posted by X35

Wonder how many issues before Ragnarok is destroyed by someone....................i'm guess one and a half.

Posted by ThePRez

more important question, would you buy it?

Posted by pspin

These guys are worse than the originals. Even though everyone is hating Bendis for whatever various reasons, I will give him credit for taking some interesting characters out of limbo, particularly June Covington/Dark Scarlet Witch.

On a side note, this arc started in New Avengers, did it end in regular Avengers or did I miss something.

Posted by BritishMonkey

i want to see thor smash the crap out of ragnarok

there can only be one thor

beta ray bill is an exception to be like thor

Posted by venomoushatred1001

@InnerVenom123 said:

No.

Posted by Trodorne

Who wants to bet that Norman had a Secret Dark Avengers team waiting to be activated?

Edited by Danial79

Just wanted to correct, Thunderbolts HQ is on The Raft now, not Thunderbolts Mountain :)

Edited by Cafeterialoca

Today the Thunderbolts are based in Thunderbolts Mountain,

That is incorrect, the Thunderbolts are based out of the Raft now.

Also, I hope Songbird doesn't get lost over all the craziness going on.

Posted by KidSupreme

@X35 said:

Wonder how many issues before Ragnarok is destroyed by someone....................i'm guess one and a half.

I agree

Posted by Inverno

No. I was sick and tired of them like everything in Dark Reign.

Posted by DATNIGGA

thor is gonna have a big problem with Ragnarok. i personally never liked Rag anyway hes so unoriginal

Posted by greeneagle

@Oedipus_Rex said:

I'm just tired of the Avengers at this point. I just think that after the whole Civil War arc onward it's just been non stop action with no real thought towards the consequences. Captain America was against the SHRA but now he's in charge and just about all the superheroes still work for the government. Isn't that kind of hypocritical? As long as Cap's in charge, somehow it's okay now? Carol Danvers spent her time under the SHRA hunting down and imprisoning superheroes but now there's no hard feelings? Hey let's make her Captain Marvel now cause she's a team player. At least Tony Stark is finally finding out what could happen to you when the government has you under their thumb in Iron Man.

At this point, I'm kinda hoping the X-Men destroy the Avengers.

Cap being in charge is no surprise. There was a What If issue that came out after Civil War to mark the one year anniversary of Cap's death. Tony was at Cap's tomb when the Watcher visited him and showed him two possible outcomes of the civil war. The current situation with Cap in charge was one of the possible outcomes. As far as Tony's actions in Civil War goes, he had great ideas and a way to make things better but things got out of hand.

Posted by Suprman

I honestly don't think so. Some of them may be able to function as legitimate Heroes. I think Skarr and Trick Shot have the best chance, but people like Dark Scarlet Witch and Dark Spider-Man NEED to go back to the facility Osborn dug them out of. The problem with teams like this is that there are two polarizing groups, the group who wants to get the job done and the group who wants to beat something into the ground just for the sake of doing it. Eventually the group is going to blow up in its own face. Osborn obviously can't control them so what chance does Luke Cage or any other Avenger have of doing it?

Posted by greeneagle

What issue is the page where Skaar is knocking the dark avengers around from?

Posted by Lvenger

So what's been happening with this Dark Avengers saga? I haven't been able to find a decent synopsis of it.

Posted by MrSlayer

I always loved the idea of "Dark Avengers".. but instead of Decapitator, they should have went with Scarlet Spider/Kain Parker. He would have fit beautiful with the rest of the rroster.

Posted by GBrutality

it's just not interesting. the reason why the original dark avengers worked was because it was a somewhat fresh idea (at least one that hadn't been used in a bit) and it had villains people knew. osborn's thunderbolts/dark avengers were all, for the most part, engaging characters in one way or another. they were disguising themselves but had their own personalities that were complete polar opposites of their counterparts. this team sucked. the osborn mini was okay, but that crazy woman and decapitator (stupid) are throwaay villains. ragnarok it an actual cyborg/clone of thor, that's just beyond unoriginal. don't get me started on hawkeye's brother who just came out of left field with the same exact skills. skaar was the only alright choice of the whole bunch, and that was because he has been sort of built up over the past few years. not saying he's even that good of character but compared to everyone else, eh. fine, you want to try out new characters, do it while not demoloshing a decent name and come up with unique characters.

Posted by sora_thekey

I think they can forcefully be turned into heroes. Osborn's first Dark Avengers team was a group of crazy nuts turned heroes. They did do heroic stuff all the time... but that didn't make them good.

I think it's the same here. They might be heroes but not good.

Posted by umbrafeline

i want to see more 'dark' teams besides avengers. maybe bring back the dark xmen and have a dark fantastic three n at

Posted by BatmanOnTheMoon

I'm also curious where that image of Skaar fighting the New Dark Avengers came from. It wasn't from New Avengers 22, it ended with Skaar turning on his team. So uh, where can I read more about Skaar being a double agent for Cap and this fight that goes down?

Posted by ReVamp

What about Dark Ms. Marvel?

Posted by Miss_Garrick

Skaar maybe, the others...no chance.

Posted by evilvegeta74

Does anybody remember when Thor came back and had that conversation with Ironman( Tony Stark) about him and Reed Richards using his (Thor's) DNA to create Ragnarok (Thor clone)? Well thor wasn't happy at all,in fact he was agitated at the fact that the clone (Ragnarok) killed Bill Foster. End result, Thor turned Ironman into a crushed 12oz tin can. He then made several threats (promises) to Ironman about some very bad weather to come,if things weren't set to his standard. Also at the end of Seige he found Ragnarok and made very quick work of him. If Thor comes across Ragnarok again the same thing will happen again.

Posted by kamionero

I thought the point of these Dark Avengers was to see Norman fail. I thought the point was that he was trying to relive his glory days and this sloppy group was a poor reproduction of his "Thundervengers"... and it would be an arc where the main point was to test Victoria Hand's loyalties. I think its pointless to have THESE guys trolling around w Avengers... when FREAKING SONGBIRD IS STILL DEMOTED TO A THUNDERBOLT!!!

Posted by mewmdude77

Skaar I think has a chance of being a good guy, he's not really evil, just he felt betrayed by his father, so he did bad things, just like Sentry in the first one, except Skaar is not bat shit crazy, so he won't rip any war gods in half. (but if he does, Tyr (the Norse war god) better run for his life.) Everyone else on that team is not going to be a hero. I really hope Osborn stays gone after this, he's an asshat, and needs to stay gone. Also, Steve Rogers has a gov't position again, is because he willfully surrendered, and "died" saving a gov't agent's life. He's fine. Also, Spider-Man forgave Reed Richards so easily, cause Johnny "died" which made him forget how much of a douche Richards was during Civil War. As for Ms. Marvel and Iron man veing forgiven like that, I don't like it either. The New Avengers were fighting them so long, and then "Oh no! Skrulls almost took over, Lets forget the fact that this is really all Stark's fault, and forgive him forever!". I hope all the Avengers but Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Cap get owned, and killed.

Posted by The Impersonator

Ummm....What about the Japanese mutant, Gorgon? Isn't he also part of the Dark Avengers, acting as Dark Wolverine?

Posted by KainScion

bendis blows!!

Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

Permanently, some might some might be on the level of an anti-hero like character. Songbird changed.

Some might do the AH thing, then in a week or two, Marvel well get bored and make them a baddie, we'll be at this spot again in a couple of years.

Its a cycle.

Posted by jeanroygrant

@Illuminatus said:

Of course Thor would mind if Ragnarok was active. Have any of you read a comic with Thor and Ragnarok? Thor detests the idea of a pseudo-clone of himself that honestly believes it is Thor going around and performing acts of "heroism".
Posted by DMC

I read as much of this as I could G-Man unfortunately I can only say this, wake me up when this is over.

I'm not blaming you (or hating on you) for writing this article but even you must feel that the way Bendis brought back the Dark Avengers, and this Osborn story in general was just wrong. (I didn't read it myself but I've heard enough)

On a positive note, I am revealed that Skarr was a mole for the good guys. ^_^

Posted by DMC

@DATNIGGA said:

thor is gonna have a big problem with Ragnarok. i personally never liked Rag anyway hes so unoriginal

The real problem with Ragnarok is that he's overstayed his welcome. He served his purpose during Civil War , bringing him back during Dark Reign was okay I guess but he should have died under the rubble or Asgard after Seige.

Posted by mtrakos

@SexualLobster said:

why would Skaar join?

This story doesn't seem like a good idea at all to me.

agreed

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