Back to what I love about this series.
I liked Utopia, I liked the new change in status quo for the mutant population and the possible ramifications to several of the characters, but I really like what Bendis does with this team when he's got it in his hands as opposed to what Fraction did during Utopia.
There's just something about a group of super villains sitting around a breakfast table discussing their love or hate of Deadpool, Sentry, and Norman Osborn that just works for me.
"Captain Crazy's back."
"Huh? Oh, I thought you meant Osborn."
Bendis delivers so well with this particular issue I'm back to being as in love with this title as I was when I read the first Osborn/Sentry discussion which really sold me on the whole Dark Avengers title to begin with.
There's not allot of action in this issue, but you trade it for character work that's second to none.
The star of this issue in my mind was Ares.
Ares' interactions with his son Phobos/God of Fear really give you the idea that while this man is indeed a god, he's not always divine at everything he does. Ares knows war, knows it better than anyone else in all of the Marvel Universe, but when it comes to being a father he's decidedly lacking in that particular department as you see the frustration at not being able to answer his sons questions and he reacts with what he knows, a soldier's response, which only frustrates both father and son further.
Obviously you can tell from the cover that Ares and Nick Fury finally meet up, with Phobos being a member of Fury's Secret Warriors you knew it was bound to happen eventually. The encounter begins exactly as you'd expect from these two, but as the reality of the situation hits Ares things take a much different twist than you'd expect out of the God of War and even a surprisingly, in Ares own gruff way, touching moment.
Prior to Utopia you saw Osborn in the Iron Patriot vault loosing several of the few marbles he has left, this issue begins to touch on what you saw and I can't wait to see what comes out of that vault, is Osborn going to be back fully in charge of his faculties, if he ever was, or will you see the wheels finally starting to come off of this rather loosely held wagon Osborn has constructed? Only time will tell, but if this issue is any indication it's going to be one heck of a ride.
Still no update on Noh'Varr, I'm sure that's coming, but I didn't miss him in this issue like I did in the issue prior to Utopia.
The confrontation between Sentry and Libby (his wife) was certainly enough to make my eyes go wide, can't wait to see what happens with that one in the next issue.
This is one of the few titles I unquestioningly hand over $3.99 when Bendis is writing it, this is Villain character development 101 and the voice he writes these characters with mixes humor, deep seeded psychological issues, faults galore, and just plain depravity, somehow still makes them likeable.
Still the best thing to come out of Dark Reign, and while this book will likely end soon, as well as Dark Reign, I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.