After the events of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn became a hero by killing the Skrull Queen on national television. He was put in charge of the Superhuman Defense Initiative. After dismantling S.H.I.E.L.D., Norman makes himself Director of H.A.M.M.E.R., essentially the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Norman Osborn, already in charge of the Thunderbolts, decided that there was a need to make some new Avengers. Norman started recruiting internally from the T-Bolts to form the new Dark Avengers. Bullseye became the teams version of Hawkeye, Ares and Sentry went along with Osborn and when Ms. Marvel was asked to join, she refused. Moonstone then became the new Ms. Marvel, Wolverine's son Daken took his fathers role, Venom was given some kind of medicine to have him appear normal instead of a hulk-like monster to become Spider-Man and Noh-Varr took on the role of Captain Marvel instead of Marvel Boy. Finally, Osborn needed some kind of symbol to replace Captain America and Iron Man altogether, making himself the alter ego of the Iron Patriot. Osborn, with the help of The Ghost, hacked into Iron Man's vault to gain access to all of the Iron Man armors to create himself the Iron Patriot armor. A Press Conference was later held at Avengers Tower where Norman unveiled this newest incarnation of The Avengers.
The team Dark Avengers was originally created for use in DC Comics by writer Brian Michael Bendis with contributions from artist Mike Deodato, and colorist Rain Beredo. The Dark Avenger's first appearance is in Dark Avengers #1 apart of the story arc Dark Reign. Beginning with Thunderbolts #175, the team Thunderbolts has been renamed Dark Avengers, writer Jeff Parker as well as artists Kevin Walker and Declan Shalvey will remain working on Dark Avengers.
Major Story Arcs
Osborn was being watched and Doctor Doom was confronted in Latveria by a mysterious woman using magic. The woman turned out to be none other than the sorceress Morgan Le Fay. Morgan summoned up great mystical power at Doom, who found himself struggling against the sheer intensity of the power Morgan had brought to the table, along with the army of demonic minions she had summoned to aid her.
Victoria receives an S.O.S. signal sent out by Doctor Doom and the team decides on their first mission.Meanwhile, Morgan had beaten Doctor Doom down and was preparing to kill him when the Dark Avengers showed up. Norman demanded that Morgan return to her own era but she refused to comply. He ordered Sentry to finish her off, which he did by tearing her head straight off. Morgan reappeared explaining that killing her in this time period was a futile effort as she could easily return from the distant past. Eventually Norman uses Doom's time travel device to travel back in time to meet Morgan and defeat Morgan.
When the team returns to Avengers Tower, they are all shocked to see Sentry alive hovering in front of the jet. Norman goes on TV to address the statements Ronin made warning the public about Norman and his team. Back at the tower Karla turns on the TV to see Norman, she says the team is made up of former villains, something which Noh knew nothing about. This sets up Noh to finally realize the team is made up of true criminals and the insane, which causes him to leave.
The team is assembled after a group of Atlanteans attack San Francisco. Norman, in his Iron Patriot armor, tries to make Namor stop the Atlanteans but he refuses which leads to Sentry being sent who takes care of them quickly.
UtopiaNorman Osborn is called to San Francisco to deal with mutant riots. He decides to make up his own X-Men team consisting of Mystique, Mimic, Weapon Omega, Dark Beast, Cloak and Dagger, Namor, one of his own Avengers - Daken (whose loyalty is uncertain) and to be lead by Emma Frost. His Avengers and X-men do not get along, especially Bullseye, who is outraged that Daken is on two teams. When X-Force infiltrates a H.A.M.M.E.R. facility in San Francisco, Frost and Namor betray Osborn and his fraudulent X-Men. Osborn is outraged and promises to kill Cyclops himself. After his Dark Avengers invade the mutant island Utopia, the X-men prove themselves strong enough to defeat his team of villains, and they quickly retreat after Sentry and Ares are taken out of the game.
Back from the events of Utopia, Victoria informs Osborn of two girls going missing over in Dinosaur, Colorado. The state in which the law-enforced Thunderbolts once handled their business. This allows her boss to understand that one of the men that finances H.A.M.M.E.R and the Dark Avengers requires the help. Sending in the Sentry first, Osborn awaits any peculiar information. Within moments Reynolds is killed, just a day after his wife shot him with a gun that once belonged to Noh-Varr. The cavalry comes forth, but Venom is side-lined for his emotions. Karla takes the lead only to disappear, seeing the Molecule Man just seconds after she figured out the complication. Scared and paranoid, the Iron Patriot dwells within his psyche only to encounter what seems to be the Beyonder, the Enchantress, Molecule Man, Mephisto, Zarathos, and a devious serpent from the beginning of time. With shock and awe, time pauses!
Molecule Man, the others only being creations of his, slowly begins to torture the team one by one. He makes Osborn see terrible visions of Spider-Man and his own evil deeds. He separates Mac from his symbiote only to dissolve the both of them. Daken is being turned into plants. Both Ms. Marvel and Ares are petrified and Bullseye is now water. With all hope lost, Ms. Hand decides to go to Reece and surrender. Sentry is able to reform himself once again. This time he is now aware that, like Molecule Man, he can control the molecules of his world. He threatens Molecule Man to undo everything he has done or he will kill him. Molecule Man complies and then Sentry causes him to vanish. Ms. Marvel remarks that his new found power could end up leading to a disaster worse than the Scarlet Witch incident.
Siege - End of the Dark Avengers
Loki manipulates Norman into believing that Asgard is a threat to the natural order of things. He assembles all of his Avengers, H.A.M.M.E.R and all the heroes of the Initiative to attack Asgard. As his forces do battle with the Asgardians, Ares sees the error in Norman's ways and turns against him. He orders Sentry to attack Ares and he kills Ares. To help the gods, the Avengers and Secret Warriors arrive to attack Norman. As the Avengers and Army beat Osborn's forces, he begins to lose all his sanity and orders the Sentry to destroy Asgard. Sentry transforms into the Void as the heroes look on in horror as they have to fight this monster. Seeing the mistakes he has made, Loki uses the Norn stones to empower the heroes to fight the Void. In turn, the Void kills Loki to take away the power boost. As a last resort, Iron Man crashes a helicarrier on the villain, which causes him to power down into Bob Reynolds. In horror at what he has done, he asks Thor to kill him. At first he refuses, but when the Void begins to return he has no choice. Thor, remorsefully, dispatches Bob before he is able to reassume his Void identity, and then carries his limb body to the sun, where he gently pushes Reynolds towards the star. Norman is imprisoned along with Moonstone, Bullseye, and Venom. Only Daken is able to escape and Victoria Hand is given a new position working with Steve Rogers.
The New Dark Avengers
After Siege Norman Osborn is being held in a high security prison where he makes friends with some villains and is able to escape. After his escape, his master plan to destroy the Avengers again with the power of H.AM.M.E.R, A.I.M. and his new team of Dark Avengers. His new team is made up of the following characters: Ragnarok, Gorgon, Skaar, The Decapitator, June Covington, Superia and Barney Barton. After gathering his team Norman goes to Avengers Mansion saying that he is still in charge. The Avengers and the New Avengers get in a fight with him but he is able to capture the Avengers and to have the President doing what he wants. His plans don't go as he thought and the Avengers escape and are ready for the last battle with him, but that is when they learn that Norman Osborn is a Super-Adaptoid and he overcharges himself and loses control. The Avengers would have lost if not for Skaar who was a mole in Norman's team and defeated the New Dark Avengers.
Some Thunderbolts members are Ragnarok, Skaar, Barney Barton, Ai Apaec and June Covington. When Luke Cage returned from a mission he saw the Dark Avengers and started a fight with them alongside with Mach-IV and Songbird. The fight continued when some government guys switched on the nanites on Ragnarok and ordered him to help his partners and said that this is the new Thunderbolts team Luke has to lead and he later also recruited Skaar.
- Norman Osborn - Codename "Iron Patriot"
- Noh-Varr - Codename "Captain Marvel"
- Moonstone - Codename "Ms. Marvel"
- Venom ( Mac Gargan) - Codename "Spider-Man"
- Bullseye - Codename "Hawkeye"
- Daken - Codename "Wolverine"
- The Sentry
Following the failed Skrull invasion of Earth 616 Norman Osborn was charged with restoring the Avengers team back to its former glory. The other members joining himself were a few former members of the Thunderbolts, Bullseye who was disguised as Hawkeye, Moonstone who wore the costume and assumed the nickname of Ms. Marvel, and Venom portraying Spiderman. In addition to these three, new members were also recruited by Norman, those being Wolverine's son Daken who would replace his father on the team and Noh-Varr taking over the mantle of Captain Marvel. Both Sentry and Ares remained on the team, Sentry accepted because Norman offered assistance with his mental issues, and Ares simply listening to his new team leader.
Ultimately, the carelessness and thought process when assembling the Dark Avengers leaves the team doomed to fail from the start. With numerous hidden agendas, failed missions, and following the events of Siege, the Dark Avengers are disbanded and arrested (besides Daken who manages to escape).
The New Dark Avengers
After the events of Siege, Norman Osborn is broken out of prison and assumes control of new H.A.M.M.E.R with the support of HYDRA, the HAND, and A.I.M. Norman then goes and forms a new Dark Avengers team consisting of Skaar portraying Hulk, Gorgon assuming Wolverine, Toxic Doxie as Scarlet Witch, Ai Apaec as a new four armed black Spiderman, Dieidre Wentworth as the new Ms. Marvel, a rebuilt Ragnarok, and Barney Barton as Trick Shot. After a few battles with the two other Avengers teams, Norman's Dark Avengers were defeated due to Skaar being a double agent working against the team to sabotage them. Following the last battle, Norman Osborn was put into a coma from a power overload and the other members of the Dark Avengers were brought in for questioning.
- Toxic Doxie
- Ai Apaec
- Trick Shot
Starting with Dark Avengers #175, a new Dark Avengers team is assembled to fill in as a substitute team as the original Thunderbolts have been lost in time. The New Dark Avengers team is led by Luke Cage who volunteered, Skarr as Cage's second in command, as well as Toxie Doxie as Dark Scarlet Witch, Trick Shot, Ragnarok, and Ai Apaec as Dark Spiderman rounds out the team. This new displays much better teamwork than the past versions, however this does not last long as the team besides Luke Cage and Skaar leave off on a separate and unsanctioned mission. The Dark Avengers are implanted with nanites to keep them under control during missions.