10 Characters Who Were Better Choices for Osborn's Avengers

I rile on Dark Reign a lot and not because it's terribly bad but because it's goddamn stupid. Like most Marvel products these days it's like a half-hatched idea groomed by a committee of inattentive idiots. The concept of Dark Avengers was an decent idea and the actual line-up itself was pretty intense and interesting but the idea that Norman Osborn chose these people to help his agenda is unbelievably stupid. Why would a guy who is so intently deranged at the sight of Spider-Man recruit a guy to pretend to be Spider-Man? Why did his team only have people impersonating two heroes the public would even recognise as classic Avengers? Why the hell bother getting similarly underpowered and psychopathically unloyal pawns like Daken, Bullseye and Venom for your team when you have access to so much more?

Okay, well, if I was Norman Osborn... here's basically 10 ideas that would've been far more sensible for Norman Osborn's agenda.

10. Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady)

You want an amoral asshole to dress up as an Avenger, Norman? You do realise you have a guy who dresses up as a founding member of the Avengers on your payroll who you shuffled off to your black-ops group? Although, Ant-Man did switch allegiances in the end, he would've been a far more powerful tool to Norman on his Avengers team if just to continue his Avengers team's deceitful public image.

9. Sandman

Let's see... which former Avenger does Norman Osborn know who has returned to a life of crime? Oh, that's right, the guy who didn't appear at all during Dark Reign. In general, Sandman would've been a perfect candidate for anything in Dark Reign. You have a guy who does have some aspirations to be more than just a criminal and he'd jump at the chance to get paid to be a hero. He didn't even join the Initiative, for pete's sake.

8. Swordsman (Andreas Von Strucker)

Just before Norman's rise to power, he worked with a guy who dressed up as a former Avenger. Norman's first action of Dark Reign? Kill the guy. Yeah, Andreas and Norman were quite antagonistic towards each other (but then so were Norman and Bullseye and Norman and Moonstone and Norman and everyone). Stupidly, their final confrontation came almost entirely because Norman didn't bother to make a place for Andreas in his Dark Reign. So, Norman's genius idea is to aggravate a guy you could use and then kill him because he aggravated you.

7. Black Widow (Yelena Belova)

I'm not gonna touch on the tedious retcon/undercover stuff because the end result is that Norman still had access to Yelena Belova. So, you've got the second Black Widow, Norman. Why don't you put her on an Avengers team for an easy transition since the last team before you also had a Black Widow? Nahhh, you'll just keep her locked up in a tube somewhere and do nothing with her. Good plan, Goblin.

6. Captain Marvel (Khn'nr)

This one isn't entirely Norman's fault since the guy died during Secret Invasion. And, heck, Norman already began manipulating him during Secret Invasion so if he survived he could've easily been sold on Norman's team. He was slightly mentally damaged and would've been a damn powerful Avenger for Norman to have at his disposal. And, unlike the Captain Marvel his team went for, this one actually wore the Captain Marvel uniform.

5. Dark Beast

Norman recruited a guy who already called himself the Dark version of an Avengers Member and didn't put him on his Avengers team? Norman recruited Dark Beast for his X-Men team which did make sense but was kinda a dumb move in retrospect since Osborn never bothered using his X-Men team. Beast again is seen by the public as a "Classic Avenger" and for the sake of media image would make far more sense than a Dark Wolverine.

4. Nuke

As one of Osborn's only loyal soldiers to the end, the idea Nuke got shoved off onto Osborn's Thunderbolts was a silly move. Nuke is a deranged patriot who would do whatever the "government" - in this case Osborn - asked of him. He would've easily made a Dark Captain America or more appropriately a Dark US Agent, but instead Osborn decided the people who obey him would be best not implemented in his plans.

3. Hulk (Thaddeus Ross)

There's another American patriot floating around acting as a villainous counterpart to another founding Avenger. Jeez, Norman, you're really the king of oversight, aren't you? I'm not entirely sure how red Hulk chronology stacks up with Dark Reign, but again, recruiting the red Hulk for his team made too much sense so Norman ignored it.

2. Thor (Ragnarok)

YOU HAVE A ROBOT CLONE OF THOR IN A BASEMENT SOMEWHERE AND YOU DON'T EVEN THINK TO PUT IT ON YOUR AVENGERS TEAM? Norman is a grade-A idiot in this regard. Thor is one of the most recognisable Avengers so why the hell doesn't Osborn think it's a smart idea to have a robot version of Thor on his team? Sure, he's only a third as powerful as the real Thor but that's still powerful and he's an evil Thor, for god's sake.

1. Captain America (William Burnside)

The Captain America of the 1950s is an insane guy who believes anyone "different" is communists but more importantly has had plastic surgery to look EXACTLY like Steve Rogers. He was wandering around in limbo and had no direction in his life when Norman rose to power. Norman even later wished to recruit the Red Skull in Steve's body to be his team's Captain America. Norman, you buffoon, there's a guy perfect to be your Captain America who is easy to manipulate and looks identical to Steve Rogers.

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

To be fair to Norman, Dark Reign was headed by Bendis, who is completely incompetent to the point that it is genuinely frightening. Like giving a shotgun to a 4 year old.  
Great, informative list though, and as you said, all better choices than people like Noh-Varr, Venom and Sentry (especially since Noh and Sentry were good guys).

Posted by Aiden Cross

Good list, i like your choices! Espescially Nuke and Ragnarok, kinda obvious choices for Norman.... but no >_>

Posted by lykopis

Its gotten to the point that when I see you've written a new blog I get all giddy and settle in for a guaranteed good read. Great breakdown and I agree so much -- oh my -- Yelena Belova -- and Nuke? No freaking kidding.

Ragnarok Thor had some ugliness done during Civil War so maybe the editorial staff wanted to play safe, but why the hell would they when you are dealing with the psychopathic Osborne? You have Venom there for crying out loud, lol.

But hey now -- how can you possibly suggest Dark Beast be part of the Dark Avengers? I mean -- that would have perchance shadowed Marvel's new pet Daken who just HAD to follow in daddy's footsteps by being on two teams...and I even LIKE the character.

Nice job X-35. :)

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

I like the original line up but it would have been interesting for Sandman, Dark Beast, Nuke and Ragnarok although hes in the current one

Posted by guttridgeb

Yeah, I never understood why Dark-Beast wasn't an Avenger. It wasn't even as if Norman and Dark-Beast weren't willing to co-operate as Dark Beast was a member of the Dark X-Men

Posted by X35

@guttridgeb: Well, on the surface, it probably did make more sense for Dark Beast (and Daken) to be Dark X-Men members but the problem is Norman didn't even bother utilising that team to the point where the notion where they're utterly irrelevant. Where the hell were they during Siege? Omega and Mimic are potential powerhouses and Mystique's shapeshifting ability alone makes her worth 1,000 Venoms. Instead we get told the public loves Wolverine and that's why he's an Avenger and nobody sensible is. -_-

Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

Yelena !

Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

Very good and detailed.

Your right, it would have beem a better, ha ha heroes to have an roster closer to the original Avengers line up

Posted by Gambit1024

Nuke as Captain America or USAgent would've been so kick-ass. Very good choices on an excellent rant and list.

Posted by Joygirl

All my yes goes to this. Or at least about 63% of my yes.

Posted by TDK_1997

Yeah.This is would have been better but I still liked the roster.

Posted by InnerVenom123

I'm pretty sure Norman didn't pick the Thor-clone because it was generally unstable, and Norman's entire game is about keeping the public's trust. You could say the same about Sentry, but at least he's human.

As for having Gargan, that was because Norman keeps him on a tight leash. He had since Marvel Knights.

Posted by Mycroftian

Interesting picks here, though I'm not sure that Venom was as bad a pick as you make him out to be. My knowledge of Gargan's history as Venom is a bit hazy (because Gargan kinda sucked), but hadn't he been Osborn's man for quite some time before joining the Dark Avengers? Admittedly, the symbiote factor does undermine Gargan's loyalty slightly, but what with him being Osborn's lackey since at least the Sinister Twelve story (if my memory serves me rightly), it would seem weird to me if Osborn didn't bring him along to the new team. Of course on the flipside of things, Gargan could very easily be a PR nightmare, with the public already quick to distrust Spider-Man and Gargan being as dumb as he is (how did he ever get a job as a PI, anyway?), so maybe Osborn should have just kept him locked up and found one of these guys.

Also, not sold on Red Hulk. Hulk was a founding Avenger, sure, but it's not like he spent a lot of time with the team. Like Spidey, Hulk's got some PR issues and I doubt Red Hulk would be easily accepted by the public. Osborn's already pushing it by including himself on the team, what with his Goblin history.

Edited by kid Apollo

would have loved to see the Iron Patriot, Ms. Marvel (moonstone), Dark Beast, Yelena Belova, Albion (evil Cap Britain), the new Trickshot (Barney Barton), and after being lied to a tricked into joining the team (similar to Noh Var) Venom (Flash Thompson), and heres a random that could fit: Kasper Cole.

Posted by Eroc23

Dude he did choose Ragnarok when he got another chance but it is true that he should choose sandman,Black widow,Red Hulk,Nuke,Dark Beast.He can't choose swordsmen anymore because he killed him and there is nothing you can do about it.

Posted by Rainja

My Dark avengers Team, Ragnarok(Thor),Venom(spiderman),Bullseye(Hawkeye),Kraven(Black Panther),Rulk,Baron Mordo(Dr. strange)