Dark Avengers #5

Background

With their victory over Morgana Le Fay, the Avengers (minus one) leave Latveria. During the epic battle with Morgana's demons, the Sentry was killed, his body disintegrated by her magic.

As they near Avengers' Tower, Norman Osborn is informed that the "real" Hawkeye (now Ronin) has leaked a video to all media disclosing that the current Avengers' roster is wanted criminals in disguise and that Osborn was the original Green Goblin.

As Osborn and his team near Avengers' Tower, they are met by the Sentry, having been somehow resurrected. Everyone – including Osborn – is amazed at this latest development.

Story Details

  Dark Avengers #5
Summary: Spider-Man & Spider-Man (Venom/Scorpion) appears

Six hours ago: Osborn steps out of the jet and flies over to the Sentry. He notices that Sentry's acting very aloof and disconnected. He quickly realizes that Bob has retreated to his alternate personality of The Void. He keeps asking to speak to "Bob" because there is no "Void".

Their conversation is being relayed inside the jet, allowing the other Avengers to hear them. Venom III breaks the tension by using an appropriate quote from Ghostbusters: "There is no Dana, only Zuul". He is quickly hushed by Moonstone.

Osborn tells Sentry to pull himself together; this is why people are terrified of him. He finally convinces Bob that he obviously didn't die in Latveria. His powers are in a category of their own and they need to understand how they work. This can only happen if "Bob" is in control. Sentry looks into his Watchtower and sees his wife Lindy. This is the final element that allows him to suppress his alternate personality.

Five hours ago: The Avengers are having their evening meal. Victoria Hand appears and indicates that its time for their medication. Like a frightened child, Gargan tells Hand that Bullseye threatened to kill him. Initially denying the accusation, it becomes apparent that Bullseye does have it in for Gargan for wounding him during their battle with Le Fay.

At this point Ares reprimands them. He says that the past is irrelevant and only what they do now matters. If they behave like children they will be treated as such, specifically by him. He slaps Bullseye across the face with the back of his hand for his behavior and reminds them all to take advantage of the second chance that they've been given.

Bullseye is livid at this insult and tells Ares that "[he] doesn't hit him". Ares reminds him that was a slap. Had he actually hit him, he wouldn't be standing. Since everyone is now looking at him, he complies with Hand's request and takes his medication – but he's not happy.

Three hours ago: Ares returns to his home in the Bronx to check on his son Alexander. Alexander is not home, giving Ares some concern. After looking through his son's backpack, he discovers that he's been skipping school.

At some unspecified time prior to Osborn's interview, Moonstone invites Noh-Varr into her bedroom. He accepts without hesitation. Just down the hall, Bullseye observes this while brushing his teeth.

Now: Norman Osborn arrives at the television studio for his scheduled live interview with Sharon Queller. As they apply the makeup and place the mic on him, he requests that they not touch his hair. He suggests to Queller that they stick to the list of questions his office sent.

Once they go on-air, Osborn does an impressive job of putting the proper spin on all of the topics. Instead of "power" he describes his job in terms of "responsibility" and "trust of the people". He wants to do what he was appointed to do and "give the country what it deserves".

When the topic of the Green Goblin comes up, Osborn humbly admits that at one time he was. He explains that during his time as the Goblin, he was suffering from a chemical imbalance and was taken advantage of by certain people and pushed into that life. He states that Barton is overlooking the fact that he sought and received help for his problems. He has signed documents by Nobel Prize-winning doctors that state he is a sane person.

He then addresses Hawkeye's accusations. He reminds the audience that Barton's tenure as an Avenger was equally controversial as he was a convicted felon fighting alongside two reformed mutant terrorists (Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver). He was given a second chance and has more than made up for his past transgressions. Osborn theorizes that the breakup of Barton's team of Avengers, the death of Captain America, and Tony Stark's current fugitive status may be the motivating factor for his accusations. He extends his interest in bringing him in to prevent any self-destructive tendencies he may have.

Osborn then reminds people of the second chance that they were all given after the failed Skrull invasion. He claims that when he was "at his worst" he would ask God for a second chance. He then pauses with his hands folded. He then looks up in a display of appreciation and implies that his "faith" granted him this opportunity.

It is just before Osborn point, Moonstone finishes her romp with a confused but appreciative Noh-Varr (he's a Kree alien from an alternate dimension). She turns on the television in her room to watch Osborn's performance. She accidentally-on-purpose tells Noh that she wants to see how Osborn will spin the fact that the Avengers are in fact wanted criminals. Noh is shocked at this revelation. She reminds him that technically he's a wanted criminal as well.

The interview is interrupted when the news breaks that Los Angeles is under attack. When Osborn is notified of this, he calls Hand to assemble the Avengers.

General Comments

And the Oscar goes to ... Norman Osborn for "Dark Avengers #5". Explaining that his tenure as the Green Goblin was due to a severe chemical imbalance coupled with the manipulations of malevolent individuals is pure evil genius. And to add icing to the pity cake, he has now found religion. Wow. Nobel Prize-winning doctors give him the clean bill of mental health? I wonder how he was able to blackmail or intimidate them into doing that.

Readers are acutely aware that Osborn is a manipulative piece of slime. Even though we know he's lying to us, his explanations are not implausible. I can imagine if this were to occur in the real world, most people would give him the benefit of the doubt.

Moonstone makes good with her intentions toward Noh, following her flirtation in the last issue. What she plans to ultimately do with him remains to be seen. Her disclosure that they're all criminals can't be accidental; there has to be a plan. This will be an interesting development.

Overall Rating

4 webs. Bendis is an evil genius for scripting that interview. It takes a twisted mind to come up with a mildly sympathetic explanation for one of the most evil characters in Spider-Man history.

Deodato turns in some incredible artwork that exceeds the requirements of Bendis' script. The facial expressions for Osborn truly sell his story to the audience.

Footnote

Osborn was outed as the Green Goblin in The Pulse #5.

Gargan was possessed by Morganna Le Fay during their battle in Latveria. He attacked Bullseye in Dark Avengers #3.