Dark Avengers #4

Background

Morgana Le Fay has time traveled from 690 A.D. to the present day seeking revenge on Dr. Doom. Due to his pact with Doom, Norman Osborn brings his team of Avengers to Latveria to save him, even though he did not request help.

So far the advantage has been Morgana's. Despite several deaths at the hands of the new, more aggressive, Avengers she has reappeared moments later due to pre-planning and a corruption of the time stream that allows her to cheat death.

Using his time cube, Osborn and Doom have traveled back to Morgana's native time to put an end to this once and for all.

Story Details

  Dark Avengers #4
Summary: Spider-Man (Venom/Scorpion) appears

Latveria, now: The remaining Avengers (Moonstone/Ms. Marvel, Bullseye/Hawkeye, Noh-Varr/Captain Marvel, and Daken/Wolverine) are trying to drive back the demon horde summoned by Morgana. Their teammate Venom III/Spider-Man is under her spell as well, attacking Bullseye. He is not too happy about this and promises to kill Venom for this, despite his protests that he's not in control.

Moonstone makes her way to Morgana and blows her head off with a power blast. She knows this will buy them a few minutes, but Osborn needs to come through with something or they're all dead.

690 A.D.: Doom prepares to deal with Morgana; Osborn is standing behind Doom trying to stay out of the mystical crossfire. Morgana warns Osborn that Doom will betray him as well. He knows this is his nature and no token of goodwill can change that. He replies, "Well...that's why I have the armor on". She goes on to say that Doom can't kill her despite his posturing. She is part of his past and future; killing her will jeopardize his existence.

Doom recites an incantation that pulls her into her cauldron and causes her to disappear. Afterward, he reluctantly admits she was right; killing her now would potentially alter future events. Osborn chides him stating that it sounds like he didn't want to kill her. Doom instructs him to be quiet.

Osborn asks if she actually died when the Sentry killed her. Doom explains that since she was alive here, it didn't matter. His lack of understanding of the principles of time travel reveal his ignorance. He states that she is "somewhere" where she can no longer cause problems. This "place" turns out to be England in the year 1 Million B.C. We see that she is being chased by a tyrannosaurus rex.

Despite Osborn's repeated requests, Doom refuses to remain in the past any longer or return to any point before they actually left. To do so would threaten the space/time continuum. Doom reminds him that "for a man whose rise to power [was due to] a lucky moment .. you should be thankful to be where the fates have placed you". With that the return to the present day.

Once they arrive at the battlefield, Doom removes Morgana's spell that turned Ares into stone. He theorizes that anything else may have incurred the wrath of the gods. Osborn then contacts Victoria Hand for a pickup. As the plane arrives, Osborn informs Doom that he can't be seen in public with him; he's on his own. As he boards the plane, he screams to the ungrateful monarch "And you're welcome!!" As they leave, Doom activates his time cube and sends it back in time to bring Morgana's castle to him, completely intact.

As they return to New York, Moonstone flirts with Noh, complimenting him on his actions during the battle. She indicates that the moonstone she uses is Kree in origin, like him. He does show some interest in her, despite his confusion over her statement that she acquired the moonstone through EBay.

Osborn is informed that during their absence, Clint Barton (originally Hawkeye, now Ronin) has released a video condemning Osborn's team for being a group of criminals performing his black ops missions. Osborn requests Hand arrange a television interview as soon as possible.

As they approach Avengers' Tower, the sky explodes in a ray of blinding light,heralding the return of the Sentry. All are amazed at this development. Bullseye makes the observation that when he finally loses his grip on sanity, is there anything that can actually kill him? Osborn begins to perspire.

General Comments

For starters, the cover of the issue - while well done - is misleading. Osborn and Doom do not get into a fight at any point during the story. They spar verbally, but it stops there. Osborn is one of the few individuals that can match Doom's ego. He sees them as equals. They are both highly intelligent men in highly advanced armor suits. The only advantages that Doom has is sorcery and his own country. Osborn has neither of these - yet.

The interaction between Osborn and Doom is very similar to that of Iron Man and Doom during their trip through time. Since Bendis was responsible for that arc as well, it seems that he's trying to show the "funnier" side of Doom. His arrogance and dark comments when contrasted with the more jovial ones of his iron partner make him the straight man of this duo.

Morgana's castle is now empty and Doom needs one. In his mind its balancing the scales for the dual assaults by Iron Man and Morgana. I'm sure that this will be noticed at some point.

Overall Rating

4 webs. Great conclusion to the opening arc. The sub-plot with Venom and Bullseye will be something to watch for in the near future. Despite all his faults, Gargan is not a murderer; Bullseye is and what's more, he enjoys it.

Moonstone is flirting with Noh-Varr. Is this true attraction or a mind-game of her own? This is another development to watch.

The ending is interesting. It seems that Osborn and the Sentry were staring at each other. Has the Sentry learned something that would impact Osborn's plans? Is Osborn actually scared that nothing can actually stop the Sentry?

So many questions to ask and the only way they will be answered is to wait until Bendis explains it all.

Footnote

Iron Man, Dr. Doom, and Sentry went on a trip through time in Mighty Avengers #10