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His True Power

January 6, 2010

     Shortly after the events of Utopia, the Dark Avengers get a little bit of rest time.  Ares tracks down Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors to give his son, Phobos, a piece of his mind, though he ultimately entrusts him to Fury due to his insecurities about being a father.  Norman Osborn goes crazy in his room all by himself, and Sentry’s wife shoots him with Noh-Varr’s gun out of fear of his powers.  Moonstone starts to put the moves on Bullseye to get him under her control, and everyone notes how much of a weenie Venom is becoming.  Then, the daughter of the Secretary of State (who controls their financing) disappears in Dinosaur, Colorado, and the team has to go investigate.  Sentry, who is miraculously fine after being shot by his wife, gets blown up upon arriving.  The town has been taken over by the Molecule Man, who has constructed friends modeled after Zarathos, the Enchantress, Mephisto, and the Beyonder through use of his powers.  He goes on to screw with every member of the team.  Meanwhile, we get a flashback showing Victoria Hand’s past.  Ultimately, she chooses to fake a surrender to throw Molecule Man off.  She asks him to return all the people he made disappear and promises they will leave him alone forever if he does so.  Sentry reforms himself, and Molecule Man blows him up again.  Osborn finally stops freaking out, and Sentry once again reforms himself, revealing that his power is control over molecules, just like Molecule Man.  Sentry defeats Molecule Man, and Moonstone manages to calm him down a bit as the whole team acknowledges just how big a problem he is.  Osborn admits that, after this incident, he needs to see someone, and he asks Hand to get the best they have, as long as it isn’t Moonstone.  He then starts to freak out again, and Loki appears standing over him.

     Well, those were four absolutely superb issues by Brian Michael Bendis right there.  He’s been firing on all cylinders ever since Dark Reign began, and this is no different.  The little Ares one issue thing is a superb bit of insight into his character, proving that he is one of the characters Bendis gets the best on this team.  I also like that Moonstone is slowly wrapping her fingers around each member of the team.  She managed to get Noh-Varr to quit, and now she’s starting with Bullseye.  It’s great.  The most interesting thing of all, though, is Victoria Hand, who is Marvel’s newest lesbian.  And unlike with Greymalkin from Young X-Men, this does not seem forced at all.  Rather, it’s very welcome development in this series’ least developed character, and Bendis does it very expertly.  The fact that she is a lesbian isn’t highlighted too much, it’s just shown as a fact, which is how it should be done.  I also like his use of a classic villain like Molecule Man, especially as a part of finally revealing more about Sentry.  I never liked the Sentry, but Bendis is doing very well with him in this title.  Of course, Mike Deodato Jr.’s pencils are as amazing as they have ever been, a perfect compliment to Bendis’ great scripts.  And Greg Horn’s pencils for Osborn’s freak out moments while under the control of Molecule Man are a nice touch as well.  Now, we can only wonder if Loki is behind all of Osborn’s recent mental troubles, and I know that will be dealt with in the soon-to-come-out Siege.  As I said before, if Bendis writes Siege like he’s been writing this and New Avengers, it’ll be absolutely superb.

Plot: 9.1      Art: 9.4      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.2

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