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Dark Reign Update

Hey, all you Marvel Fans out there! Elisabeth and I are following Dark Reign, and we wanted to give you the skinny on what’s going down so you can jump in wherever you feel like it. We’ll try not to include too many spoilers, but read at your own risk . . . muahahahaha!

Hey guys! First up is Dark Reign: New Nation, a one-shot that features five short stories, each focusing on a different entity: Secret Warriors, Agents of Atlas, War Machine, Skrull Kill Krew, and New Avengers. With writing and art by largely the same creative teams who work on the monthly titles, this comic is a smorgasbord of characters and events, as well as a preview of three new titles (Secret Warriors, Agents of Atlas, and War Machine).

The storylines were definitely intriguing, and whetted my appetite for the rest of this story arc. Norman Osborn, while not a huge presence in these stories, is ominously in the background, promising “change” and pulling the strings to various puppets. War Machine is waging battle between his humanity and his machinery–and the machinery seems to be winning. Meanwhile, Mockingbird and Ronin are gingerly beginning to pick up the pieces and see what life after “death” has to offer.

War Machine #1 is nothing short of spectacular. We travel to the Republic of Santo Marco in South America to find a tribal war that’s reaching a breaking point. In flies our hero to save the day! Manco’s art is gritty and realistic. I found myself laughing out loud several times because Pak’s dialogue pretty much demands it.

War Machine is tougher than ever, but he’s not invincible. Rhodes is so fixated on saving people that he puts his life in danger to help them. He’s a selfless soldier, a real hero with really big guns! A childhood friend has been kidnapped, and that means it’s time to mount up and find her. With the help of Parnell Jacobs, War Machine gets some extra artillery and sets out to find his friend . . . at any cost.

Hey guys! I’m back, and I just read The Invincible Iron Man issues #8 and #9. Let me tell you, things are not looking good for Tony Stark–or Iron Man–but frankly, it’s a lot more interesting this way.

S.H.I.E.L.D. has been shut down, and Maria Hill and Tony Stark find themselves unemployed and on the outs with just about everyone. With his connection to Extremis cut, Tony can’t even clean up a disaster site without falling into the ocean–and having a soda can hurled at his head by enraged salvage workers, to boot.

If that’s not enough, Tony must contend with a preening, overweening Norman Osborn, who’s far too eager to start calling himself “Commander” and abusing his newly expanded power by taking a peek at the secret identities contained in the Superhuman Registration Database. Fortunately, Stark still has a few tricks up his sleeve, but the result leaves him and Maria Hill on their own, on the run, with Norman Osborn and the rest of the world out for blood!

New Avengers #48 also hit the stands, and it’s a good one. Bucky . . . er, Cap, has called a meeting, and he says the world needs the Avengers. Sure it does, but doesn’t a certain Jarvis Skrull have Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ baby? I mean, seriously, take care of your own, people!

I’m 97% sure that page #14 is going to be a poster. If it’s not, it certainly should be . . . maybe a t-shirt. I digress. The Avengers enlist the help of Marvel’s first family to bust some heads and get some answers. Just as they’re about to find out where Skrull Jarvis has taken the baby, some random ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent decides to step in and get some (worst timing ever) justice. The last page is worth the price of admission alone.

Are the rest of you as excited as we are? Did we miss any key plot points? Post your comments below, and keep checking back–we’ll be reading, and blogging, as Dark Reign continues! Meanwhile, make sure to visit our Dark Reign page to find every issue of Marvel’s latest epic. We’ve been selling out, so place your pre-orders today to ensure you get your comics!

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