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Quote1 To me, my Avengers! Quote2
Norman Osborn

Osborn's Avengers[]

In the aftermath of the Skrull Invasion, Norman Osborn became head of the Fifty-State Initiative, the Thunderbolts Initiative and S.H.I.E.L.D. Under his regime S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Thunderbolts were re-organized; S.H.I.E.L.D. reformed into H.A.M.M.E.R. with Osborn as its Director, while the Thunderbolts became a secret black-ops team for him and his Cabal.

Osborn's first action as Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. was recruiting former S.H.I.E.L.D. business affairs operative Victoria Hand as his Deputy Director, while relieving Maria Hill from active duty. Now also in charge of the government sponsored Avengers, Osborn began recruiting new members loyal to him due to the resignation of most of the original team. Among his selection were former Thunderbolts Bullseye, Moonstone and Venom due to their loyalty to Osborn during the final battle of the recent Skrull invasion. To hide their criminal past and gain public legitimacy he dressed them up as other famous heroes; Bullseye as Hawkeye, Venom as Spider-Man and Moonstone as Ms. Marvel. Former Mighty Avengers Ares and Sentry remained on the team despite many of their original teammates' departure, with Sentry choosing to stay due to Osborn's understanding and offers of help for his mental issues, and Ares respecting Osborn for his role in the Secret Invasion.[3]

Dark Avengers (Earth-616) from Dark Avengers Vol 1 4 0001

the Original Dark Avengers

Despite his success, Osborn failed to recruit former Mighty Avengers team leader Ms. Marvel, who refused employment due to Osborn's past as a supervillain and murderer. Osborn's final recruits were the unstable, murderous mutant Daken (taking the role of his father, Wolverine) and the alien Kree invader Noh-Varr (as the new Captain Marvel). Osborn completed the lineup as the Iron Patriot, an Iron Man suit painted to invoke the heroic imagery of Captain America.

After receiving a distress call from Doctor Doom, a member of his Cabal, Osborn led the Avengers on their first mission, to save Doom from a horde of demons led by Morgan Le Fay. While the Avengers appeared to immediately win the battle after Sentry decapitated Morgan when they first arrived, he suddenly disintegrated as Morgan returned. Due to her being a time traveler, killing her simply resulted in her returning from the past. As more and more of the Avengers fell Osborn asked Doom to use the time-machine located in his armor. Doom agreed and the two of them returned to the past and defeated Morgan there, with the Sentry mysteriously reconstituting himself.

Osborn soon came under attack from the original Hawkeye, Clint Barton who accused Osborn of being a madman and murderer who was manipulating the American public for his own purposes. While attempting to spin this in his favor on national television, San Francisco was attacked by Atlantean terrorists. Osborn attempted to force Namor, a member of his Cabal to disown the terrorists and stop them, but Namor refused. Norman instead dispatched Sentry who quickly killed the terrorists.

Norman Osborn later sent the Dark Avenger Ares on a solo mission to Aqiria to defend his allies at Eaglestar International from an attack perpetrated by War Machine.[4]

Osborn's Avengers continued to fight a variety of threats, such as Bor Burison's rampage in New York, renegade heroes like the Young Avengers and many more. After realizing that Osborn's team of Avengers were composed of villains and psychopaths, Noh-Varr decided to leave the group. Osborn dispatched the Sentry to bring him back but failed when Noh-Varr managed to make contact with the Kree who bestowed him with new Nega-Bands.[5]


After the mutant X-Men led by Cyclops established an independent nation on the shores of San Francisco, Norman resolved to deal with the mutant problem once and for all. He created his own "X-Men" team in order to appease mutantkind and deployed H.A.M.M.E.R. troops along with his Avengers in order to control the protests and social unrest that had broken out in San Francisco. Together with Dark Beast he worked on a way to dampen mutant abilities. He and his Avengers clashed with the X-Men but after being betrayed by Namor and Emma Frost, both of whom were members of his X-Men team and his Cabal, he was forced to retreat and leave the mutants to their own devices.[6][7]

Molecule Man[]

Osborn was contacted by a high ranking member of the government who asked Osborn to locate his missing daughter. Osborn traced her to a small town called Dinosaur where many people had gone missing lately. Osborn, his Avengers and a H.A.M.M.E.R. Helicarrier were sent to investigate. Things started going wrong almost immediately when Sentry - their first man on the scene - suddenly exploded. Osborn went in to investigate but found the Molecule Man present. The Molecule Man trapped each of the Avengers in a different way and declared the area under his control. The Sentry suddenly reappeared and confronted the Molecule Man. He realized that he also possessed reality-warping powers and forced the Molecule Man to put everything back together. Sentry then disintegrated him.[8]

Upon returning to New York, the Sentry's wife Lindy shot him with one of Noh-Varr's guns in an attempt to kill him. She appeared to have succeeded and revealed the truth of the Sentry's origins; that he was just a junkie that had stumbled upon a formula that granted him his enormous powers while looking for drugs. Lindy theorized that the reason he couldn't control his powers was that he was simply unworthy of them and that he built up an addiction to power and fame. Sentry simply rose however, this time with the Void in control and mocked Lindy's theories. After the Void made it clear that he was going to kill Lindy, Sentry attempted to kill himself by flying into the Sun. This failed however and with the Void now in control he returned to New York.[9]

He began destroying New York until Osborn managed to talk him down. Osborn also ordered Bullseye to murder Lindy in order to make the Sentry more reliant on and obedient towards Osborn. The Sentry's descent into madness, the volatility of the team, all of whom attempted to undermine each other and Osborn, and the stressful nature of his job further exacerbated Osborn's own descent into insanity, as perpetrated by his supposed ally Loki.[10]


Loki managed to convince Osborn of the danger of having Asgard on Earth. He claimed that this was a threat to the natural order and that Asgard needed to return to its rightful place among the Nine Realms. Loki and Osborn managed to trick Volstagg into destroying a stadium full of people when deflecting energy blasts fired by villains under Osborn's command. This gave Osborn reason to attack Asgard. Osborn mobilized all of the forces under his command such as the Avengers, H.A.M.M.E.R., the Thunderbolts, etc. He also managed to trick Ares into believing that Loki had taken over Asgard in order to sway Ares to his side and make him draw up battle plans for the invasion.[11]

The Asgardians were aided by the heroes who had become outlaws after Osborn's rise. What both Norman and Loki hadn't counted on however was the sheer madness and power of the Sentry. After the events of New York the Void was now the dominant personality within the Sentry. After Ares found out that Osborn had tricked him, he attempted to kill him but was torn in half by the Sentry. After Osborn was taken down by the heroes he ordered the Sentry to destroy Asgard which he did, leaving nothing but rubble.[12]

Loki realized that he had gone too far and prayed for help from his father Odin. He used the Norn Stones to empower the heroes fighting on the side of Asgard in order to give them a chance. The Sentry - who had completely lost control of himself - noticed this and killed Loki. Tony Stark managed to take control of the H.A.M.M.E.R. helicarrier and dropped it on the Void which made him revert to his human form. The Sentry begged the heroes to kill him but Thor refused, vowing to make him pay for his crimes. The Sentry began transforming back into the Void however which forced Thor to put him down.[13]

In the aftermath of the Siege, Osborn, his Avengers and his underlings were arrested, with the exception of Daken who managed to flee.[14]

Dark Avengers (Earth-616) New Avengers Vol 2 18 001

The New Dark Avengers

The New Dark Avengers[]

When Norman Osborn was broken out of prison and took control of a new H.A.M.M.E.R., with HYDRA, A.I.M. and the Hand following him, he assembled a new team of Dark Avengers formed by Ai Apaec as Spider-Man, Trickshot as Hawkeye, Toxic Doxie as Scarlet Witch, Superia as Ms. Marvel, Gorgon as Wolverine and Skaar.[1]

His new team made their first public appearance when Victoria Hand advised them about a situation at Miami, while she delayed the New Avengers, who arrived later, when the Dark Avengers already established control. The New Avengers started fighting Osborn's team until they saw they weren't prepared for it, Doctor Strange teleported the team to a rooftop, but then Ragnarok appeared. As Ragnarok nearly destroyed the team with a mighty strike from his hammer, he injured Wolverine and overpowered Luke Cage then tried to kill Spider-Man. Both Luke Cage and Wolverine managed to almost destroy Ragnarok, who they left to Osborn after leaving the scene.[15]

When NYPD S.W.A.T. seized Avengers Mansion under Osborn's command, Cage's team became fugitives and hid in Victoria Hand's apartment. When the team was about to hunt the New Avengers, Skaar betrayed and attacked them.[16]


When the Thunderbolts went missing in time, the Dark Avengers were recruited as their replacements. Luke Cage volunteered to be their supervisor with Skaar acting as Luke's muscle on the inside. The Dark Avengers were sent the Sharzhad on their first mission. They quickly came into contact with the forces of Dagan Shah in the form of monsters. They defeated them, displaying great team work; however it became clear that the Dark Avengers had an agenda of their own after taking off and leaving Skaar and Cage behind. They tracked down Wender and invaded Shah's palace in order to reach the source of his power; a Rigellian subspace pocket. After bringing Wender here he began to channel all of the energy present.[17]

The Dark Earth[]

After the end of their involvement with the Thunderbolts, Toxic Doxie, Ragnarok, Trickshot, Ai Apaec and Moonstone were loaded onto a transport ship, escorted by John Walker and Skaar. When an explosion hit their ship, Man-Thing panicked and opened a wormhole. They found themselves stranded in an alternate Earth. In this world, all the major superheroes had become warlords of their factions, fighting over New York City.[18]

Toxic Doxie, Ragnarok, Trickshot, Ai Apaec, and Walker were captured by Iron Man's forces. Doxie broke free, taking control of Pym, who worked for Iron Man, and the lab, using it to experiment on her teammates. Meanwhile, Moonstone and Skaar were captured by Doctor Strange, who used magic to enslave them. Doxie used her bio-engineering skills to restore Walker's lost limbs with the Venom symbiote, shrunk Ai Apaec to miniature size, and performed heavy surgery in Ragnarok's brain.[19]

Dark Avengers (Earth-616) from Dark Avengers Vol 1 190 001

New team of Dark Avengers

The Dark Avengers went to kill Strange, hoping to free Skaar and Moonstone.[20] After fighting Thing's forces on behalf of Strange, Moonstone was able to sneak away back to the lab, finding Ragnarok awakening. Iron Man attacked them, but the awakened Ragnarok was able to defeat him, although Stark's consciousness escaped to another suit. Pym was killed in the conflict. After the surgery, Ragnarok was finally aware of his status as a clone cyborg. Moonstone brought him the Mjolnir of the Dark Earth's Thor, and Ragnarok was able to wield it.[21]

Skaar, meanwhile, learned from Reed Richards and a captured A.I.M. agent that A.I.M. was behind the Dark Earth, having twisted reality with temporal manipulation, and this pocket dimension was about to collapse due to to the Dark Avengers' presence. Ai Apaec was able to kill Strange by poisoning him. Moonstone and Skaar were freed, and the united Dark Avengers went after A.I.M.. They escaped the pocket dimension as it collapsed, returning to New York proper. Skaar abandoned them, and Toxic Doxie stepped on a still-shrunken Ai Apaec. U.S. Agent appeared to be leading them, but Doxie was in fact controlling his mind.[22]

The team would seemingly be disbanded, considering their members would later appear working on their own, or retired from superheroics.




Each teammates' arsenal



For the most part the Dark Avengers have been comprised of villains posing as heroes, impersonating heroes who have been part of the Avengers or associated with them. A list of assumed identities are:

Some either retained their original identities, or assumed brand new ones. In both cases, their role was often close to a classic function or symbolic of the Avengers:

See Also

Links and References