As was revealed at the end of last issue, Skaar, Son of Hulk, was secretly working as a sleeper agent as one of Norman Osborn’s “New Dark Avengers.” Once he finds out that they’ve captured Captain America, he turns on his evil teammates. The villains put up a valiant fight, but Skaar defeats them and sets off an explosion. He locates Cap and frees him.
The Dark Avengers come to and the evil Spider-Man, reverts to his true form, basically a giant spider-like centaur. Just then, the New Avengers arrive, fronted by The Thing. Wolverine ducks out, to the chagrin of his replacement, Gorgon. Dr. Strange takes Gorgon out along with the evil Scarlet Witch. You get the desired match ups. Spider-Man battles the evil Spider-God, assisted by Daredevil. The good Ms. Marvel battles the evil one. Mockingbird battles her ex-husband’s estranged brother, the evil Hawkeye. Iron Fist battles a recovered evil Wolverine and Daredevil, once more, helps out. Wolverine arrives with Cap and Skaar in tow and Cap wonders “Where’s Luke Cage?” (Hunting for his wife, Jessica, who ran away last issue to protect their baby, Danielle. Squirrel Girl went with her.)
To find out what happened to Norman Osborn himself, read ‘The Avengers’ #24, which came out last week.
This was a satisfying wrap up to this particular storyline. I’m sick of The Dark Avengers and Norman Osborn, so hopefully this will be the last we see of them… at least for a long period of time. It’s getting annoying to have so many characters running around with the same identity! But you know the fans have been waiting to see these particular smash-ups, good versus evil Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man and so forth and that was delivered here, along with the suitable Mockingbird/Dark Hawkeye pairing. The only one that didn’t happen was the two Wolverines duking it out, but oh well. Some of these heroes feel a tad tacked on, like Iron Fist and Daredevil. Since joining, neither has had that much to contribute, so it was nice to see them step up in this issue.
Now it all comes down to ‘Avengers versus X-Men’. I’m glad to see the Osborn storyline wrapped up, but overall, it may have felt a tad rushed and anticlimactic. The art, by Mike Deodato was excellent as always, though. It may not have been a flawless issue, but overall, it was satisfying.
THE NEW AVENGERS #23
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art and Cover by Mike Deodato Jr., Will Conrad and Rain Beredo