For those of you not along for the ride, this must seem quite excessive but Marvel has been very carefully steering their collective titles to this point as far back as Civil War story line and I’ve been loving it. The entirety of the Marvel Universe is so mixed up and against itself that the heroes are in hiding and the villains are running the show. With Dark Avengers and Dark Wolverine on its way and the recent revelation of the new Ms. Marvel being a super villain I must say that even I am surprised to see another ‘dark’ title.
When the New Avengers and later Dark Avengers titles were announced, Marvel obscured the cover images so that readers had to guess who made the cut for each team. In this case the subtle artistry of Terry Dodson has posed the question to us ‘who are these characters?’
Well, let’s tackle the easy ones:
Prince Namor (the first mutant)- a member of Norman Osborn’s Cabal and recently devoted to protecting the interest of mutant kind by a bond with Emma Frost.
The Mimic- a mutant almost as old as the X-Men series itself and capable of miming the abilities of any mutants he is near. Aside from alternate reality versions, he has not been seen in comics for ages.
Cloak and Dagger (though many have pointed out that Cloak looks a bit off and may be Exodus)- the teenage mutants of the 1980′s. These characters have had so little exposure in the past twenty years that I’m shocked to see them here.
Daken- the son of Wolverine, determined to dominate the world much as his former tormentor and programer Romulus vowed to.
Weapon Omega- formerly ‘the Collective.’ After the mutant abilities of the MU disappeared, they were siphoned off into Michael Pointer who went temporarily mad. Seeking to make up for the many deaths he is responsible for, he joined Omega Flight wearing a suit designed by Walter Langowski (formerly Sasquatch) to regulate his ability to absorb powers. It looks like he might be on the bad side again.
But… is that really Emma Frost? The face is too narrow and the eyebrows too dark. Also, her hair seems to be not so much blond but more a muted color. This could be Selene who made a recent return in the pages of X-Force or Madelin Pryor, the Goblin Queen.
And… is that really Professor X? The face looks a bit off and the eyebrows too bushy. Some very clever fan suggested that this could be a bald Sebastian Shaw but neither Namor nor Daken would side with him leaving the question hanging in the air… who is this?? Charles Xavier has been on a soul searching quest of late and writer Mike Carey hinted that the series X-Men: Legacy was in for some major changes, but… is this formation of a team the direction Charles was headed in?
While it may seem like a big step backwards to some, given that there are still actual heroes running around keeps these Dark titles from being a garish exploration of adolescent kitsch. If anything, these dark versionds of existing legacies explores what makes the existing characters work and why they have enduted for so long. With a break from the major cross-overs planned this year (according to Joe Quesada) I’m very curious how long this idea will be allowed to ‘simmer’ before it comes to a boil.
This has since been debunked as a new series. This will instead be part of the upcoming X-Men/Dark Avengers cross-over.