Just as Norman Osborn and his carefully collected criminal cadre have absconded with the team name Avengers and have spun off into their own book “Dark Avengers” we find Mac Gargan taking the wallcrawler’s nom de guerre to new depths of depravity under this Dark Reign mini series.
Utilizing the fame of not only being an Avenger but also one of the many heroes who saved the world from the not-so-jolly jade jerks of the Secret Invasion our Sinister Spider-Man spends this issue outside the confines of the Avengers Tower hitting strip joints, munching on a new animal themed villain, and generally being a pain in Osborn’s ass. All the while he’s crafting a rather interesting dish of vengeance on his old employer, and current NYC Mayor, J. Jonah Jameson.
A side story opens up with a nebbish headshrinker approaching Jameson offering him the idea of rehabilitating villains but is quickly shut down due to political reasonings. But not one to let a really bad idea go to waste the wily doctor pops back up at the end of the issue as the masked “Redeemer” who recruits a handful of D-list villains to wrangle the Black Suited menace, and current DB frontpage darling, Gargan in for some good ol’ fashioned rehabilitiation.
The solo exploits of the members of the Dark Avengers are turning out to be fantastic reads. Sinister Spider-Man ranks up there with Dark Reign: Hawkeye and Dark Wolverine, going as far as surpassing Dark Reign: Ms. Marvel (which is surprising since Brian Reed also writes Ms. Marvel a title I’ve loved until Dark Reign). The dialogue is tight and gives all kinds of insight into Bendis’s remorseless eating machine of the Dark Avengers, while Chris Bachalo’s pencils and Tim Townsend’s inks really lend well to the Frank Milleresque world of Mac Gargan. My only regret is that this is just a mini series instead of a hijack of one of the myriad of the weekly Spidey releases.
So without any further awesome alliteration I give this first issue a 4 out 5 dead strippers.