Overall- Well, I didn't HATE this comic book like I thought I was going to, which is pretty damn impressive, if I do say so myself. Basically in this issue, we meet the Dark Avengers and learn how Norman Osborn convinces them to join his team of Avengers. Ares joins just because he likes to fight, while Sentry is on-board because of some cryptic agreement Norman has given Sentry about helping him. After Ms. Marvel decides she'll have no part of an Avengers led by Osborn, Norman replaces her with Moonstone, who becomes the new Ms. Marvel. From there, Norman promotes Bullseye and Venom from the Thunderbolts, renaming them Hawkeye(grrr...)and Spider-Man, respectively. Rounding out the roster is Wolverine's son, Daken, whom Norman dresses up as Wolverine(further proving my point that every team in the Marvel Universe needs a Wolverine on it), Marvel Boy(Noh-Varr), who Norman renames Captain Marvel, and finally the Iron Patriot, who is actually Norman Osborn himself, dressed in a suit of Tony Stark's Iron Man armor. To borrow my favorite line of "coach speak", this comic book was what it was. It didn't really advance any storylines, it was just a set-up issue for future events.
Now, that was the review. Personally, I still don't like the idea of Brian Michael Bendis using one of my all-time favorite characters, Noh-Varr in this comic book. Noh-Varr is one of those obscure characters that really grew on me to the point of becoming one of my favorites. However, to Brian's credit, SO FAR, he hasn't ruined Noh-Varr's character.
For those of you not in the know, Noh-Varr is a young Kree soldier from a futuristic, alternate dimension, who winds up trapped on our Earth after his spacecraft was shot down by a maniacal villain named Midas. All of his crew-mates are killed and dissected by Midas, including his girlfriend, a fellow soldier. Noh-Varr decides that the people of Earth are a stupid, backwater lot(I can't disagree there!)and comes to the conclusion that he will single handily conquer the planet in order to fix all of the wrongs he sees on our planet. His grandiose scheme's fail, and he winds up locked up in a high security prison known as the Cube.
While there, the cruel warden of the Cube uses drugs and other treatments to force Noh-Varr to covertly do his bidding. Noh-Varr is snapped out of the warden's drugging thanks to the combined efforts of the Young Avengers and the Runaways. Noh-Varr then takes control of the Cube, acting as the warden while planning his next move.
When the Skrull's invade Earth during the Secret Invasion, Noh-Varr leaves the Cube and joins with Earth's heroes in order to help kill his people's ancient enemies, the Skrulls(for those of you who don't know, the Kree's and the Skrull's have been at war for centuries).
If I was doing a character profile on Noh-Varr, I'd say he trusts no terrains(earthlings), is very volatile and has a tendency to be somewhat aloof, since he considers himself to be a far more evolved lifeform than the people of Earth. Besides all of this, he still carries some simmering anger at the people of Earth for the death of his crewmates when he first became stranded in this dimension, on our planet. Like I said, Noh-Varr is from the future, and as a result has access to highly advanced Kree weaponry. Besides his arsenal of advanced Kree weaponry, Noh-Varr also has enhanced strength, speed, durability, agility, is triple-jointed, can walk on walls, has saliva that can cause hallucinations, can control the length and strength of his hair and nails, is a skilled fighter, and can enter a state known as a "white run", where his brain shuts down all outside stimuli, except for whatever mission he is attempting to accomplish. Whew...
Obviously, I am quite fond of Noh-Varr, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Brian won't destroy this character, as he has done to so many others. But with that said, so far so good. Although I'm a little dubious that Noh-Varr would be willing to join a group of terrains, I'm still giving Brian the benefit of a doubt. Needless to say, I'd recommend picking up and reading the "Marvel Boy" miniseries written by Grant Morrison a few years back. All six issues of this series are collected in a tpb as well, so if you can find it at a reasonable price, I'd definitely say give it a try. That series was Grant Morrison at his insane best.
As for this issue, I'll give it a very hopeful score of 7 1/2 out of 10. I'm still optimistic here Brian, keep up the good work! As long as Brian can keep from f###ing up Noh-Varr too much, I think I might really enjoy this series.