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Off My Mind: Can the Dark Avengers be Turned into Heroes?

They were gathered by a madman and now are under the control of the Avengers.

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The idea of the Dark Avengers came from the twisted mind of Norman Osborn. In his scheme to rule the world, he managed to win the favor of the American public by being the one that pulled the trigger on the Skrull Queen during their Secret Invasion. He managed to rise in position and came up with the plan to form his own team of Avengers.

In forming his Avengers, he chose deadly and psychotic villains to mirror the heroes of the actual Avengers. They posed in public as a group of heroes but would perform whatever dark deeds Osborn wished. Or at least they did when they actually followed his orders and weren't off killing or maiming on their own.

After Osborn's defeat, incarceration and escape, he decided to repeat what he had done before, even if the plan didn't work the first time. Gathering new allies, Osborn created yet another team of Dark Avengers. This time, he chose the villains a little more carefully. Or so he thought. With Osborn's defeat once again, the Dark Avengers will soon be under the control of Luke Cage as the Thunderbolts appear to be trapped in the past. Is it possible for this team of Dark Avengers to actually become heroes?

== TEASER ==

The idea of the Dark Avengers is identical to what Baron Zemo planned with the Thunderbolts. A group of villains wore new costumes and pretended to be heroes. With the original Thunderbolts, they slowly warmed up to the idea of actually being heroes. They were on their way to redeeming their past sins and when Hawkeye took over leadership, he helped guide them along.

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Today the Thunderbolts are based in Thunderbolts Mountain, which also serves as a prison for evil superhumans. Those that pass physical and psychological tests are sometimes sent on dangerous missions under Luke Cage's leadership. If a situation is going to be deadly, the idea is the team sent to deal with it would be disposable if necessary. Any members that died during a mission would just be collateral damage. Despite this notion, taking a group of deadly killers, even if they are under a tight leash, could be disastrous.

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There's the notion that everyone deserves a second chance. Should that apply to cold-hearted and deadly killers? From the recent story arc in the pages of AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS, we saw that Skaar was actually a mole for the heroes. He may have anger issues with this father, Hulk, but he's not really an evil person. It's almost a shame that he has to be lumped with the other "Dark" Avengers but then again, he could be helpful to Luke Cage in helping to keep them in line.

What about the others?


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Ragnarok will be another member of the team. He may just be a programmed cyborg with advanced technology and Asgardian DNA mixed together but there's the possibility that he could have his operating system reworked and rebooted to prevent any deadly accidents from happening (as with Bill Foster). He was left in pretty bad shape against the Avengers and would need some retooling before seeing any action. It would be a little creepy fighting alongside a cold killing machine but with all the brilliant minds in the Marvel Universe, you would think it'd be possible to come up with a program that would prevent it from killing. It'd be interesting to see if Thor minds Ragnorok being active.


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Maybe some of the good Barton DNA is in Barney. Maybe he's just angry his name is Barney Barton. If Hawkeye can be one of the most heroic Avengers, perhaps there's hope for his brother. He had his reasons for being angry. He could have tried to get over them rather than go along with Osborn's plan. Regardless, he could be controlled to some extent in the field. If the Dark Avengers will continue the process used in the Thunderbolts, with nannites in their bodies, that could prevent him from doing anything "bad." He's gone down a dark road but he isn't too far gone. There is still a decent chance at redemption for Barney.

Dark Scarlet Witch

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June Covington is a killer, plain and simple. She was locked up in the secret prison that Osborn was sent to. That means, it was felt she was so dangerous, she was locked up and erased from the records. It was felt she had no place in society and there was no way she could be rehabilitated. Yet, now she will continue to be part of the Dark Avengers. Besides being a former killer and having a neurotoxin in her blood that can kill a person in ten seconds, she was also Osborn's girlfriend. She obviously won't be happy that Osborn has been defeated and she is now forced to work for his enemies. She could be the biggest loose cannon they have on the team.

Dark Spider-Man

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The Decapitator is another deadly killer from the same super secret prison for crazy killers that Covington and Osborn were at. With a name like Decapitator, you can't imagine he'll play nicely with others or should even be allowed out in public. He's supposed to be a chimera god and was willing to take a pill that gave him extra arms (for a total of six). He's a close contender next to Covington as being the worst choice for a team member.

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It's hard to decide who's more insane, the members of the Dark Avengers, the government for thinking they can use them as a team or Luke Cage for accepting the job of trying to lead this team. The idea of having a team where the members are dispensable is fitting for the darker objectives of the government. You can only imagine what horrible situations there are to deal with in the Marvel Universe. If there is a team that can be sent out to try to deal with it, with no concern over loss of life, it could help to clean things up.

We have seen many past members of the Thunderbolts begin to embrace the idea of actually being a hero but that doesn't seem possible with this lot. The members of the Thunderbolts were mainly criminals or super villains. They weren't necessarily insane and deadly killers. This team of Dark Avengers brings things to a whole new level. If it's even possible to control them for whatever purpose is needed, it's only going to be a matter of time until things explode. This is just a bad idea that's getting worse. Luke Cage, even with Skaar's help, is going to have his hands full. Trying to keep a leash on so many crazed killers could take away the focus he needs out on missions. I just have a bad feeling about this.