After defeating the Skrull invasion (see Secret Invasion), Norman Osborn seizes power and replaces Tony Stark as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Osborn eventually closes S.H.I.E.L.D. and creates a new agency called H.A.M.M.E.R. Behind the scenes he formed a new allegiance with Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, Hood, Loki and Namor. Calling it the Cabal, Osborn offers this Cabal solidarity, and the resources to accomplish their own agendas (mirroring those of the Illuminati). In return Osborn asks for their public support/registration, as well as cooperation fulfilling any request he may have of them.
Meanwhile, the New Avengers ( Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Ronin, Wolverine) reunite having lost Echo and Doctor Strange, but have gained the original Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Mockingbird and the current Captain America. Iron Fist decides to quit, but then Luke Cage and Jessica Jones tell the team that they need to find his baby, so Iron Fist decides to stay. With the aid of the Fantastic Four, the team begins tracking down anyone who might have a lead on the Skrull-Edwin Jarvis. They finally find a Skrull posed as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in a bar and interrogate her. Before she can reveal the location of the baby, a drunk S.H.I.E.L.D. agent shoots and kills her. Later on, it is revealed that Luke has gone to Norman Osborn for help, and agrees to sign on with him in return for help in finding his baby. Norman Osborn manages to locate the Skrull-Jarvis and has Bullseye kill it. Luke Cage goes back on his deal with Norman Osborn and gives his child to Jessica Jones. The New Avengers later watch on television about Norman Osborn unveiling his Dark Avengers. Ronin refuses to stand for it and says that the true Avengers are going to get back at them for this.
Tony Stark is now seen as a coward and is hated by the public. His Extremis powers begin to fade and he becomes weaker. His company is handed over to Osborn, as well as his suits of armor. However, in order to protect his fellow superheroes from Osborn, he infects the Superhuman Registration Act database with a computer virus while keeping the only copy within his brain.
The heroes and civilians that had been replaced by Skrulls (namely Dum Dum Dugan, Edwin Jarvis, Frog-Man, Mockingbird, Razorback, She-Thing, and Thor Girl) alongside Alicia Masters meet with Doc Samson at Camp Hammond as part of a support group. While noting the hostilities of Red Nine, Annex, Geiger, Batwing, and Prodigy II over the supposed death of Crusader, Delroy Garrett states that he is leaving the Initiative and joining up with Ryder to hunt down any Skrulls still hiding out on Earth.
Norman Osborn's next order of business is setting up his new team of Avengers. Bullseye without question became Hawkeye, Ares and Sentry went along with Osborn and when Ms. Marvel was asked to join she refused. Moonstone then became the new Ms. Marvel, Wolverine's son Daken took his fathers role, Venom was given some kind of medicine to have him look normal insted of a hulkish monster and Noh-Varr took the role of Captain Marvel instead of Marvel Boy. Finally Osborn needed somekind of symbol to replace Captain America and Iron Man all together making himself the alter ego of the Iron Patriot. Osborn with the help of Ghost hacked into Iron Man's vault to gain acces to all of the Iron Man armors and create himself the Iron Patriot armor. During all this Osborn was being watched and Doctor Doom was confronted in Latveria by a mysterious woman using magic, who later was revealed to be Morgan Le Fay.
Seeking vengence on Dr. Doom, Morgan le Fay attacks Dr. Doom on the rubble of his kingdom. Doom then calls the dark avengers. Osborn realized he needs to protect his ally, Osborn goes with his newly formed Dark avengers on their first mission, saving Doom. During the battle, Sentry rips off Morgan Le Fay's head. Thinking they've won, the dark avengers are about to leave when she returns with more mosters. Doom tells Osborn the only way to stop her is to go back to the past where she is. With the help of Doom, Osborn goes back in time to stop Morgan le Fay in her time period.
Having stopped Morgan Le Fay, they head off home when suddenly a bright light appears. The Sentry has returned. But he was corrupted by his dark half, the Void. Osborn convinces him to stop. He then understands and heads to see his wife.
When some of the graduates at Camp Hammond are assigned to different teams, Baron Von Blitzschlag encounters Ragnarok, the cyborg Thor-clone, which is reactivated by a failsafe programmed by Criti Noll (which requires his access code to keep him contained). The Thor clone kills the Baron within a couple of minutes and is then attacked by Thor Girl, whom he defeats after a long and heavy fight above Camp Hammond. Trauma then poses as the real Thor to catch him off guard, which fails. Reserve member Gorilla Girl then takes on the clone. Just as she is about to lose, Counter Force (of the former New Warriors) appear to fight.
Due to War Machine's recent injuries, Bethany Cabe is currently working with him and appears to have developed a clone body, called "James Rhodes 2.0", for him to take over. However, the clone body is discovered by Norman Osborn.
Following the Skrull defeat and the rise of Norman Osborn to power, the Agents of Atlas decide to oppose Osborn's agenda by taking on the role of "supervillains". Their first act is to attack Fort Knox and steal from the gold reserve, which Osborn planned on using to finance a secret weapons system.
After fighting off Tiger Shark (who alongside Bob, Agent of HYDRA was hired by Norman Osborn to kill him and retrieve his head), Deadpool and Bob discuss the current events Deadpool missed while being hunted by Tiger Shark. When Deadpool hears that Norman was the one who killed the Skrull Queen, he puts two and two together about who stole the data Deadpool got from the Skrulls during the Invasion. Knowing it was supposed to be Nick Fury who got the information to kill the Skrull Queen, Deadpool sends a letter to Norman asking for 100 million dollars in hush money to keep Deadpool from ruining Osborn's heroic outlook. When Deadpool comes to Stark Tower to collect his pay, he is attacked by the Thunderbolts. However with the help of Taskmaster, he is able to fight off the Thunderbolts. Unfortunately he walks away empty-handed. When Norman goes on television for an interview he is interupted by footage of Deadpool who makes fun of Norman behind the scenes. Norman is getting sick of Deadpool so he sends Bullseye off on a mission to kill him, however Deadpool wins the fight between the two and Bullseye reveals that Norman has agreed to pay Deadpool off in order to keep him quiet. Deadpool accepts and is paid (However the money actually came from Bullseye's own savings) , which leads to him becoming so bored that he shoots himself in the head.
After Loki resurrects Bor, the father of Odin and sets him loose on New York City, Thor flies to intervene and tries to reason with Bor. This fails and the two mark up in battle, which Thor barely survives. He lets out a call for the Avengers, but the Dark Avengers arrive and attack both gods. After a long fight, Thor decides to end it permanently and the two gods attack each other in a last attack. Thor rises up victorious, but Loki and Balder appear and tell Thor that he was fighting Odin's father and that the punishment for killing him is permanent banishment from Asgard for all of eternity. After Thor leaves, Loki is seen convincing the disgruntled Asgardians to move their home to Latveria.
After realizing who the Dark Avengers really are, they send Spider-Woman to trick Osborn into leading his team into a trap, at the abandoned Hellfire Club Mansion, where they can de-power and fight them more fairly. However, Osborn realizes their plot and sends the Hood and his criminals to eliminate them. They manage to barely escape by Spider-Woman focusing her power through Ms. Marvel. After this, Ronin goes on live television, addressing the country that they seem to have forgotten that Osborn was a murderer, and that he was in league with the Hood and he and his "New Avengers" cannot be trusted.
Vision and Stature are on the ruins of the Avengers statue memory lane. There a new statue appeared showing the death of Wasp. Suprisingly they see statues of the Young Avengers there too they notice that they have been cover in somekind of goo making super heroes into statues. They flee from this and see the unexpected, the woman who Vision loves and who killed Cassie Langs father, the Scarlet Witch, but before any of the three can say anything Wanda teleports them out of trouble.
She then scours the globe and recolects U.S. Agent out of battle, and Hulk out of being frozen. Iron Man had some trouble at Stark Enterprises and Jarvis and Hercules met up surprised that a whole state was gone. They went to Hank Pym for help to lead the new team of Avengers but he denied because he was afraid to lead the team. Scarlet Witch went to him and told him that he was needed for the team to be complete and that all he had to do was summon his team that she had arranged for him.
Later by the words AVENGERS ASSEMBLE spoken by Hank Pym, now Wasp, and the help of the Scarlet Witch's powers the new Mighty Avengers are summoned: Vison, Stature, Hulk, Hercules, Jarvis, Scarlet Witch, Jocasta and U.S. Agent. .
Elswhere, Norman Osborn is trying to create a great team dynamic. That resemble the classic Avengers. So, he convinces Ares God of War alternate version of Thor and the Sentry. Carol Danvers then arrives in Avengers Tower. Only to see Norman Osbon pouring a drink. He invites her to lead the new team of Avengers, but she denies. Because, he is a psychopath. Norman states that if she does not join, she will be held under arrest. For becoming an "outlaw". Ares and Sentry appear. She begins to have an upsetting notion. How could they help him? Ares said that Carol was putting her ego ahead of what is right. Sentry tells Carol that Norman is helping him. Carol begins to cry, and flies out the window. In which she becomes a full member to the New Avengers. Norman says "She'll be back. Until then there are a lot of Ms. Marvels out there."
The group comes into conflicts with them almost hating each other, and to add to their tension, when Osborn made up his X-Men team, and Daken was placed on there as Wolverine. This new X-men team is composed of Mystique posing as Professor Xavier, Weapon Omega, Mimic, Dark Beast, Namor, Cloak, Dagger and leading them is Emma Frost. All this in the events of Utopia
Osborn's Cabal then is shortened from 6 members to 4. Emma Frost led a betrayal on Osborn against the Dark X-Men, with Namor assisting her. Now the Dark Avengers team is only composed of Weapon Omega, Mimic, Dark Beast and Mystique leading them posing as Jean Grey.
These events take Osborn to the next level. He makes a list of people he needs to kill.
The Kill List:
- Avengers: Clint Barton has publicly tried to out Osborn as a villain on the news. Now Osborn needs to take him out of the picture.
- Daredevil: Now the leader of the Hand Daredevil is a threat to Osborn's reign.
- X-Men: Namor has betrayed Osborn's trust so his payback is to kill his race. Using something that hurts Namor the most, his thought to be dead wife.
- Hulk: The hulks have always been a problem but no one more than Bruce Banner's son: Skaar.
- Secret Warriors: Nick Fury has always been in the way of Osborn so its time to take him and his secret ops team out.
- Punisher: Franken-Castle is a guy now in pieces. Osborn has something to do with it since he's been trying to kill him ever since his reign started.
- Wolverine: He gets in the way of Osborn, enough Said.
- Spider-Man: Osborn saves the best for last: Kill Spider-Man
Thunderbolts:Waiting outside Air Force One, Norman Osborn patiently waits for the
President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Standing beside Norman is none other than Victoria Hand, the deputy director of H.A.M.M.E.R. Soon Barack Obama arrives, and all three of them enter the plane. The president becomes concerned about Osborn being the director of H.A.M.M.E.R. Inside their meeting room, is Doctor Leonard Samson, with footage of the Green Goblin Massacre. Yet, Norman Osborn is not worried whatsoever. The new Thunderbolts have a mission. Their mission is to take down Dr. Samson on Air Force One! In the blink of an eye the brand new Green Goblin blows off a piece of the plane. Laughing insanely ready to hurt the new president. While shock is inserted in everyone's consciousness, the Ghost plants a gamma eradicator to drive Samson insane. Furthermore, in the p cockpit of the plane, Yelena Belova a.k.a Black Widow II knocks out the pilot's ,and takes control of the plane. She unzips her jacket, between her breasts (chest) is Eric O'Grady a.k.a Ant-Man. Though she is angered due to where he was hiding.
There was a mission and no time for complaints. Norman Osborn sends word to his Thunderbolts to take out Songbird. The group is led their Black Widow, Yelena Belova, who has secretly been working for Nick Fury, and then the truth is revealed. The Black Widow on the Thunderbolts, has all along been, NATASHA ROMANOVA! The original Black Widow. Recent events in the thunderbolts have caused both Luke Cage and Iron Man to be Osborn's personal assassins.
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