Dark Reign & G.I. Joe: Comic News Worth Noting

We don’t often talk about the news here at iFanboy because, let’s face it, comic book news is usually pretty boring. But, two things of interest have popped up in the last few days that are worth taking a look at.


The Diamond Comics Retailer Summit is happening now in Las Vegas, NV and Marvel’s presentation had some interesting announcements. Many have said that Marvel and DC are in a state of perpetual event-ness, and for the last few years that has been pretty much the case because events lead to a lot of sales. Whether or not there is an event set to follow Final Crisis remains to be seen, but we now know that as surely as Secret Invasion followed Civil War, so does “Dark Reign” follow Secret Invasion. I can hear half of you groaning already. I suppose it was inevitable. Like the tides. So what does all this mean exactly? Well, the title would seem to suggest to me that the Skrulls are going to be successful in conquering Earth, which could be really interesting, if it actually shows up in books outside of the Avengers books. 

And speaking of Avengers books, one of the most openest secrets in all of comics has been confirmed The Mighty Avengers shall end with #20, to be replaced by Dark Avengers #1. To say that since that first Frank Cho delay, The Mighty Avengers, as a title, has been a disappointment would be like saying that the summers on the planet Mercury are kind of warm. UPDATE: The Mighty Avengers is not canceled with issue #20, Brian Michael Bendis is just leaving the book.

Back to “Dark Reign.” Bendis has hinted for a while that Secret Invasion was not going to end like everyone assumes it will. Could that mean that the new status quo in the Marvel Universe will involve the iron will of the Skrull Empire? It’s definitely possible. And if that ends up being the case, it could lead to some very interesting stories. We’ll know more in a few months.

Also of note at the summit is word that Powers has been sold as a TV series, with details soon to follow. Depending on who has bought it, this could be really interesting. Powers is something that would be really great for HBO or Showtime, but then that’s what people always say whenever they talk about a series being adapted. Of course, none of this matters until the cameras actually roll. Just ask Garth Ennis and Mark Steven Johnson.


G.I. Joe is like an ex that comes a-calling every few years. You know you shouldn’t go back there, but it’s hard to say no because, who knows, this time the magic might be recaptured.

G.I. Joe was one of the most important comic books of the last 30 years. Ask comic book readers my age and there’s a pretty good chance that they came into comics through the combination of the G.I. Joe comics, cartoon and toys. So in 2001 when Devil’s Due brought the series back and set it in the old continuity of the Marvel books I was ecstatic… for about six months. Then the thrill of spending time with my old favorites wore off and I realized that the depth of story-telling and characterization just wasn’t there in the new books. By the time that they brought back original writer Larry Hama to take over the books, I was long gone.

So why am I suddenly excited again for G.I. Joe? IDW recently acquired the rights to G.I. Joe and have just announced three new books in 2009 (two on-going, one mini) headlined by writers Chuck Dixon, Christos Gage and Larry Hama. I’m a big fan of Dixon’s (even if his recent DC stuff was somewhat underwhelming) and G.I. Joe seems like a perfect fit for him. Hama is, of course, the de facto creator of all things G.I Joe and I will always follow him back into the breach. Gage is the more unknown quantity. I have only read a few things that he has written and I haven’t made up my mind on whether or not I like his work yet. The most interesting part of this announcement is that these books are not set in the old G.I. Joe continuity, but in a new, contemporary setting. It’s a G.I. Joe reboot! This is probably the best thing for them to do at this point – start from scratch with the old characters reimagined for the new world.

Clearly this is all tied to what IDW hopes will be lots of interest in G.I. Joe when the movie hits in 2009. If that leads to some good stories from some talented writers, then that’s a-okay with me. And if this all sounds as interesting to you as it does to me, there is going to be a $1.00 24-page preview issue, G.I Joe #0, hitting the stands in October.


It’s not often that I find the comic news headlines interesting enough to actually click through to the story or to read through the entire press release in my in-box but these two did the trick.



  1. So… if we’re planning on (potentially) spoiling the ending to "Secret Invasion", could we at least put a heads-up warning somewhere so those of us who care about such things can stop reading?  Even if we do not stop reading, at least you can say that we were warned.

  2. If Marvel has the Skrulls win that would be gutsy.  But I have heard all this status quo changing stuff before (Spider-Man unmasking) only to be retconned out (Brand New Day)not long afterwards.  So we’ll see, but if that is the direction they’re taking, I’m definitely interested.

  3. @Race  ‘Upcoming announcements’ implies possible spoilers, doesn’t it?

    Re: the article — I don’t particularly like the announcement of the ‘dark’ stuff — it screams of forcing the subtext down our throats (look!  we’re edgy!  just like the Dark Knight!).  But I also try not to judge too much until I’ve seen the story.

    I don’t know much about ‘GI Joe’ (though I did watch the cartoon as a kid) — I do like Gage’s Marvel work, for the most part, though its real strength is how well he knows the Marvel universe.  If he’s as much of junkie for GI Joe history as he is for Iron Man’s, he could be a good addition.  

  4. Sad to see the DDP run of GI Joe come to an end as I think they finally found their legs with the WWIII story arc that concluded the series (pick it up in trade!!!) however I am excited for the new IDW series. The Templesmith cover for #0 look AWESOME. My only worry is that they are going to flood the market like they have done with Transformers as well as the 4 dollar cover price. Looks like my wallet will be getting a little bit lighter once again but none the less still looking forward to this (and the Ghostbusters series IDW is going to be doing as well). Fingers crossed.

  5. while the thought of a new status quo in marvel is certainly exciting, so was the civil war status quo…and that lasted all of several months. i’m sure the dark reign world will be awesome until the next crossover totally invalidates all its hype.

  6. @ohcaroline – Not particularly.  It could mean they’ve signed creators to an exclusive contract, or landed a big property.  There’s a spoiler warning in front of every podcast and all over the forums, even for potential spoilers.  I don’t usually care about this sort of thing, but this is a story I’ve been following closer than anything else for over a year.  I didn’t buy the most recent "Wizard" because I didn’t want to read Bendis’ analysis of SI before SI was over.  I was annoyed enough about the "Wizard" cover.  I suppose you can’t really avoid spoilers, but I would appreciate it if people would at least try.  Nobody wants the end of "Final Crisis" spoiled, either.

  7. I’m guessing "Dark Avengers" will be coming out of the Evil illuminati and Hood stuff going on so it will be the Hood’s crew in that.

    I was briefly thinking that I’d want the Hood and his crew to somehow be running the Marvel U at the end of it but then I thought that would sound even MORE like Final Crisis than it already sounds like it’s going to be.

    To say I’m tired of events is an understatement, I’m excited about the fairly self contained (I believe) new cosmic crossover dealing with Vulcan & Shi’Ar, the Inhumans and the cosmic books, but having another universe spanning one with little to no downtime is frustrating.

  8. The bad guys winning secret invasion! isn’t that what DC are doing this year!

  9. @Race  I don’t see an actual spoiler here, beyond the name of an upcoming event and speculation about what it might mean.

  10. I have kind of liked Mighty Avengers but it’s not been very big on the characters as much as th events in this incarnation.  It’s basically all about Tony and Ms. Marvel’s realtionship with everyone else as plot points.   And there’s the Sentry just hanging out for issues on end only to crying or save the day in one panel, that’s a minus. 

  11. Conor didn’t mention it, but also in that news post was an announcement for the new Marvel: Noir line!!!

  12. @ohcaroline

    It’s speculation, not spoilers. The Newsarama article didn’t mention any specifics, so that’s just Conor’s (albeit probably correct) theory. I mean, I don’t think anyone knows the real ending of SI besides Bendis & Crew. 

    and @Conor

    There was a correction on the article, MA isnt ending at 20, it’s just that Bendis is leaving it. (although this is probably a death knell anyway)

  13. I finished Mighty Avengers #1 very excited to see where it was going. The groundwork laid there never got to pay off; events and artists kept getting in the way. We never got to see the team gel; we got thought balloons, but we never got to see the inner lives of any of the characters. What a disappointment.

  14. Wait wait! The story has been updated. Mighty Avengers isn’t ending, just Bendis’ involvement with it.

    I don’t think that changes my disappointment in the unreached potential. I can’t think of a writer who’d make me want to read it in its current state.

  15. @Jimski- I’d like to see Dan Slott take a crack at it.

  16. I’m not surprised Bendis is leaving Mighty Avengers, out of all the books he writes (hell even my distain for Powers is included) it’s the weakest of anything he has going. Plus there really is no reason to have this team, honestly! Especially if SI could end with the Skrulls winning or maybe the Iron-Man wont be so damn anal about the Registration Act.

    Speaking of the Skrulls winning, I agree it’s very gutsy if that could be the end result of the invasion. But how long could a company keep that status quo in comics? I can see people, or just myself, annoyed that the Avengers are underground or have to live with Skrulls right next to them. It would be New Avengers all over again but take the Registration Act out and put aliens in instead. Plus Dark Avengers sounds completely stupid….at least the title anyways. I cant judge the plot of the book since they didnt say the plot of it yet. Maybe it’s a new series with The Hood? Cause if The Hood is a factor in SI then he should get a series of his own.

    Oh and you didnt mention it Conor but is anyone else not excited about Marvels Noir? I mean the teaser images look cool, but it seems like it’s another progression of the Marvel Zombies…..First it’s zombies, then it’s Apes, now it’s Frank Miller like worlds? Geez have they already run out of ideas already?

  17. Any word on who will be taking over Mighty Avengers after Bendis leaves?

  18. A thought just popped into my head… could it be that they’re going to combine the Vulcan vs Black Bolt stuff?  Maybe the SI will end with the Vulcan and Shi’Ar coming down and killing all the skrulls and Vulcan declaring himself emperor of Earth.

    I just think that with all the Embrace Change viral stuff that they’d make a Skrull run earth status-quo called just that, Embrace Change.

  19. @Kory – I heard Stan Lee will be taking a crack at it.

    (Totally kidding.) 

  20. Dark Avengers….idk…sounds kinda iffy and Dark Reign sounds like some kinda vampire sex novel…im kinda iffy about this entire thing to be completely honest

  21. I’m having fun spitballing 🙂

    Maybe the Evil Illuminati will turn out to have orchestrated the Skrull invasion, knowing the heroes will inevitably beat the Skrulls they will have planned for the Skrulls pulling some "Scorched Earth" thing when they lose.  

    Thus leaving the Evil Illuminati in charge of the planet and the heroes scrambling to fix things.  (Sort of End League’ish).  This is WAY too Final Crisisesque though…

  22. It’s important to keep in mind that we know like 2 words here.  It’s not really enough to judge the content.  We know the words "Dark Reign."  That’s it.  Conor was just throwing an educated guess out there.  Let’s not nerdpile before we have any information.

    Just some perspective. 

  23. Isn’t ‘Dark Avenger’ the joke-superhero name that was given to a serial killer on ‘Dexter’?  I wonder if Bendis/ Marvel was aware of that. 

  24. I may be splitting hairs here, but I don’t think that "Dark Reign" is another ‘event’ but more of a fallout branding, in the same spirit as Decimation after House of M, Initiative after Civil War and Aftersmash after World War Hulk. 

    Also, just a guess, but I don’t think Dark Reign is about the Skrulls winning. On the Bendis Tapes of Wordballooon, Bendis said that Quesada isn’t a fan of aliens and didn’t care all that much about the story of Secret Invasion, but what it lead to in the status quo of the Marvel U.

     Again, just a guess.  

  25. i have to admit that the words "Dark Reign" and "Dark Avengers" do not really appeal to me. That said, the idea of a Dark Reign as fallout branding is appealing. I like it when events just don’t end with everything being reverted to normal.

    Dark Avengers, on the other hand, just seems awkward to me. It reminds me of when Morrison talked about the classic X-men, whose identities/powers were contained in their names (Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm) vs. the newer crop of characters (Gambit, Bishop, Cable), whose names didn’t mean anything at all.

    Why are they dark? Do they wear black? Are they emo? What are they avenging? sunlight?

    All that said — I just listen to Bendis on Word Balloon and I rest a bit easier. The dude talks in such detail about craft, process, planning, etc., that I just don’t really worry about it. I can’t say the execution is going to appeal to me until I read it, but I can believe that Bendis is serious about his writing and has a reason behind everything.

  26. There’s also some new news about Marvel Noir up on Comicbookresources.com. Gotta say, that book sounds really appealing. Van Lente and Calero doing a 30’s era crime book using the X characters. Magnus is a cop who leads a "Brotherhood" of corrupt cops. The X-men are from a "School for Wayward Youth." Sounds fantastic!

  27. Newsarama Note: We originally announced that Mighty Avengers would end with issue #20 – that is incorrect. Brian Bendis will beleaving the series with issue #20. Newsarama regrets the error, and apologizes for any confusion. 

  28. @ohcaroline- I think it was the "Bay Harbor Butcher.’

  29. I remember G.I. Joe very fondly from when I was a kid (even though we got it as ‘Action Force’). In fact, it may be the first title I ever bought as a nipper (either that, Transformers, or Batman… memory’s hazy).

    I can pretty much imagine the movie will be an absolute shambles though. I’m willing to bet it’ll follow the unofficial blueprint of a Stephen Sommers Movie: Take an interesting cast, throw in some good-looking visuals peppered with a dash of awful CG, then simmer in a bowl of inept direction and writing. Oh, and sprinkle some terrible one-liners on top for good measure. Then package with a Happy Meal toy and serve to the public.

  30. @Kimbo- That’s true but in the second season when Dexter is pretty much trying to stop himself from being found out there is an episode in which a comic book is made about the Bay Harbour Butcher called the "Dark Avenger". I don’t think Bendis really has to worry about that though, it was kinda throwaway.

     I like the idea of the Skrulls actually winning Secret Invasion, and if you think about it, it kinda explains the slow progression of the story, as really, there’d be no real conclusion to the story, no final part to the story where all the heroes to band together and win. Doesn’t really allow the story to stand on it’s own though. Although everything I’m saying here is majorly jumping the gun on the basis of a title.

    (I, by the way, have no idea how to reply to a post)

  31. @SilentRob  Yeah, that’s the ‘Dexter’ reference I meant.  It’s not like it’s a huge pop culture thing that’s going to taint the event, I just wondered if it was a coincidence.

  32. Promised myself I’d cut back after event season ended. Could be a problem? But I admit, after seeing the cover for SI #6 I’m stoked on Dark Reign. Sure, DC wrote the first story ever in which evil came out as victor, but, regardless of its lack of originality, this series will finally redeem Marvel’s greatest figures for the first time since the implement of the Superhuman Registration Act.

    The cover says it all: Seeing Cap/Bucky, Thor and Tony together again means the big boys are laced up and ready to go. And, as much as Cap readers are going to bitch and moan about Bucky getting involved, this will solidify him as the new Cap. Why he may even be called upon to lead the Avengers at some point during Dark Reign? 

     Hellz Yeah!   

  33. Everyone interested should listen to the Bendis Tapes with Jon Suintress at WordBalloon.  He talks about the Powers TV project and SI stuff.  It good listening.

  34. Whatever Marvel’s got going, I’m excited for it and I’m gonna buy it, especially if it comes from Bendis’ brain.

    As for GI Joe, I only ever watched the cartoon (which I did enjoy as a kid), so I haven’t cared about the DDP run nor do I care about the new IDW series. I am unlikely to go see the movie in theatres or anywhere else (hell, I still haven’t seen Transformers). If I did care about GI Joe, the triumveriate of Hama, Gage, and Dixon would probably be enough to sell me on the new series.

  35. If Skrulls move to earth permanently, will that mean that ‘heroes’ won’t be able to keep killing them at will? 

  36. Re: GI Joe being acquired by IDW.

     Does that mean all my IDW alternate covers are now worthless???!  *swoons*

  37. I think however Secret Invasion finishes will weigh a lot towards whether I will even try the next event.

    I haven’t had much exposure to GI JOE comics outside of the recent DDP run which I really liked so I’m going to hold off and see what they bring to the table.

  38. The Dark Avengers ongoing sounds awesome.

  39. Let’s assume the Skrulls succeed by their Invasion, what does that mean for the X-Books and Spiderman for example? This books just had a new beginning now they going to be forced to fight the whole next year Skrulls?

    Lets wait and hope that it doesn’t turn out like this…