By: Jeff Parker (Writer), Neil Edwards (Artist), Sotocolor (Colorist)

The Story: The Dark Avengers discover the secret of this bizarre future and manages to save themselves and the world from what would destroy it.

The Review: Jeff Parker is capable of many things. He is a talented writer that seems to have a gift for characterization and development. Give him a character that is in sore need of definition and love and he’ll make wonders. He did this with the Red Hulk, the multiple villains from Thunderbolts, the golden age characters from Agent of Atlas among other characters. He can create depth and new angle to old tired character which makes him very enjoyable to read or pick new characters that seems to be set in a boring direction and set them up for much more enjoyable adventures.

Believe it or not, while he seemed to have trouble sometimes in this current arc in this strange new world of his, he succeeds in giving us a potable story thanks to a satisfying conclusion. In short, what he gives us is an explanation that is genuinely new and interesting on just how this world came to be and how twisted the reasons for its existence. When the whole reasoning is given, it does manage to bring out some theory and makes the whole story stronger for it.

What also makes this a bit stronger is the fact that the titular Dark Avengers are actually acting up as a team in a proactive way, solving the problem and being the catalyst for the conclusion and the final act of this world and the title in general. No longer being reactive or being on the short end of the stick when it comes to seeing the world, the team gives us some very good action scenes with a lot of the key cast. Ragnarok, Skaar, Trickshot and other does get to be important in some ways, which does make them more interesting. Sure, they are not completely developed and have not been given the full Jeff Parker magic, yet it’s much better than nothing considering these characters had close to no chance on being spotlighted in another story to begin with.

What was also the final spotlight, for good reasons, was the whole chaotic world built up by Parker. Here, many of the smaller pieces that were shown to us here and there are developed and used in ways that feel very satisfying for those who have followed the story from the very beginning. Whether it’s Janet Van Dyne’s vengeance, the fate of the Thing and Tony Stark among other things, a lot of these things do get a conclusion that feels satisfying. The world is collapsed, yet all the pieces are done with when the story closes. It’s not all books that can properly do such a thing, yet Dark Avengers did.

Still, as much as this title did a lot of things right in its final issue, there were some weaknesses here and there. Not all of the characters from the main team gets the bright spot, being mainly there to gives us a funny line, exposition or to precipitate things quickly. U.S.Agent, Al Apaiec and Toxie Doxie are pretty much guilty of this in some ways, which does sadden me a bit as I am quite a fan of John Walker. There is also the ending, which is strangely optimistic, yet pessimistic in some ways. It’s a strange ending that does leave things open-ended, yet I really am not sure if it’s something enjoyable or just weird. The fact that it’s ambiguous does leave a rather negative impression.

If there’s something that is not ambiguous at all, it would be Neil Edwards art. While there were some rough spots here and there in this arc and his tenure on the title, this issue has close to none of the weaknesses he sometimes had. Here, he is expressive and explosive in his arc, letting the action speak for itself in volumes, allowing the big boastful moves to get enough spaces to be properly impressive. He still rocks the technological aspects with Tony Stark and his huge armor, yet he is also pretty good at drawing monsters. Let’s just say that his version of Ben Grimm is still one of the best alternate versions I have seen so far.

The colors by Sotocolor also follow suit the same approach of Neil Edwards. Big energy blasts, hued and crackling energy filling a lot of the panels to enhance the whole action and big conflict going on in the book. It’s pretty great stuff and I do hope he’ll get to collaborate with Edwards once more.

The Conclusion: While it cannot be proclaimed as the perfect finale to a title ever being conceived, Jeff Parker does elevate a lot of the strength of the title with an emphasis on action and several conclusions in big ways as he closes the title and the world he has created.

Grade: B-

Hugo Robberts Larivière

-With this title concluding and his other one at Marvel soon following, I am curious to see what Jeff Parker will do next. Which characters do you think Jeff Parker could best reinvigorate and in which company?