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Official Site: Marvel
Dark Avengers was an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. It is part of a series of titles that have featured various iterations of the superhero team the Avengers. Unusually, the series stars a version of the team that, unknown to the public in its fictional universe, contains several members who are supervillains disguised as established superheroes.
The series debuted with issue #1, dated January 2009, as part of a multi-series story arc entitled "Dark Reign". In the premiere, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato (working from a continuity begun in a previous, company-wide story arc, "Secret Invasion", involving an infiltration of Earth by the shape-shifting alien Skrull and that race's eventual defeat) chronicled the aftermath of the U.S. government's disbanding of the federally sanctioned superhero team, the Avengers. Bendis described the thinking behind the team: "These are bad-ass, hardcore get-it-done types. They'll close the door and take care of business and he's dressing them up to make them something that the people want". This is in contrast to the changes Osborn is shown making to the Thunderbolts, where, according to writer Andy Diggle, he turns that team into "something much more covert and much more lethal: his own personal hit squad".
The series was cancelled with Dark Avengers #16, at the culmination of the Siege storyline.
The government assigned the team's redevelopment to Norman Osborn (the reformed supervillain now calling himself the Iron Patriot) whom the government had previously assigned to head the superhero team the Thunderbolts and who had become a public hero for his role in repelling the Skrull threat. Osborn, also given leadership of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., reforms that agency into H.A.M.M.E.R. and creates a new Avengers team under its aegis.
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