Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
What it’s about: In the wake of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn is hailed as a hero by Earth after he stopped the Skrull’s attempted takeover of the planet on live TV. Now as the head of the government agency known as H.A.M.M.E.R, which has taken the place of S.H.I.E.L.D, Osborn creates his own super team in the model of the Avengers, except this group is composed of former villains masquerading as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
In the opening story arc on this book, Osborn dons the Iron Patriot armor and leads his new group of “heroes” to save Doctor Doom from the villainous Morgan Le Fey in Latveria. Due to the book’s focus on villain posing as heroes, writer Brian Michael Bendis is able to introduce a sadistic twist to the usually buttoned-up superhero genre. And when you combine Bendis’ sharp scripts with the widescreen art of Mike Deodato, “Assemble” is a worthy introductory story to one of the most interesting books Marvel has put out in years.
How it relates to Iron Man 3: The interesting thing about the impact the Dark Avengers book has on Iron Man 3 is that while the Iron Patriot is an integral part of both, it’s not the same man under the armor. Osborn is the one wearing the suit in the comic, yet James Rhodes, a.k.a War Machine, pilots the Patriot in the movie.
Despite a different man behind the mask, we're hoping the movie follow the same Dark Avengers themes of government security gone mad. It's too interesting of a premise to pass up. We won’t know for sure until opening night, but if you want to know where one of the key armors from Iron Man 3 came from, look no further than this story.