Since the mysterious cover made its appearance months ago in the Secret Invasion comics, folks have been speculating about exactly who each of those heroes on the cover is supposed to be. I mean, it's obvious who some of them are, but the question is: why would they have suddenly turned and joined Osborn's group?
The answer is here, and it's not really a surprise. Marvel is just re-using the basis for their Thunderbolts series with a little tweak here and there. Sentry and Ares are there from Mighty Avengers, but the rest are villainous replacements (thus the name "Dark" Avengers). Now, who they have in which costume is where the fun begins!
I have to admit this issue leads us toward some interesting confrontations ahead. The identity of the Iron Patriot will probably come as a surprise to no one, but the others might bring a smile to your face as you consider the possibilities of what will happen when the originals tangle with the replacements.
I haven't enjoyed the first issue of a series this much in a long time. I thought Marvel would have a hard time keeping the momentum from Secret Invasion, but this looks like it will be enough to keep them moving for a while. My only concern is that they don't use this to eventually lead everything back to the status quo again. The Marvel Universe is really shook up right now, and I think that's a great thing.