Norman Osborn's actions towards the end of 2008's "Secret Invasion" altered the landscape of the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man's archnemesis played a critical role in ending the conflict with the Skrulls, leading to his rise to power in the MU. The "Dark Reign" era followed as Osborn replaced S.H.I.E.L.D. with H.A.M.M.E.R. and assembled his own team of Avengers, known as the Dark Avengers. Throughout the following years, the team of villains masquerading as heroes would go through several iterations and enlist numerous A-list antagonists. With rumors of the Dark Avengers invading the MCU, we've decided to put together a ranking of the most powerful Dark Avengers.
The first version of this bold new team made its debut in Dark Avengers (Vol. 1) #1. Osborn took the helm, taking on the alias of Iron Patriot. Following his commands were Wolverine (Daken), Captain Marvel (Noh-Varr), Hawkeye (Bullseye), Ms. Marvel (Moonstone), Spider-Man (Venom), Ares, and Sentry. Osborn's team of imposter Avengers held their own against Earth's true heroes for over a year, skillfully executing Osborn's orders at every turn. Their run, along with Osborn's position of power, came to an end during "Siege". It wasn't long until Osborn escaped from prison and returned with a new squad of Dark Avengers even more formidable than the first. The new roster included the likes of Skaar and a devious new Dark Spider-Man. With all of the heavy-hitters that Osborn has had in his ranks, it's a wonder his team was ever defeated. Here are the 15 strongest Dark Avengers ranked by power.
15 WOLVERINE (DAKEN)
Wolverine's long-lost son, Daken, was recruited by Osborn for the first roster of Dark Avengers. Naturally, Daken chose to pose as his father, albeit a four-clawed version of him. Daken's most impressive feat with the Dark Avengers (if not of his entire career) came in Dark Reign: The List - Punisher (Vol. 1) #1.
Seeking retribution for what Punisher's done to him in the past, Osborn sent Daken to take out the anti-hero once and for all. Surprisingly, Daken actually succeeded. A wounded Punisher did his best to fend off Daken, but Wolverine's son ultimately shredded his prey, leading to Punisher being rebuilt as FrankenCastle.
14 SPIDER-MAN (AI APAEC)
Ai Apaec played the role of Spider-Man on Osborn's second generation of Dark Avengers. Before meeting Osborn, Apaec had been a god worshiped in Peru. He was eventually imprisoned in the U.S. for his violent crimes, where he'd meet Osborn and help him escape prison.
Impressed by Apaec, Osborn fitted him with four extra arms and molded his body into a Spider-Man-like physique, giving birth to Dark Spider-Man. In addition to his Spider-Man abilities, Aepec had poisonous fangs and the ability to survive underwater. Despite being purportedly immortal (due to his status as a god), Apaec hasn't been seen since being crushed in Dark Avengers (Vol. 1) #190.
13 HAWKEYE (TRICKSHOT)
Barney Barton, the estranged older brother of Hawkeye, was the final team member to be recruited for Osborn's second generation of Dark Avengers. Working under the alias of Trickshot, Barney quickly proved to be a worthy successor to Osborn's first knockoff Hawkeye, Bullseye, during the Dark Avengers' initial skirmishes with the rival New Avengers.
Trickshot was a highly skilled marksman, equally adept at slinging arrows from a longbow as throwing blades with extreme precision. After committing a series of morally questionable deeds with the Dark Avengers, Trickshot left the team and reconciled with his brother. Trickshot very well may be on his way to becoming a hero.
12 WOLVERINE (GORGON)
Tomi Shishido, aka Gorgon, grabbed a pair of fake claws and became the new Dark Wolverine for Osborn's second squad of Dark Avengers. As a high-ranking Hydra agent, Gorgon was just as valuable to Osborn for his resources as for his abilities. Among his many extraordinary abilities, mutant and otherwise, are Gorgon's power to turn others to stone and his super-genius level of intellect.
Of course, Gorgon wasn't the most trustworthy of the Dark Avengers. He'd planned to eventually take out Osborn and use the Dark Avengers for his own plans. Unfortunately for him, Skaar beat him to the punch.
11 HAWKEYE (BULLSEYE)
Arguably the deadliest marksman in the MU, Bullseye was one of Osborn's first recruits for the Dark Avengers. Bullseye tossed aside his traditional costume in exchange for the chance to play Hawkeye. In his first couple of missions under Osborn's employ, Bullseye hunted down Deadpool and took out Morgan le Fay.
He also nearly took out Daredevil, who was leading the Hand at the time. During "Siege" Bullseye was ordered by Osborn to take out Sentry's wife, thus ensuring that the Void would rear its head and wreak havoc. By the time "Siege" concluded and the first roster of Dark Avengers disassembled, Bullseye had more than made his case for being the team's MVP.
10 SPIDER-MAN (MAC GARGAN)
Mac Gargan, who was the host of the Venom symbiote at the time, was enlisted by Osborn for his first generation of Dark Avengers. Naturally, Venom posed as a black suit Spider-Man, though he frequently revealed his true form. As far as Venom hosts go, Gargan ranks among the least effective.
Had either Eddie Brock or Flash Thompson been in control of the symbiote, Venom would've ranked higher on this list. However, Venom achieved very little during his time with the Dark Avengers and was outshined by the likes of Bullseye and Moonstone. At the onset of "Siege", Gargan lost the symbiote after a battle with the real Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man.
9 SCARLET WITCH (TOXIE DOXIE)
Toxie Doxie played the role of Dark Scarlet Witch for Osborn's second band of Dark Avengers. Doxie brought to the team an assortment of unique abilities -- force field generation, toxic blood, and thermal blast generation -- that made her an indispensable asset. Any doubts of her capacities were squashed on the Dark Avengers' first mission, which involved a battle with the New Avengers.
Doxie faced off against Doctor Strange and would've put an end to the Sorcerer Supreme had it not been for the interference from Spider-Man and Daredevil. Doxie stayed with the second team of Dark Avengers all the way up until they disbanded in Dark Avengers (Vol. 1) #190.
Skaar, son of Hulk, jumped onto Osborn's second squad of Dark Avengers. To Osborn, it seemed as if he'd hit the jackpot. Skaar was a fierce warrior who'd inherited many of his father's intimidating qualities. However, unbeknownst to Osborn, Skaar joined the team as a double agent.
Skaar revealed the truth to his teammates upon learning that they had captured Captain America and were planning on putting him on trial. Skaar, who'd been secretly following Cap's orders all along, freed Cap and teamed up with the New Avengers to finish off the Dark Avengers. Skaar reluctantly worked with the team again after Luke Cage had assembled them to replace the Thunderbolts.
After getting off to a rough start with the people of Earth, the Kree warrior known as Noh-Varr started off on the road to redemption during "Secret Invasion". Noh-Varr played a key war in the final battle between Earth's heroes and the Skrulls. When Osborn was looking to fill up his new Avengers team, he drafted Noh-Varr for the role of Captain Marvel. Noh-Varr's time with the Dark Avengers was way briefer than anticipated.
After the team's first big mission against Morgan le Fay, Noh-Varr discovered that the team consisted of villains impersonating heroes. Noh-Varr immediately left the team and hid from Osborn and his forces.
6 MS. MARVEL (SUPERIA)
The classic Captain America villain Superia took over H.A.M.M.E.R. after Osborn was arrested at the end of "Siege". Eventually, her criminal exploits with the organization landed her in prison where she met Osborn. It wasn't long before the two worked out an escape plan and Superia joined the new Dark Avengers as the second imposter Ms. Marvel.
Although her powers may not match up with the original Dark Ms. Marvel (Moonstone), Superia brought the advantage of a genius level intellect. Superia's stint as Ms. Marvel came to an end when Skaar betrayed the team, sending her and her teammates back to prison.
As the Olympic god of war, Ares knows a thing or two about battle. The long-time Thor antagonist joined the ranks of Osborn's Dark Avengers at the onset of "Dark Reign" and proved himself to be one of the most intimidating forces on the team of villains masquerading as heroes.
In addition to Ares's basic superhuman capacities, he has the magical ability to foment conflicts, often on a large enough scale to be considered wars. Despite some of his less heroic qualities, Ares ended up turning on Osborn and others during "Siege". Unfortunately for Ares, this resulted in him being ripped apart by Sentry.
4 MS. MARVEL (MOONSTONE)
Moonstone was asked to join the original Dark Avengers after Carol Danvers rejected Osborn's offer. With her powers being a natural fit for the role, Moonstone began impersonating Ms. Marvel. Like Danvers, Moonstone gained her powers after coming into contact with Kree technology.
Possessing numerous impressive abilities, like photokinesis and intangibility, Moonstone stood out as one of the most formidable members of the imposter Avengers. Moonstone remained a loyal member of Osborn's crew throughout "Dark Reign" -- until the end of "Siege". Along with Bullseye, Moonstone attempted to flee the scene upon realizing that the Dark Avengers were fighting a losing battle.
3 NORMAN OSBORN
Without Norman Osborn, there would be no Dark Avengers. Spider-Man's classic foe rose to power in the wake of "Secret Invasion" and seized the opportunity to form his own Avengers. Osborn headed the team as Iron Patriot, but that's not why he's ranked so high on our list.
Rather, it's the Osborn the led the second generation of Dark Avengers that earns him the number three spot on our ranking. No longer the Iron Patriot, Osborn had powered up by going through with a procedure that gave him the powers of the Super-Adaptoid. As a result, Osborn could tap into the various powers of the New Avengers, allowing him to single-handedly hold off the team of heroes.
Ragnarok, the villainous clone of Thor, was recruited for Osborn's second wave of Dark Avengers. Though not as powerful as the original Thor, Ragnarok has proved time and time again that he's a force to be reckoned with. Before joining the Dark Avengers, Ragnarok had beaten Storm, executed Goliath, and single-handedly defeated an entire Avengers team.
Picking Ragnarok for his squad of villains pretending to be heroes was a no-brainer for Osborn. However, Ragnarok's might proved to be insufficient against the turncoat Skaar and the New Avengers. Ragnarok was imprisoned with the rest of the imposters in New Avengers (Vol. 2) #23.
Sentry is the veritable Superman of the MU. Osborn hit the jackpot when he successfully manipulated the mentally unstable Sentry into joining the first Dark Avengers. Sentry brought with him an omega-level powerset, which included the ability to manipulate matter at the molecular level, as well as an astonishing degree of strength.
Despite having such a tremendous asset on his team, Osborn was rarely able to utilize Sentry to his advantage. Throughout his time with the Dark Avengers, Sentry struggled with his evil alter ego, the Void. Sentry ultimately lost his battle with the Void, spurring the latter to unleash carnage during "Siege".