[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marvel_dark_reign_7139.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: NormanOsborn, [[BlatantLies A man you can trust]]]]

->"This is my country."
--> Norman Osborn, {{Thunderbolts}} #124

MarvelComics' non-{{Crossover}} (read: a [[TheVerse verse]]-wide storyline described by JoeQuesada as [[WordOfGod "it's not a crossover, just what's happening in the]] MarvelUniverse") which follows the aftermath of SecretInvasion. It's a CrisisCrossover-sized event, but is not a crossover in the common meaning of the word - comics were not tied to a strict plot, but were showing multiple heroes dealing with a VillainWithGoodPublicity becoming one of the most powerful men in the United States.

After SecretInvasion, the general public blames ComicBook/IronMan, then director of ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}, for not preventing the AlienInvasion. Meanwhile, [[SpiderMan Spider-Man's]] Arch Enemy NormanOsborn, leader of the {{Thunderbolts}}, gains himself some ''huge'' points in the battle of public opinion, as news networks featured him being a leader in the fight against the Skrulls, and eventually ending the entire conflict by blowing the head off the Skrull queen before any of the assembled heroes could kill her. This televised act of heroism (which may have been staged, depending on whether you believe {{Deadpool}} or not) led The President to dismiss Stark and replace him with Osborn. Norman, very happy with how things went, quickly replaced S.H.I.E.L.D. with his own organization, H.A.M.M.E.R., and formed the Cabal - an alliance between him, [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Emma Frost]], [[SubMariner Namor]], ComicBook/{{Loki}}, TheHood, and SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom. He also creates his own, twisted version of the ComicBook/TheAvengers - Dark Avengers, with most of the team members being supervillains in heroes' costumes led by Osborn himself in Iron Man's armor, under the name of ''Iron Patriot''. At the same time, he sets up a plan to replace and kill half of his former {{Thunderbolts}} teammates, as they might have information that would make him look less appealing to the public at large (the other half joined the Dark Avengers). His allies from The Cabal are plotting against him, many heroes and a few villains want to get rid of him, but Osborn doesn't seem to care -- he has a mysterious ally, somebody who can instill fear even in his fellow members of The Cabal.

Dark Reign spawned several tie-ins, but some plot points are also being resolved in titles not officially marked as such, like the recent plot arc of [[TheMightyThor Thor]]. Due to this, fans still consider everything which deals with Norman or any other member of Cabal as a part of the event.

Dark Reign started right after SecretInvasion and lasted a year before the GrandFinale four-part event ''ComicBook/{{Siege}}''. It's followed by ComicBook/HeroicAge.

Has nothing to do with the DarkReign game series.

!Dark Reign provides examples of:
* AbusiveParents: While Ares has been GenreSavvy to the point that he let Nick Fury take care of his son (which was what Phobos wanted) because he was afraid he would start to abuse him emotionally or physically, right now his son from ancient times is hellbent on revenge for the merciless neglect ''he'' received.
** Hera has a classically dim view of her children/half-children/other relatives, and won't hesitate to chuck one out of a thirtieth story window if they talk back to her (where "talk back" is code for "Hebe not taking Hera's side over that of her husband Hercules").
** NormanOsborn attempts to murder his son Harry and frame someone else for it [[KickTheDog because losing a son will win him sympathy points with the public.]]
* AllThereInTheManual / GuideDangIt: For many people, [[spoiler:the way the Void was defeated and killed at the end of Siege]] was idiotic. It does make a lot more sense if you had read DarkAvengers... and ''every single'' interview with Creator/BrianMichaelBendis published between the end of SecretInvasion and Siege issue four.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Does being turned into the big bang to create a new frikkin' ''dimension'' count? [[spoiler:If so, then Wasp.]] While Dan Slott expressing his annoyance with the end of SecretInvasion led to some hints of possible alternate dimension solutions coming into play, pretty much ''nobody'' expected [[spoiler:for her to actually ''be'' the dimension in question.]]
* AmericanRobot: Normon's Iron Patriot persona, [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy deliberately]] meant to [[{{Expy}} echo]] both ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and ComicBook/IronMan.
* AntiHeroSubstitute: Hard to count (or easy -- it's inverted as most of these guys are ''villains'').
** DarkAvengers for Avengers
*** Bullseye for {{Hawkeye}}, Venom for {{Spider-Man}}, Daken for {{Wolverine}}, Moonstone for MsMarvel, Noh-Varr for [[{{CaptainMarvel}} Captain Marvel]]. Also possibly Iron Patriot (NormanOsborn) for ComicBook/IronMan ''and'' ComicBook/CaptainAmerica. And by proxy, Ares for TheMightyThor (since they're both, you know, gods and all).
** The Cabal for The Illuminati
** Dark X-Men for ComicBook/{{X-Men}}
** TheHood and his "reformed" supervillains for The Initiative
** Dark Young Avengers were a little bit of this for The YoungAvengers.
** Subverted with SheHulk and Savage She Hulk -- they are very good friends and Jen seems to be a role model for Lyra.
* TheAtoner: Subverted. Osborn ''loves'' playing this card in televised interviews whenever somebody attempts to remind the public that he was the fricking ''Green Goblin''.
** Also played straight with [[spoiler:Loki at the end of ''Siege''. He deeply regrets having brought such a ferocious battle to Asgard when it reaches its breaking point, and so fetches the Norn Stones back from the Hood and uses them to empower ''the heroes'' as they all attack the Void at once. When Void notices that the heroes' uncanny power is coming from another source, he turns unto Loki, whose last act before being torn asunder is ''apologizing to Thor''.]] Betcha didn't expect that coming from [[spoiler:the Norse god of mischief]] of all people.
** Somewhat averted in the main [[TheMightyThor Thor title]] and elsewhere, [[spoiler:Loki planned for his own death to avoid going to Hel, the land of the dead, and was both the source and the solution for the key problems plaguing Asgard after SIEGE. He has hinted to wanting to try and change, so it is yet to know how much is an act and how much may have been genuine.]]
* {{Badass}}: Ares
* BadassBoast: Quicksilver, while fighting with Mister X, please note that every dash equals Mister X being punched.
--> You can read minds enough to be able to predict any attack your opponent will make. So you will be able to -- anticipate every move I make -- and do absolutely '''nothing''' about it because -I-am-the-'''fastest'''-man-on-earth.
* BadassBookworm: [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk Bruce Banner]], after [[DePower losing his powers]], proved himself to have so many levels of [[ScienceHero scientific]] [[{{Chessmaster}} manipulative]] badass that Osborn plotted a scheme to turn him back into Hulk, because a green monster would be '''less''' dangerous.
* BadassGrandpa: Bor, and how!
* BadassInDistress: SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom -- The first mission the Dark Avengers took on was to save him from Morgan Le Fay. Right after that, Doom easily defeated Morgan.
* BadassNormal: Zodiac, Nick Fury
* BatFamilyCrossover: Three of them are considered as a parts of Dark Reign.
** ''{{Thunderbolts}}/ {{Deadpool}}: Magnum Ops'', where Osborn sends his team of killers after Wilson
** DarkAvengers/ [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Uncanny X-Men]], where Osborn is trying to solve the problem of mutants. [[WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide Permanently.]]
** ''Siege'' - GrandFinale of Dark Reign, where Osborn invades Asgard, forcing the heroes to gather and bring an end to his madness.
* BettyAndVeronica: Harry's girlfriend Lilly has been choosing between Harry (Betty) and Norman (Veronica). [[spoiler She chooses the craziest Osborn.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:During Siege, Captain America (Steve Rogers) leading the New Avengers, the Young Avengers, and the Secret Warriors against Osborn's forces, starting with Steve [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome throwing his shield at Osborn and crying "Avengers Assemble!" for the first time in some three years.]]]]
* BossRush: can the ''[[SpiderMan "Gauntlet"]]'' storyline count as a comic book example? Given that Spidey has got to fight most of his RoguesGallery ''in a row'', well, yes.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Mr. Negative can do this to people via touch. The more good - person was, the more crazy he/she becomes.
** Played straight with Mr. Negative's split-personality of Mr. Li who runs a soup kitchen, helps the homeless, aids the needy... [[spoiler: And winds up curing Eddie Brock's psychosis, leading him to become Anti-Venom.]]
* ButtMonkey: ''Mighty Avengers'' is working hard to rescue Pym from his status as one, by putting him back in his ''West Coast Avengers'' position of a Series/DoctorWho style ScienceHero. The series often lampshades it, too. A lot.
* CannonFodder: The Shadow Initiative during the attack on the prison in the Negative Zone. Turned into somewhat of a TearJerker in an issue of ''The Initiative'', as we get to see it all from the point of view of a RedShirt who knows damn well he's going to die, and has taken steps to make sure that his best friend doesn't go down with him, and his family will be taken care of after his death.
* CaptainErsatz: For some people, Zodiac is a little too similar to Film/TheDarkKnight's version of SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker in his actions. And he looks like [[Manga/DeathNote Light Yagami]].
** Many readers think he looks a lot like the witness sketches of the original (there was also a copycat in New York) real life Zodiac Killer. Whether or not he's supposed to ''be'' that Zodiac, ramped up to a higher level of villainy, is never made clear, though for it to be possible, de-aging or other comic book alterations would have to be in play.
** And of course Sentry is, as always, an Ersatz Superman.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Harry Osborn finally does this to Norman, who is far and wide considered one of the worst fathers in comics.
* CardCarryingVillain: Zodiac, right to the point he went against Osborn because he finds his good publicity as an insult to those who commit crimes "for the sake of mischief".
* ChekhovsBoomerang: In his own mini-series, Bullseye got a copy of his old costume as a part of the story's villains' plan to manipulate him. Later, when Osborn ordered him to go after Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}, Lester dressed in that costume.
* TheChessmaster: Zodiac - When he entered the scene, ''everybody'', including the ComicBook/FantasticFour, Osborn, and all of H.A.M.M.E.R. turned into his puppets and remained that way until he got what he wanted.
** And he even arranged things like Whirlwind's stint as Osborn's chauffeur and Manslaughter Marsdale's coma before the series started.
** Loki is this as well, manipulating Thor, all Asgardians, Norman, Hood, and Mighty Avengers any way he wants to, even after some of them realized that.
* CompositeCharacter: Iron Patriot. Or at least, that's the idea Osborn wanted to give.
* ContinuityNod: All over the place, but surprisingly, there's a nicely subtle one in the otherwise balls-out Zodiac miniseries. Osborn hires Whirlwind as his chauffeur, with a snide reference to his prior work history. ''Way'' back in the classic ''Avengers'' and ''Marvel Feature'' comics, David Cannon had worked under a false name as Wasp's chauffeur while planning an inheritance heist and kidnapping.
* CostumeCopycat: Most of the Dark Avengers members wear the outfits of existing superheroes and Clint had taken Ronin's identity and costume when he resurrected, which was previously used by Echo.
-->'''Ronin:''' So that's Bullseye? Bullseye, the crazy assassin?! Dressed like me?!
-->'''Spider-Man:''' And you're dressed like Maya.
** Of course, Spider-Man isn't too happy himself when he learns who's copying him:
-->'''Spider-Man:''' They didn't even get the good Venom!
** Taskmaster and {{Deadpool}} in ''Magnum Opus''
** Zodiac's gang includes the Clown, famously of the Circus of Crime... except it isn't the real clown; it's his illegitimate half-brother impersonating him due to some identity crisis. The real Clown is currently a member of the Gamma Corps as the avian Griffin. Zodiac was aware of all this from the start.
* CreepyChild: Phobos.
* CurbStompBattle: SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom vs ComicBook/BlackPanther, where Victor proved that not even a GodModeSue like T'Challa is a match for him.
** Quicksilver vs Mr. X.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: [[spoiler:Sentry]]
* DeathIsCheap: Explained in IncredibleHercules as resurrection having become ''literally'' random chance, represented by casino games, thanks to assorted gods of the dead either having been destroyed or having abandoned their positions. Multiple heroes (including the recently offed Wasp), villains, and civilians are gambling for either an afterlife or a second chance, and in a joke harking back to the GeoffJohns run on the Avengers, and ''Avengers Disassembled'', Jack of Hearts wins his resurrection while Herc and Cho are visiting (though he has yet to actually return).
** [[spoiler:Jack of Hearts finally came back to life in Marvel Zombies Supreme.]]
* DebateAndSwitch: This storyline was the tool to undo all the changes of Comicbook/CivilWar: a morally gray situation is turned into a full morally black-and-white situation, so that the heroes can easily "win" and return to the previous status quo. And Stamford? [[AngstWhatAngst Fine, thanks]].
* DemonicPossession: Hood by Dormammu. Quicksilver by Chthon. Nightmare was trying to do this with Trauma.
** Somewhat subverted during Spider-Man's ''Siege'' tie-in, when Ms. Marvel manages to pull Mac Gargan's body out from the Venom symbiote's, and it tries to possess her instead.
* DependingOnTheWriter: To a lesser extent than ''Comicbook/CivilWar'', but still there all the same: The ''DarkAvengers'' series and a few others have Norman Osborn buying into his own hype and genuinely opposing menaces he regards as threats to America and the status quo, while tie-ins like ''Dark X-Men'' and ''Captain America Reborn'' show him PuttingOnTheReich and working hard to put the RedSkull into Captain America's body.
** Similarly, in the ''Captain America'' tie-in, KnightTemplar AntiHero Victoria Hand inexplicably seems fine with Norman's willingness to help the Red Skull take over Captain America's body.
* {{Depower}}: TheHood after losing to [[spoiler:Doctor Voodoo (and then again towards the end)]]; Bruce Banner.
* DepravedBisexual: While he used it only to ''mock'' Venom, Daken has hooked up with people of all stripes, and thinks nothing of manipulating them for something he wants and killing them (directly or indirectly) when he's done with them. He even [[HoYay ''kisses Bullseye in the mouth'']] in his ''Siege'' tie-in. And then readers found out the whole scene was AllJustADream fed into Daken's head to show how screwed over he'd be if he didn't accept help from the fates.
** Loki: At the beginning of the storyline, he's [[GenderBender stuck in a female body]], and has no qualms about using his/her attractiveness to his/her advantage.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Deadpool almost quotes this to Taskmaster in the alternative cover of ''Avengers: The Initiative #33'' ("Dude! You knocked out '''''Thor'''''?"). Too bad [[CoversAlwaysLie it didn't actually happen in that issue, though]].
* DiscardAndDraw: Hood, after losing connection with Dormammu, lost all his powers, only to get an entirely new power set when Loki gave him magic Asgardian stones. [[spoiler:Just to be discarded again when Loki got the Norn Stones back to empower ''The Avengers'' so they could stop Asgard from being destroyed any further. And, as a last resort, Madame Masque takes him to see her father, Count Nefaria, so he can empower the Hood again, but he relents when he hears that he'll have to give all his money to Nefaria to be repowered. The New Avengers nab them before anything can be done.]]
* DistressBall: Clint Barton breaking Norman's base alone and getting caught because of it.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Osborn wants to take out the Asgardians in order to make himself look more necessary to the government, but the President won't allow him to do this "without due cause", prompting the need for an "incident" to turn public opinion against the Aesir. It's basically every conspiracy theory about 9/11 with a coating of Norse God.
** In-story, it's an intentional evokation of the Stamford Incident that kicked off Comicbook/CivilWar.
* DownerEnding: The ''What If?'' has Clint kill Osborn, but Clint is killed shortly afterwards.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:The mortal, Bill, takes out an Asgardian that was about to murder Balder. With his last strength, he warns Balder of Loki and Dr. Doom's treachery. Bill is so {{badass}} that he is given an Asgardian style funeral. In the aftermath of Siege, it is revealed that his bravery has won him a place in Valhalla.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Did they ever in ''ComicBook/{{Siege}}''.
* EldritchAbomination: From the looks of things, [[spoiler:The Sentry/The Void]] is, and always has been this.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Also, Ares pointed out he may be a God of war, pain, and murder. [[PunctuatedForEmphasis But. Not. God. Of. Sadism!]]
* EvilMatriarch: Speaking of Hera, she's become this even more than she was in classical mythology. Kind of surprising, when just a couple of decades ago in comics continuity, she actually ''aided'' the Avengers when Zeus accused them of nearly killing Hercules, but justified in that she's lost more than a few screws since gaining control of the entire Greek pantheon.
* EvilerThanThou: Mr. Negative (who is a SuperpoweredEvilSide of some guy and believes in a BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil) told TheHood that because he thrown out all what was good in him, he'll fall for sure.
* FaceHeelTurn: Subverted by Emma in ''Utopia''. Ares and Sentry joining Dark Avengers can be seen like one (HeelFaceRevolvingDoor in Ares case).
* FamousLastWords:
-->[[spoiler:Ares to Sentry]]: I thought us friends. My mistake.
* FanNickname: Lyra is called ''Thulkdra'' which was lampshaded when they put this nickname on one of her mini's variant covers. Molecule Man's team (despite being a [[spoiler: RedHerring]]) is called "The League Of Ultimate Evil [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And Enchantress]]".
** Bullseye in Hawkeye's costume is called "Bullhawk"
** Daken earned himself the name Trollverine.
* FemmeFatale: Moonstone, Madame Masque
* FinalBattle: Siege
* FiveBadBand:
** DarkAvengers:
*** BigBad and EvilGenius: Iron Patriot
*** TheLancer: Daken
*** CoDragons: Ares and Sentry
*** TheBrute: Venom, Bullseye
*** TheDarkChick: Moonstone
*** TheChick: Noh-Varr (in fact, he jumps ship pretty quickly, as soon as he finds out he's fighting with villains)
** Cabal:
*** BigBad: Norman Osborn
*** TheDragon: TheHood
*** TheLancer: Namor
*** EvilGenius: DrDoom, Loki
*** TheBrute: Namor, but only a little
*** TheDarkChick / SixthRangerTraitor: Emma Frost.
* ForTheEvulz: Zodiac doesn't have any general reason to be evil, he just likes it.
** Same with Bullseye. Even doped up on anti-psychotic medication, he still is completely evil and threatens his own teammates (who know full well that he tends to carry out such threats) with death for ''kicks''.
** And Mr. X - he murders people and reads their minds as they're dying, and finds it very entertaining.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Subverted with Norman Osborn. Whilst not a nobody by any stretch of the imagination, he goes from being Spider-Man's ArchEnemy to taking Nick Fury's old job & rubbing shoulders with the villainous elite like Doctor Doom.
* GainaxEnding: The ''Dark Avengers'' lead-in to ''Siege'' seems to show that [[spoiler: Sentry/Void]] is basically an aspect of God Himself. Then, in ''Siege'', [[spoiler: his human side decides to stop living, and lets Thor kill him before any of it goes anywhere.]]
* GambitPileup: Pretty much possible this will happen in Siege with Norman revealing his secret ally, Loki setting his schemes to the final phase, Daken and Moonstone with Bullseye making their moves against Osborn, Taskmaster looking for a chance to get the hell out of there, [[spoiler: Scourge]] brainwashed by Agents Of Atlas to kill Norman, Pym's and Barton's Avengers with Captain America getting in the middle of it, Tony Stark trying to help, [[spoiler: return of Ultron]], Hela revealing her deal with Dani Moonstar, Thor or Balder's defense plans and Sentry/Void as unpredictable factor.
* GenreSavvy: Several characters correctly predict that Norman's new empire will soon fall apart.
* GrandFinale: Siege.
* GroinAttack:
-->'''Sentry:''' Do you really want me to unleash the power of million exploding Suns?
-->'''[[IncredibleHercules Hercules]]''': Of course not. I'll do it. (Kicks Sentry in the nuts.)
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Loki, after realizing what he has done, transfers the Norn Stone's powers from Hood gangs to Thor and co. so they can defeat The Void. Void is not pleased and blasts Loki to death.]]
* HeroWithBadPublicity: ComicBook/IronMan, who in a subversion of this trope, DID fuck things up big time and pretty much brought all of his troubles upon him. [[SpiderWoman Jessica Drew]], because the Skrulls' [[spoiler: leader was disguised as her, and even some heroes think she might still be the Skrull Queen.]] Not exactly an easy reputation to live down, especially when in the past she's been a member of HYDRA, a terrorist/spying group.
** Subverted with Hank Pym, who was able to not only shake the taint of being replaced with a Skrull, but made most of the world fall in love with him and his new Avengers team by stopping several major threats that Norman refused to lift a finger to stop. As of Mighty Avengers #32, apparently, most of the other national governments see ''his'' team as the real Avengers, not Osborn's crew.
** [[TheMightyThor Thor]], who has been [[spoiler: exiled from Asgard after Loki's scheme led him to killing his own grandfather]].
** Wonder Man - when he went on TV and said that America ''deserved'' Norman Osborn as their top hero, as far as his response to Hawkeye denouncing Norman on live television/outed the Dark Avengers as bad guys, his career was effectively deepsixed by the public backlash and he was denounced as crazy by David Letterman of all people.
** Doc Samson, after Osborn used ThePlan to force him into nearly killing BarackObama and splashed it all over the news. [[spoiler: Samson has a FaceHeelTurn completely unrelated to this incident, and thus doesn't really give a damn about it anymore.]]
* HesBack: [[spoiler: Steve Rogers]]. '''AvengersAssemble!'''
* HumansAreBastards: After reading War Machine's files, Ultimo got to that conclusion.
* HumiliationConga: Everything that's happened to Iron Man since Dark Reign began.
* IdiotBall: Subverted with "Utopia" as the X-Men successfully outplay Norman and humiliate him via exposing his sadistic abuse of mutant prisoners for the whole world to see, then successfully flee to their new island home off the coast of California. Made even worse for Norman, in that Emma Frost also cuts a deal with Namor to get him to betray Norman, effectively robbing Norman of one third of the Cabal and alienating Doom (who doesn't take kindly to Norman's vows of revenge against his friend).
** The Spider-Man tie-ins are worse: Norman keeps dropping the ball on Spidey and vice versa. It's made worse when Marvel decided that Norman was affected by the One More Day reality warp, meaning he no longer knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man and seemingly doesn't care.
** Norman not killing Iron Man when he had him on life support and brain dead in the recent issue also counts, especially Norman had no problem beating Iron Man nearly to death in public prior to taking him into custody.
*** For that matter, beating the crap out of him on live camera in the first place. Prior public embarrassments may have been the result of people getting hold of information meant to remain secret, but the fact that Norman ignored Hand's warnings about the camera crew in the vicinity means this one's ''all'' on him.
*** The former has a valid explination: Osborn had to get it pulled but didn't have the medical authority and since the H.A.M.M.E.R. Helicarrier was a national embassy, Osborn had no way to overlook it without causing a national incident. The latter, meanwhile, was presumibly deleiberate and his trying to kill tony both times is portrayed as a bad move.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: Spidey delivered it at last twice to Clint Barton and once to [[spoiler: Harry Osborn]]. Clint, however, has the balls to respond by pointing out how much misery Norman's been able to cause because of Peter's moral high horse.
** CriticalResearchFailure: The writers seem to have forgotten that Osborn has a HealingFactor and is thus damn hard to kill, particularly since Clint's grand plan seems to have been simply to shoot Norman with an arrow
* TheIllegal: Now that Gyrich is in charge of S.W.O.R.D., he's declared ''every damn alien on the planet'' illegal, and is taking steps to deport them ''all'', even if they previously had government permission or clearance to live on Earth.
* IHaveNoSon: After the American Son story Harry is as good as dead to Norman. A DoubleSubversion since Norman's plan in that story was to have Harry ''murdered'' to garner him public sympathy.
** [[spoiler: Pregnant Lilly]] reappears in ''Ms. Marvel'' but mostly because Brian Reed is using this comic in his efforts to join ''The Amazing Spider-Man'' writing staff.
* IronicEcho: In-house ads for the event had the tagline "Accept Change", a [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids slightly more pragmatic]] version of Secret Invasion's tagline, "Embrace Change!"
* JerkAss: Reed Richards in Mighty Avengers. The yea or nay decision on whether to give Bill Foster's tech to Pym should have been ''Ben's'', since Bill willed it to him, but Reed bulled his way into being the one to make the call, and then had to be a jackass to Pym on top of it and get snide when Sue called him on said jackassery.
** Also, Maria Hill sometimes. Maybe it's because she's an ActionGirl who had been drilled on to act fiercely as director of the post-ComicBook/CivilWar S.H.I.E.L.D., but she absolutely '''didn't need''' (and '''didn't have any power''', to boot) to issue a prison order to Speed when he came to deliver a spare armor to a recovering Stark so he could go up to Asgard and fight Norman in the Siege.
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler: Daken]], he got away scot-free. Mister X also avoided arrest.
* KickTheDog: Several villains, especially Norman, has a few. Lampshaded a little when Bullseye tossed a dog right into Venom's eye just to prove he can.
* KnightTemplar: Seems to be how Norman Osborn sees himself in the epilogue issue of ''Dark Avengers''.
* LaResistance: New Warriors/Avengers Resistance.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: Kind of hard for the return of [[CaptainAmerica Steve Rogers]] to be a surprise, given that it was ''blown all over mainstream news sites months ago''. In terms of the comics themselves, the [[ScheduleSlip delays on]] ''Captain America: Reborn'' mean that he had reappeared in at least three titles ''and a special'' before he was even supposed to be back.
* LeeroyJenkins: Ares described himself as one, placing "checking out if you have enough ammo before rushing into the battle" at the list of things that are part of his sister's domain, not his.
* LegacyCharacter: Noh-Varr as the new Captain Marvel. Hank Pym as the new Wasp.
* LikeABadassOutOfHell: Glorianna, Captain Britain's wife managed to start a revolution in hell and even defeat one of the Hell-Lords before she returned to the world of living.
* LyingCreator: Matt Fraction listed several things in interviews that were supposed to come up in ''Utopia'', like a fight between Colossus and Ares or Sentry, or interaction between Noh-Varr and girls from New X-Men. Yeah, we're still waiting on that. Dan Slott said that return of [[spoiler: Scarlet Witch]] in ''Mighty Avengers'' is the real deal, while it turned out [[spoiler: It's Loki]]. Creator/BrianMichaelBendis' has habit of doing it but currently the solicitations of his comics are a better example. Don't even try to guess plot points based on those, because they're wrong.
** [[spoiler: She does come back later, though, and offered to try and undo the Decimation after a CooldownHug with Wiccan.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: Again, Norman. But Daken has his moments too.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: DrDoom [[LampshadeHanging points this out]] when Kelda comes to get revenge for his part in Bill's death, saying that the guy was mortal and would die anyway, and she'd forget about him eventually.
* TheMole: [[spoiler: Grim Reaper]] in Lethal Legion. [[spoiler: Diamondback]] in Osborn's Initiative. Zodiac had Whirlwind feeding him information on Osborn.
* MoleInCharge: The premise of the series.
* MotiveRant: Norman at the bitter end of Dark Avengers to [[spoiler: the Goblin]], espousing both his surprisingly valid fears and good intentions.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:Loki, who turns out to be manipulating Norman Osborn and the others just so Asgard can reign supreme, not so that Asgard is destroyed by the Void. Once he realizes what happened, he pulled a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* NaiveNewcomer:
** Noh-Varr, of sorts. He didn't even ''know'' the team he was in (the Dark Avengers) was mostly composed of supervillains until Moonstone let it slip one night after they had sex and were watching Norman on TV. As soon as he did, [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere he dropped out without leaving a note on the fridge]].
** Also Norman Osborn. He has been in the Marvel Universe since TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks, but in every comic book he says something like "Who is that man?", "I don't know him", "I never heard about him", "I didn't know you were a mutant", "I didn't know you could do that", and so on.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: WordOfGod says that's why [[spoiler: Ares]]' death was specifically demanded to be "as gory as possible" - as a signal he got KilledOffForReal.
* NotSoDifferent: Despite that Ares and War Machine are almost complete {{Foil}}s for each other, the former consider the latter as his champion and believes they are quite similar deep inside.
* OnlySaneMan: You know something is ''messed up'' in a group when ''Venom'' looks like the normal one. He even lampshades it in his mini, saying that compared to the nutcases on his team, he looks like Creator/TomHanks.
** Ares sometimes has to act like one, both doubting Osborn's actions and calling his teammates out when they act too crazy..
** Bullseye in the "Mission Briefing" of the Inititave's attack on Asgard that was included in ''Siege'' #1. He spends the entire thing essentially saying "Yes, BUT THEY ARE LITERALLY AN ARMY OF GODS".
* OutGambitted: Dracula by Pete Wisdom.
** And Osborn by Cyclops and Emma.
* PapaWolf: Ares. When he heard about Phobos being hurt, he rushed to save him and murders a man who was taking care of him, [[LeeroyJenkins without even thinking twice]] about this information having come from ''[[ManipulativeBastard Hera]].''
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Sentry and Molecule Man. [[spoiler:Bob proved to be the bigger one.]]
* ThePlan: Several
** Zodiac managed to pull a big one in his mini.
** Osborn pulls dozens of them, some more successful than others.
** Emma Frost pulled one in ''Utopia''
* PowerFantasy: Right after the first Cabal meeting Doom imagines how he will overthrow Osborn, kill Namor and Hood and turn Emma and Loki into his slaves.
-->'''Namor:''' Sometimes I wonder what's up in that head of yours.
-->(Doom imagines himself killing Namor)
-->'''Doom:''' Doom. ''Always'' Doom.
* PowerOfTrust: Inverted - people's lack of trust in Pym gave Chthon more power.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: Fittingly, Siege ends [[spoiler: not just with the fall of Norman Osborn, but the reunification of the Comicbook/TheAvengers.]]
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Ares]]
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: And after SecretInvasion he got tired of it, went to look for an AlternateUniverse where he wasn't, and it inspired him to start working to solve ''everything''. Unfortunately, this is still making him useless in a sense, as while he's busy with this, the rest of the team is having to deal with Osborn.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Subverted - [[spoiler: Kelda]] ''started'' to go on one after [[spoiler: Bill]]'s death, only to be [[spoiler: [[NotQuiteDead not quite killed]] by Doom]], without doing any harm.
** Played straight with Tigra. After what TheHood did to her, she's ''pissed'', and wastes no time starting to hand out the torture to the minions who assisted or were there to witness.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Bullseye, who claims to have killed both of his parents [[spoiler: [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]] when his father appears only to be murdered by Lester]].
* ShipSinking: Mockingbird, the old love of Hawkeye has returned. The one who died many years ago was a Skrull. But then it was revealed that [[spoiler:when she declined her idea of asking for a divorce, she had already been replaced. Mockingbird has returned... but she's not married to Hawkeye.]]
* ShutUpHannibal: As expected, Spider-Man gets the final one on Osborn.
* SixthRanger: {{Dracula}} wanted to become one for Cabal and his plan to conquer England was supposed to give him necessary position.
* SmugSnake: Osborn.
* SoProudOfYou: When Phobos managed to trick Osborn and then used his powers to scare the hell out of him, Ares was ''smiling proudly''.
* StrawFeminist: Boudica, Lyra's AI sidekick was programmed as one.
* StrongAsTheyNeedToBe: Pretty much entire point of problems with Sentry.
* SympathyForTheDevil: At the end of Siege, Dark Avengers, and the Reign itself, Norman makes his disgust for the insane, unstable world he wanted to help known, fears and anxieties that are surprisingly valid and human.
** Though they are undermined by the fact that he is ''NormanOsborn'', and is not exactly the person who should be complaining about other people being unstable or insane. ''Especially'' after this storyline, where his CharacterArc consisted of one long VillainousBreakdown brought on by his denial about how he is, at the end of the day, a psychopathic supervillain, and one who is mentally ill on top of that.
* TakeThat: The books read like a snub to all of the readers who thought the ''Stark'' Administration was evil.
** One of the last pages of ''[[GrandFinale Siege]]'' shows the skyline of New York, as a digitally written "[[spoiler: Superhero Registration Act thrown out]]" scrolls on a building. It almost seems the panel originally had confetti in it, really. Just add confetti and you'll have evidence that most of the writers had really ''had enough'' of the bucketload of crap JoeQuesada has put the MarvelUniverse through. But since Quesada (as you can see in his comments about ''Siege'' in the pages of the miniseries itself) was so ''proud'' of the whole [[FromACertainPointOfView epic]] saga made up of the various [[StoryArc Story Arcs]] (AvengersDisassembled, ComicBook/CivilWar - and by extension, given it was exactly what Quesada was aiming at, OneMoreDay - SecretInvasion and now this), maybe he himself demanded the confetti to be removed.
* TangledFamilyTree: Considering Ultron originally ''created'' Jocasta to be his bride, the fact that they finally marry (albeit a "political marriage", as she still really hates him) isn't too bad. Then you remember that Jocasta's brain is based off his "mother". And that he created her, making himself her "father" in a sense. And she was dating ''his'' "father" at the time...who was her brain-source's ex-husband. Jesus Christ, this family.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: War Machine provides trope page's image.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler: After pulling off a major GambitRoulette in SecretInvasion, this quickly becomes Norman Osborn's role over the course of the storyline, as every other member of the Cabal betrays him for their own purposes by the end.]] It's rather strongly foreshadowed from the beginning, though, and doesn't really lead to VillainDecay since, as a Spidey villain, even though he's totally out of his league he's still punching above his weight.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: Pym's reaction when Reed Richards said he knows more about Pym Particles than Hank.
** [[OhNoYouDidnt Oh, No He Didn't!]]: Amadeus Cho says "Ooh, snap!" in response to this. [[SpitTake Stature's reaction]] can also count.
* TooDumbToLive: The whole premise of Dark Reign is the United States government giving [[AxeCrazy Norman Osborn]], who is known to have been the Green Goblin, authority over superhuman affairs, who in turn demonizes and makes outlaws of the superhero community save the Fantastic Four. While the government's stupidity could be accepted, the fact is that the American public actually embraced Osborn and joined in the demonizing of the superheros. It really makes one wonder why the heroes don't just let Galactus eat the planet.
* TookALevelInBadass: Brother Voodoo. Rhodey did as well for a while. Becoming a walking , talking instrument of War that could add any arsenal to his body and unleash new levels of destruction. Impressing even Ares and earning the title Champion of War.
** Osborn doing this is the premise of the series; its also his second in just over a decade, the first being when he came BackFromTheDead and, firmly established himself once and for all as Spidermans ArchEnemy, as well as becoming a purer and more powerful CorruptCorporateExecutive than he was in the 60's and 70's.
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: Norman stars in this story arc. Also, thanks to him, Henry Gyrich has one with S.W.O.R.D., and Taskmaster and Hood with The Initiative. But considering the wild parties he likes to throw and all, Taskmaster's story is perhaps more BaitAndSwitchTyrant.
** It's worth nothing that Gyring managed then to be pain even in Osborn's butt, making him possibly biggest tyrant of them all.
* UnexplainedRecovery: Sentry. [[spoiler: ''Four times.'']]
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Norman of course.
* VillainousBreakdown: Recent comics have depicted Norman as being a hop, skip and a jump away from one of these, and his constant need to be a VillainWithGoodPublicity appears to be taking its toll. Perfectly in-character, though, as he was always portrayed as being mentally ill, more so than most.
** And it doesn't help that Loki's making a good attempt at kicking him over the edge by manipulating him into increasingly risky plans. Like [[spoiler: Having the U-Foes take on the Warriors Three in such a way that it ''might'' get the Asgardians blamed for the destruction of Chicago's Soldier Field and the deaths of everyone there, thus giving Osborn the right to invade Latveria to get at them. Key word on that: ''might''.]]
** [[spoiler: Siege #3. As everyone expected he eventually would, he's lost it. Though, frankly, it wasn't nearly as impressive as some of the breakdowns he's had previously.]]
** Osborn's breakdown in response to {{Deadpool}} was particularly indignant, and his instability is made all the more all the more apparent as he [[spoiler:stops piloting the plane he's in just to stomp a mudhole in Deadpool. While the autopilot is ''OFF''.]]
---> '''Osborn''': ''I'' owe (you)...? After all I've ''done'' for you people?! Do you have ''any'' idea who I ''am?'' All you people ever do is ''take, take, take!'' And it's ''never enough!'' ''I'm NormanOsborn!'' I saved this ''miserable planet'' and ''everyone on it!'' '''''You owe me your lives! Every worthless last one of you!'''''
* VillainRespect: Bullseye, when Deadpool dodges a rocket he fired at him, causing it to travel through the entire truck he is in.
-->'''Bullseye:''' ...okay, ''yeah'', I admit it. That was [[SoundEffectsBleep #@$%]]in' ''awesome''.
* TheVirus: Ultimo Virus, which turns all carriers berserk and gives them eye beams.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: War Machine can be seen as this, because he acts like one-man version of ''ComicBook/TheAuthority''. Osborn ''thinks'' he's one of these, but unsurprisingly, he isn't.
** Loki just wanted the Soldier Field incident to happen because he thought it would send Asgard back where it belonged, away from mortal eyes. Instead, Osborn decides to go gung-ho and bring it down.
* WhatTheHellHero: Rather amusingly, Norman pulls this on Luke Cage after he retrieves Cage's daughter from her Skrull kidnappers only for Cage to immediately break his word to him by refusing to join the Dark Avengers.
* WildMassGuessing: Marvel encouraged this when it came to the identity of Osborn's mysterious and scary friend. One popular EpilepticTree was that it's the newly-acquired Marvelman/Miracleman.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: It's been awhile since we've seen Molecule Man, but considering that he [[spoiler: made imaginary friend duplicates of some of the most powerful figures in the Marvelverse, created his own pocket dimension to live in, and is vanishing anyone who gets too close to it]], the years clearly have not been kind to his brain. Also, Sentry. In spades. Even once the Void's [[spoiler: no longer in his head (and is off wrecking hell on the X-Men)]], he's still a walking ball of about a billion neuroses.
** [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsibility Fittingly enough]], this is also what happens to Osborn, as while he's always been batshit crazy, the pressures of his new job as the top dog cause him to slowly break, after years of more or less managing to keep his Goblin side under control.
* TheWorfEffect: Sentry suffers from it sooo much. Being all powerful doesn't really help much when you're too neurotic to use it effectively in a fight.
** It happens so often that it's really scary when he becomes serious in ''Siege''.
** The ''entire'' Zodiac supervillain team is murdered mostly off panel (we see their bodies afterward) by the new Zodiac, who thought the name was cool and didn't want to deal with copyright issues. He also carried their heads around in a bag for awhile.
** Ares is even more of a Worf than the Sentry. When the writes want to take out the Dark Avengers' big guns to show how dire their situation is, the Sentry usually just has a HeroicBSOD and runs off, while Ares gets beaten down, blown up, turned to stone, torn in half, etc.
* WreckedWeapon: Mjolnir, after delivering a deadly hit to [[spoiler: Bor]].
* XanatosSpeedChess: Loki managed to play one of greatest {{Evil Plan}}s in his career [[spoiler: by manipulating Thor into killing Bor, thus getting him exiled, and convincing Balder to have the Asgardians move to Latveria]]. But just in case something could go wrong and restore status quo, he's got several other plans prepared, and apparently has backup plans for his backup plans.
* YourMindMakesItReal: Sort of. Erebus has always existed in the Marvelverse, but now that Hades/Pluto is no longer interested in maintaining the souls of the dead, it altered itself to become an arena of games of chance. Which, in modern minds, equals casino. It's also been relocated to Atlantic City.