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Dark Avengers #9 - The God Of War As Absentee Dad

Dark Avengers #9 CoverDark Avengers #9 is being reprinted this week. It was an interesting issue with a strong parenting theme — the God of War as absentee dad.

Dark Avengers #9 2nd Ptg Variant Cover (Dark Reign Tie-In)

Ares, the God of War, is living in the Bronx with his son Alexander, aka Phobos, the God of Fear. (Apparently there is some controversy about the character of Phobos in the Marvel Comics Universe. I did not know that. Not sure that I care either.)

Ares is kind of a D-list Thor who spends most of his time grunting and hitting things. In this issue, written by Brian Michael Bendis, the character is written with more depth than usual. This includes a scene that shows Ares’ parenting style, which is somewhat lacking in hugs. At their apartment in the Bronx, Ares awakens his son Alexander, and then leaves him there with a bowl of cereal as he goes off to work. (“You’re late for schooling.” SLAM.) “Work” for Ares means being a part of Norman Osborne’s Dark Avengers. (Osborne used to be The Green Goblin and is now head of H.A.M.M.E.R., which is kind of like a Department of Homeland Security on steroids. He also used to be dead. Long story.) What Ares doesn’t know is that his son has been hanging around with Nick Fury, the former head of S.H.I.E.L.D., as part of Fury’s new team, The Secret Warriors. (That storyline is part of Dark Reign, which came after Secret Invasion, which was after Civil War, which was after World War Hulk, which came after Planet Hulk. Like I said, long story.)

The big parenty moment comes later, where “Ares goes from rabid warrior to hesitant father,” as MajorSpoilers.com puts it. Basically Ares is willing to let Nick Fury train his son because… well, he’s Nick Fury. (I’m simplifying somewhat here.) MajorSpoilers.com has a longer review of Dark Avengers #9 if you’re interested.

As a side note, the scene depicted on the cover of Dark Avengers #9, with Nick Fury shooting futilely at Ares, never actually happens in the story. This prompted a discussion with my son,  where I explained to him that sometimes comic book covers are less than truthful. I may not be the God of War, but I can still teach my son a few things.

Image: ComicVine

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