"Dark Ms. Marvel" logs another adventure and is driven by a conversation between Karla Sofen and Norman Osborn. As everybody who reads Marvel comics in any capacity knows by now, Osborn has made an attempt at pulling a Thunderbolts-like move on the general public by introducing a new Avengers team based out of the Avengers tower.
In this story, Reed's script transforms the duplicity of Loren into a compelling plot device. While Reed's words tell one story, Reed actually drives home a "what really happened" tale through the imagery generated by Sana Takeda. This type of story works amazingly well here, as we learn more about the mindset of the "new" Ms. Marvel and get a glimpse into what might be her own secret agenda being laid out right under Osborn's nose.
Significantly more ruthless than the previous Ms. Marvel, Sofen frequently uses extreme force to vanquish her foes. This book is not for the squeamish, as I mentioned in my review of the previous issue, despite the heavily manga-influenced artwork. It amazes me that things like burning flesh and bleeding eyeballs still somehow look happy in manga-style. Takeda's art is a departure from the text of the story presented here, but not so much that it becomes distracting. Takeda walks a fine line between being painterly and letting the manga tendencies drive the imagery.
This book is perched to be overlooked and underappreciated. There are significant plots introduced here that appear poised to involve Osborn, his Avengers, and even the greater Marvel Universe as a whole. While the new releases for the week are pretty significant in quantity, if not quality, this book offers a different story. Sure, we've seen the concept executed more than once before, but this time around the main character is letting the reader in on the secrets that are secreted away from her boss. It doesn't make Karla Sofen a heroic character by any means, but it does make her a compelling character to read about. This is one of those books that you're likely to enjoy reading even though you know you shouldn't necessarily be enjoying it.