It is tough being a Marvel superhero. Sure, you probably have hardships you deal with every day as a college student, like the collapsing economy, the constant threat of terrorist attacks and the rising cost of textbooks, but these guys have it way worse.

Take all that crap that happens in the real world, mix in invading aliens and the Hulk knocking over half of New York, and you have a fairly good idea of what was going on in Marvel Comics over the past couple of years. Unfortunately for the characters that populate these comic books, 2009 isn’t looking much better.

When Marvel’s Secret Invasion event concluded in December, it wasn’t exactly with a nice happy fairytale like ending.
While the story of Secret Invasion was a fairly straightforward tale of a massive alien attack, the ending is when things really started to veer down a new path. When the dust settled, and the aliens had been defeated, the US government handed the keys to the country over to Norman Osborn, better known as the Green Goblin. If you know your comic book lore, or have seen a Spider-Man movie or two, you know Osborn is not exactly the kind of change you can believe in.

However, since the superheroes had failed to keep the world safe yet again, and barely managed to defeat the alien horde, the people of the world decided to turn to the other side of the fence for protection, the guys and gals known as supervillains. This is the beginning of Marvel Comic’s Dark Reign, their new direction for the foreseeable future.

So far, it is shaping up to be less of an event, like Secret Invasion, and more of an over all theme that will be present in all of their titles. What do the heroes of the world do when the villains are in charge? I know what you’re thinking: If you watched enough cable news you would swear this was going on in the real world too, but I promise it is decidedly more fun in comic book form.

If you are a longtime comic book fan, you might be hesitant about Dark Reign, as it looks to set up a new status quo for classic heroes like Iron Man and Spider-Man. We can only hope this new setting will bring some fresh ideas to long standing characters and push them in new and exciting directions. If you have never jumped into the world of comics, and you’re looking for a good excuse, then Dark Reign seems to be a great place to hop on and enjoy the ride.