Oh, boy. The shit really hit the fan in this issue. It's the Black Knight and his allies versus the Uncanny Avengers...and it looked as if Dane was going to win. But Steve Rogers made a big speech about how the Avengers will never give up until they get their man...and the allies abandoned Dane. There still seemed to be a chance for him...until Dr. Voodoo conjured up the spirits of the former Black Knights. Dane was shaken up enough for Steve to knock him out cold. The issue ends with Steve Rogers holding the Ebony Blade, and the rest of the Avengers wondering what to do with Dane.
TMI, Deadpool. TMI! (but lol at Johnny's reaction!)
There are flashbacks throughout which finally explain how Dane got to Weirdworld in the first place, and why Steve is so determined to get him. Rebecca Stevens, the Black Knight historian who first confronted Dane in Original Sins #2, approached the Uncanny Avengers with the information that Dane has been attacking villains on his own, and doing it viciously. (This also explains why she tagged along with the Uncannys to Weirdworld.) We also learn that Dane is really being controlled by the blade...Vision points out that he would never behave like this on his own. But Steve Rogers decides that Dane needs to be found and taken down. Here is the panel that broke my heart:
So much for "Once an Avenger, always an Avenger". :(
Dane stole an Avengers Quinjet and at the blade's bidding, headed for the Bermuda Triangle, and was somehow sucked into a portal to Weirdworld. This also explains how the Uncanny Avengers found a way to him.
Poor Dane is at the mercy of the blade, it seems. It's as if he's just a vessel, and the blade is the real brains.
This was a grim issue with pretty much no humor (except for Deadpool's "accident"). It was hard to see Dane Whitman, once a valued Avenger, suddenly abandoned by his new allies, and his former fellow Avengers and friends trying to take him down. It answered many questions and leaves many more. It's going to be a long wait for February and issue #4. I hope this book manages to last at least a year...sadly it's not doing well in sales. I don't believe Dane is evil- it's all the blade. Perhaps now that he's had the blade taken away, he'll have a chance to be himself again...if he survives the separation. The cover for #5 shows him in chains and displaying withdrawal symptoms.