I've really been enjoying reading all of the Marvel books that have fallen under and been touched by the Dark Reign story arc that began at the end of Secret Invasion. For those who missed this book, you'll probably want to pick it up and read that first, so you can understand how Norman Osborn (aka The Green Goblin) came to be in charge of keeping peace in the United States. Unlike most Marvel events, Dark Reign has no core mini-series around which all the tie-in books orbit. Instead, Marvel concurrently ran several small mini-series that are all, essentially, tie-in books to the big theme of the bad guys taking control of the enforcement power in the United States. Along with this, several of the core Marvel books adopted new titles with the adjective "Dark" preceding the regular title, so we had Dark Wolverine (Dark Wolverine Vol. 1: The Prince), Dark Avengers (Dark Avengers, Vol. 1: Assemble), Dark X-Men (Dark X-Men Premiere HC), etc.
This book focuses on one interesting piece of Norman's new position of power: a short list of individuals who have wronged him egregiously enough that he has determined they need to be dealt with permanently. Interestingly enough, several of the people on his list feel the same way about Norman Osborn, and are willing to risk all to bring the man down.
Because the collection of stories in this book deal with major characters across the Marvel universe and are all written by different individuals and illustrated by different artists, you get a wide variety of stories, here, in terms of visual appeal, degree of relevance, and quality of writing. Surprisingly, most fare pretty well in each of these categories. The reader just needs to know that the events depicted in this book do not tell one story, but many individual stories written by the writers of these character's on-going titles, and heavily entrenched in the events going on in each of those respective books. Do you necessarily need to know what's been going on in Daredevil to appreciate the Daredevil story in this book? No, but it helps. The same goes for each of these stories. The writers do a good job integrating the aspects of the Dark Reign theme into their books, so the result is a book that lands solidly in regular continuity instead of falling by the wayside, as tends to be the case in many story tie-ins. I really appreciated this, and I think most readers will appreciate this effort, too.
My personal favorite was the Daredevil story, as I never get tired of seeing Daredevil face-off against his arch-enemy Bullseye. The Punisher story was also good, and definitely a bit of a surprise. This was, literally, a fight-to-the-death between Frank Castle and Daken - Wolverine's son, and after reading the story I now understand how the current Punisher book came to be the "Franken-castle" book. The Dark Avengers story, in which [Clint Barton] Hawkeye attempts to assassinate Norma Osborn is a great read, and the Spider-Man story also stands out as a great read as it really boils down to a classic story of "the little guy versus the system," and everybody enjoys seeing the little guy outsmart a seemingly implacable foe and publicly embarrass them.
Overall, I liked this book quite a bit, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's interesting in reading more of the Dark Reign event - one of the best events Marvel has had in the new decade.