I'm certain that Bendis has something up his sleeve with Ares. As the Dark Avengers descend on the New Avengers, Ares is the only member of DA to express any concern for the injured Luke Cage. Later, when he assaults the NA down in the sewers under the Night Nurse's clinic, he actually asks what the outlaws hope to accomplish. This guy is by far the most reasonable member of Osborn's strike team. Bendis has a couple nice bits sprinkled in; I really enjoyed Mockingbird being unable to resist giving Daken a quick kick to the head. In fact, the combat all issue was well done, for the first time I actually felt like these New Avengers were a competent team. I think they could have mopped the floor with the Dark Avengers.
I'm not sure I understand why we needed 3 or 4 pages taken up with Jessica Jones talking to her mother, I would have preferred to see more fighting. I did appreciate hearing Bendis lay out that people who watch Fox News were more likely to side against the New Avengers. The blatant politics of Dark Reign does amuse me.
The only reason I'm buying this expensive comic again is Stuart Immonen's art. I can't resist his awesome pencils. His close-up of Ms. Marvel as she smugly dismisses Osborn after blasting him in the face was fantastic. He can handle action and emotion with equal skill. This is a beautiful comic.