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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Comic Review - Siege 1-4

Publish Date/Year
Creative Team
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Touted by Marvel as the story that took 7 years in the making, Siege spells the end of Norman Osborn's Dark Reign.

The Cabal (Osborn, Dr Doom, Loki, The Hood, Namor, Emma Frost) is falling apart with the falling out from Namor & Frost arising from the events in Utopia and with the added threat of the Realm of Asgard floating over Oklahoma, they decide to remove the Asgardian threat by fabricating an excuse to wage war against it.

The first salvo from Osborn comes when the U-Foes are ordered to attack Thor's good friend - the rotund Volstagg, inadvertently causing a catastrophe with heavy casualties, hence giving Osborn the needed reason to attack Asgard.

Meanwhile, Steve Rogers (the original Capt America who was supposed to be dead after the events in Civil War) is revealed to be alive and is amassing heroes (including Thor and Nick Fury & his Secret Warriors) to right the wrongs wrought by Osborn.

With both the Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts under Osborn's command, they lay siege to Asgard. Ares, the God of War, reluctantly leads Osborn's attack with the super powerful but mentally unstable Sentry serving as their fearsome attack dog. When Heimdall, Guardian of Asgard's Rainbow Bridge, manages to convince Ares that he'd been deceived by Osborn, Ares finally turns against Osborn. However, the power shift is short lived as Sentry defeats Ares in a most shocking manner (well, to me at least!) - he literally tears Ares in two! Even the usually twisted members of Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts froze upon looking at that spectacle!

Capt America and the rest of the heroes arrive to save the day but not before the Sentry goes on a rampage and literally brings Asgard crashing down! Iron Man manages to defeat the now visibly insane Osborn by deactivating his Iron Patriot armor (which was based on Stark's Iron Man design) but the main threat of the Sentry seems to just be about to rear its ugly head as the Void (the Sentry's evil self) seems to have taken dominance.

Things seem really grim as even Loki, who thru Osborn, orchestrated the whole thing was shedding tears of remorse and asking for Odin's forgiveness when he realised what a grave mistake he'd made by releasing the Void! Loki takes it upon himself to try to right his wrongs by going against the Void. The Void seemingly destroys Loki (I can't really believe he's gone - after all, Loki is the master of trickery and deceipt!) before Thor's eyes!

It's now up to Thor to bring down the Void! However, it was Iron Man who manages to clobber the Void using a HAMMER (or SHIELD) Heli-Carrier as a makeshift missile, reverting him to Bob Reynolds momentarily. Bob begs Thor to kill him before he reverts to the Void again but before Thor can bring him in, Bob transforms into the Void again! Thor musters all his power to defeat the Void once and for all, with thunder and lightning, burning him to a crisp. He then disposes Bob's burnt corpse to the sun to be forever destroyed.

In the aftermath of Siege, Steve Rogers had been authorised to replace Osborn in his role and the currently outlaw Avengers re-instated as heroes, paving the way for the next era of Marvel - the Age of Heroes!

Olivier Coipel really does an incredible job in the series! Altho' his art is somewhat less fluid than some artists such as George Perez or Marko Djurjevic, but his work has picture perfect panels and conveys power & drama (much like Travis Charest - Yummy art)!
Additional Comments
This is of course a significant event in the history of Marvel as the Marvel Universe had goen thru so much since the events precipatated by the House of M, leading to the near-extinction of mutants to the dis-assembly of the Avengers. Hence, regardless of whether you are a DC Die-hard or Marvel Front-Facer (or an Insufferable Independent!), this is a story that must be read , if not for anything else but just the sheer significance of the storyline alone. Personally, I like Bendis's writing and Coipel's art is just lovely. So, reading the Siege is a pleasant experience. My only complaint is that too much happens outside of the 4 issues. Readers would need to read many of the accompanying 1-shots and the other cross-over issues like New Avengers, Dark Avengers, Thunderbolts, etc to fully appreciate everything that's happened.
The variant covers by Del Otto (#2-4) & Bianchi (#1) are also excellent (altho I would've prefer Djurjevic). All 4 are re-preduced here.

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