It's my first comic book review of the year! Break out the war drums and arm yourselves, because the Marvel universe is in the midst of war once more. "Siege", the newest comic saga by the House Of Ideas, is finally out and available in comic shops near you. It's a series that tots itself as "an event seven years in the making" - a statement that refers to the grand culmination of everything that has transpired since "Avengers: Disassembled" began in 2004, leading to a series of events that rocked the foundation of the Marvel Universe. After 2008's "Secret Invasion", Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, rose to power and began his "Dark Reign" over the entire MU, organizing his own set of Avengers and systematically destroying anyone and anything standing in his way. Now setting his sights on Asgard, Osborn, with assistance from Loki, devise a plot that will allow the madman to launch a full scale attack on the realm of the Norse Gods, which will help him seal his authority over everything. Now with a plot like that and the reassembled cast of Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, you have the makings of an epic before you, just waiting to be picked up and read by fans around the world.
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated By: Olivier Coipel
Norman Osborn, leader of H.A.M.M.E.R, the Dark Avengers, and mastermind of the Cabal, wants Asgard. Partnering himself with Loki, he sets into motion a plan that will help him take over the city and place it under his watch. Venturing off his home and into Earth in search of adventure, the Asgardian warrior known as Volstagg is attacked and thrown into a battle that causes more collateral damage than good, giving Osborn the authority he needs to launch a full scale invasion. Mobilizing his troops and assaulting Asgard, the Gods are thrown off and are forced to fend off his attack. Seeing his city under fire, Thor rushes in to take on Osborn, but his forces are too great and too many. Will the Thunder God and his friends fall to the Siege, or can someone stop Norman Osborn before his insidious plan comes to fruition?
As far as first impressions go, I find the entire thing okay and a little too predictable.
While I wouldn't call the first issue a weak start, it certainly doesn't get me jumping off my seat. The entire book smells a whole lot like "Civil War", only with Brian Michael Bendis taking over writing duties and throwing in a "Hero vs God" plot into the mix. I'm haven't been privy to many things happening with Thor lately, but his new look, resurrection, and bringing Asgard to the mortal plane make for interesting stories as of late, and apparently now is the time for a confrontation that will shake both worlds to the core when all is said and done. Responsible for "the destruction of the Avengers", Bendis is a solid writer who has proven time and again he can blend superb action with pretty pieces of dialogue, and the same holds true for Siege. Like I said earlier, I'm not too blown away by the start of things, but the pacing alone feels like Avengers Disassembled, so things are picking up steam slowly but surely. I do like the fact that he's utilized many characters, both prominent and not, especially ones who have been overlooked through the years and have become pivotal in making the "Siege" come to pass - case in point being Volstagg. The large and hearty member of the Warriors Three has been used as an unwilling pawn, and his part in the Stamford like tragedy makes you feel for the hero and despise Loki and Osborn even more for putting him in such a tragic front. As the book follows through with this, Osborn gets to work, assembles his troops, and begins his own invasion of Asgard, which the Gods have to repel as best they can. While the heroes have yet to assemble and counter this, Thor takes the initiative and rides into battle alone. Since it's the first issue, there isn't that many mind blowing action sequences yet, but the Thunder God and Dark Avengers supply a little appetizer to get everything going, with a special one page spread of a hero who has recently returned and will begin to make his move. These visuals, courtesy of penciler Olivier Coipel, are just exotic and amazing to take in. His work on Thor was excellent, and if any of you enjoyed that, then you will definitely be taken aback by his work and detail on Siege.
As an event to end all events, Siege lands on the mediocre scale as far as beginnings go. Since we have yet to see how things will unravel from this point, all I can hope for is an epic struggle that will have the heroes fighting and shining brighter all the more. My favorite characters have yet to show their faces in battle, so I guess I'm sticking around until everything wraps up in the next three months. Anyone who's been following the Marvel events since Disassembled and Civil War owe it to themselves to pick this up and see things through. Otherwise, they can wait for the results, or if you're a newbie, this is a good start to a wonderful outcome, which promises to be the "Heroic Age" of Marvel comics after all this is said and done. Bring it, Bendis and Coipel!
Rating - 4/5