At last, after weeks of delays and anticipation for what's coming next, the final issue of Siege finally hit shops, bringing the early 2010 Marvel mega-event to its conclusion. However, after taking a seat and reading through over 3o pages worth of comic book action, this is all I have to say...
THIS WAS SEVEN YEARS IN THE MAKING?!
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated By: Olivier Coipel
This is it. The final battle for the fate of Asgard and Earth is here. Everything will change once everything is said and done, and how it will affect the entire Marvel Universe remains to be seen.
Oh my god, I don't know what to think anymore.
After all the time spent on comic-altering events like Avengers Disassembled and Civil War, we get a lackluster ending that's more disappointing than it is anti-climactic. I enjoyed the build up the first few issues... and now we get THIS ENDING?! Forgive me for saying this, but I don't have the heart to describe the events in great detail other than point out the flaws and predictability this entire issue gave out to its readership. Squandering Loki and Norman Osborn's villainy was one thing, but turning the Sentry into the Void and giving him a send off like that?! Preposterous. Look, I'm all for the Heroic Age and the return of Captain America and the Avengers to prominence and all, but it really could have been done in a more convincing manner. I feel cheated, and absolutely disappointed that everything built up in Civil War has gone down the drain, becoming nothing more than a passing mark in the oh-so-flawed continuity of the Marvel Universe. What's more, all the evil and corruption Norman Osborn has spread through the Dark Reign has quickly dispersed in a mere four issues, and it sucks just to think that everything is "back to normal" just like that. This is worse than bringing a dead character back to life so effortlessly (Captain America Reborn, I'm looking at you), and it makes me wonder how things would have been if careful planning and better storytelling were involved.
Brian Michael Bendis did a number years ago when he broke the Avengers and sent their entire ranks into a spiral of comic book hell. He rocked our world by introducing an all star cast in New Avengers, and spearheaded several tales and events that would see them thrown into different situations resulting in epic stares and showdowns. I find myself utterly speechless at the way he capped Siege, and it's sad to note that while I'm glad good guys finally get their absolution from all the superhero registration hubbub, I'm not convinced by the transition to the Heroic Age. Like I said earlier, I feel cheated by the way this issue presents itself, and all that mattered in the political landscape of the Marvel Universe suddenly falls off the window.
Bendis has been known to be a dialogue centric storyteller, but none of that is felt here in Siege. It's as if Marvel just wanted to end the confusion and attract new readership by presenting the Heroic Age, unflawed and full of innocence again. Seeing the plan of making Asgard the final staging ground between good and evil just didn't really grab me much in the beginning, and seeing how everything goes after the smoke cleared is just displeasurable. I wanted to see a final battle worth talking about. Instead, all I'm gonna be talking about is how an omnipotent entity like The Void could have his ass kicked so easily by... A Hellicarrier?! Not only that, but Loki himself has a change of heart... and dies a pathetic death? Everything here is a fleeting moment, and if it wasn't for the heroes getting their victory handing it to Osborn's ass the way he deserves it, I wouldn't be paying attention to Siege at all. Olivier Coipel's art is still striking, but even that can't save the fact that this issue, or the entire Siege for that matter, is all about the hype for quick change, not superb storytelling.
Since the end of Siege brought about the end of the previous core Avenger titles, you may want to catch up on those as well, including the one shot epilogue books - New Avengers Finale #1 and Siege Epilogue: The Sentry Fallen Sun. These and the other tie-ins are not required reading if you just followed the bigger tale, but they expand the story in great detail and see how the heroes deal with certain issues in the aftermath of the fall of Asgard. Now that the Heroic Age is coming, expect a new number of Avengers related books to hit shelves starting next week, and while I'm happy to see new team ups and the good guys back in the saddle, it all feels repetitive and not too exciting anymore (save for the Secret Avengers, which is written by Cap scribe Ed Brubaker). I'll probably put my Avenger radar on standby anyways, but for what it's worth. Siege #4 just didn't deliver to my expectations. Hopefully for you reading this, it will be different.
Rating - 3/10