Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Longbox

issue: 1 of 4
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artist: Olivier Coipel
publisher: Marvel

Siege #1 left me hopeful but also somewhat worried at the event Marvel tells us has been “seven years in the making.”

Bendis delivers a tight script, great dialogue, and some spot on pacing. The now seemingly standard “The Story Thus Far” segment on page one and a verbose opening allow new readers to pick up the book without needing too much from other books. Coipel’s pencils with Mark Morales’s inks are sharp and dynamic.
For those not in the know, since the conclusion of the Skrull invasion of Earth, Norman Osborn has been placed in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D, now H.A.M.M.E.R, and has assembled a cabal of super-villains to take advantage of the situation. In the time during Osborn’s “Dark Reign”, his cabal has begun to disintegrate and the tenuous hold he’s maintained on his own sanity has begun to slip. Now, Osborn has begun to conspire with Loki to launch an attack on Asgard, but to do so they need an incident to justify the attack, something big.

Siege #1 opens with this incident where Volstagg, one of the Asgardians, is lured into a fight that leads to the destruction of Soldier Field during a football game and the deaths of those in attendance. Osborn assembles his Avengers as well as the Initiative and makes his move on Asgard against the orders of the President of the United States. Armies clash over Braxton, Oklahoma where Asgard floats and a comatose Tony Stark lies in the care of Dr. Donald Blake. Blake takes to the battle as Thor where he is quickly taken down and an angry Steve Rogers (Captain America) watches on via televised news coverage.

Everything in this issue is delivered in big budget action movie style. A building story and beautiful visuals punctuate every moment of every page. My worry, though, is the four issue count they’ve decided to go with. I’m sure Bendis can deliver the goods in four issues but just how good will they be? With the promise that this storyline will bring together Captain America, Iron Man, and Captain America for the first time in years, I wonder if four issues can do a story like that justice?
In the end, Siege #1 does what any good first issue of an event should do. It sets the stage, draws lines, and teases of great things to come.

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