Sunday, March 21, 2010

Longbox Special: Under Siege

After not one but two weeks without any Siege material from Marvel, we get the main book, two tie-ins and all hell breaking loose.

Siege #3 opens with the White House reacting to the assault on Asgard calling for the arrest of Norman Osborn as Captain America and his Avengers show up to launch their counteroffensive.  Thor engages Sentry on the streets of Broxton, which does not look like a fight that will end well for the thunder god.  Meanwhile, with Osborn’s forces on the ropes, backup arrives in the form of The Hood and his gang and Speed of the Young Avengers makes a delivery from Steve Rogers to Tony Stark.
The action moves along a good clip as Cap and his team get an assist from the U.S. government as H.A.M.M.E.R forces are taken down.  Iron Man shows up to neutralize Osborn’s armor and Norman finally makes the snap everyone has been waiting for.  However, this doesn’t happen before he has Sentry disengage Thor and bring Asgard to the ground.  The issue ends with a big cliffhanger and a new threat.
Bendis moves the action along really well in this issue and continues to portray Osborn as a fully dimensional character, not just a psychopath in power.  Coipel’s art brings the action to life in a way I have only seen since Bryan Hitch.  I’m very excited with the question of just how they’re going to wrap this up.  Also, it was good to see Iron Man back in the game.
Siege: Embedded #3 continues Ben Urich’s adventure to the front lines of Asgard as he stows away as an embedded reporter on a H.A.M.M.E.R transport with Todd Keller, the apparent Glenn Beck of the Marvel universe who is on the side of Norman Osborn.  Things go awry when the craft is hit by a thrown Venom and gets worse when it looks like all on board are on the menu for the monster.
A fortunately timed crash seems to save just about everyone on board, save those Venom already ate.  Venom also seems to have taken off to rejoin the battle as Ben and Keller’s nonplused producer manage to dig Keller out of the wreckage only to be forced at gunpoint to set up a broadcast from the streets of Asgard.  Meanwhile, Urich’s friend Will Stern has made his way to Asgard just in time to capture its fall on camera.
I’ve enjoyed how this tie-in book works the press angle and the fight that goes on via the news.  However, I’m still uncomfortable with the Todd Keller character.  He’s seemed very flat from the outset and doesn’t really get much depth.  It would be nice if he at least got one monologue like those given to Osborn to help flesh him out and maybe make a touch more sympathetic as a person.
Finally, Dark Avengers #15 continues to reveal just how it is that Norman Osborn got not only Sentry but The Void into his pocket.  The events of the Cabal meeting where Doom takes himself out of the mix is fully revealed and we see it’s The Void that was Osborn’s secret weapon.  It is in the wake of this even that the problem of Bob’s wife Lindy is taken care of.
During the attack, Avenger’s tower is evacuated giving Hawk/Bullseye the opportunity to take Lindy out to sea and neutralize her.  Upon his return, he relays that she couldn’t take her life anymore and jumped into the ocean sending Sentry off to find her.  There is a follow up scene with Victoria Hand and Osborn as Norman tells her to relay that the attack on Avengers Tower was an act of Latverian terrorism.
This issue works really well with the main event book in that it gives just enough information to allow an understanding why Sentry is behaving as he is.  It will be interesting to see just what they do with the next issue since I’m assuming it will be the last, wrapping things up with the wrap up of the event.
This was a good week for the Siege event and I’m interested in seeing they’ll be able to keep this level of quality through the rest of this month.  I know there were a couple of weak books last month and this month we’re going to see some other titles brought in with Mighty Avengers #35 and New Mutants #11.  I’m not sure what New Mutants is doing in there and it concerns me just a little bit with Second Coming just around the corner for the X-Books.

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