TIME ONCE AGAIN FOR A MAJOR SPOILERS EXCLUSIVE!Â THE MISSING DIALOGUE FROM THIS COVER!
Iron Man: “Steve.”
Captain America: “Tony.”
Iron Man: “So, it’s good to–”
Captain America: “Wait, are we friends again?Â I’m never sure…”
Iron Man: “Um…Â This is after Rebirth?”
Captain America: “I…Â I think so?Â I don’t exactly remember.”
Iron Man: “So, have you rebooted my brain yet?”
Captain America: “Probably, you’re standing up and wearing your ugly movie armor again.”
Iron Man: “So, we’re friends, then.”
Captain America: “So I can ask what was with the whole “I’m the new Nick Fury” thing?”
Iron Man: “I’m a futurist. It was what was necessary.”
Captain America: “Does being a futurist mean acting like Jan Brady?”
Iron Man: “How do you even know that? You were in a glacier!”
Captain America: “MARSHA, MARSHA, MARSHAAAA!”
Thor: “Verily, mayhap we might lower our arms now?
Previously, on Siege: Norman Osborn was in the right place at the right time at the end of Secret Invasion, scoring the killshot on the queen of the Skrull Empire, and cementing his popularity with the hoi polloi and the government. Scoring a cherry gig as Tony Stark’s replacement in the “Biggest D-Bag In the Marvel Universe” competition, Norman also managed to consolidate his powerbase using the Thunderbolts, the Hood’s villain army, assembling the Dark Avengers, and other chicanery. More impressively, he assembled an all-star cast of mischeif makers, ne’er do wells, and basic nasties into his own Cabal (aka the Illumi-Naughty) in an attempt to control the fate of the entire Marvel Universe. Major defections from his team (Emma Frost, Namor, and Doom) have left Norman scrambling for a new rallying point, but a quiet word from Loki reminded him of the shot that set in motion Norman’s rise to power: The destruction of Stamford by the New Warriors. If you want to start a war, sez Loki, you sometimes have to fire a shot that will be heard ’round the world.
We start with the sequence that has been gumming up the last seven pages of all our Marvel comics for the last month or two, following Volstagg the Voluminous in his quests through middle America, culminating in a battle with the U-Foes and the destruction of Soldier Field and, not coincidentally, the death of a couple thousand American citizens. Â Norman quickly seizes the initiative (not THAT Initiative) and orders his troops to mount up, ’cause he’s invadin’ Asgard. “I believe the phrase you mortals use,” replies Ares upon hearing this, “is ‘Over my dead body.'” Norman convinces his godly pal to climb aboard the War Wagon by pointing out that Asgard is in the control of a madman (said madman being Norman’s own “ally,” Loki.) The President hears of this plan as it is already in motion, trying desperately to pull back the chokechain on the pitbull formerly known as the Green Goblin, but to no avail. Norm-O is already in motion, and his troops quickly make the first salvos in the battle against the entire Norse Pantheon.Â Below Asgard, in the small town of Broxton, Oklahoma, a comatose Tony Stark recovers from something we haven’t seen yet, causing his doctor (one Don Blake) to take unprecedented action: He transforms into the Mighty Thor, and leaps into the fray to oppose Norm-O and the Thunderbolts.
Unbelievably, Thor goes down under the combined might of the Dark Avengers, while an angry Steve Rogers watches the events on television. The once and future Captain America stand up, his fists shaking in impotent rage, and…
…and that’s ALL. Seriously, the story just ends on page 24, and the rest of the issue is a transcript of Norman’s staff meeting that led to the invasion, as well as a preview of ‘Fall Of The Hulks.” $3.99 for 24 pages of story, an interesting but oddly placed (and, in my copy, mis-pasted) bit of screeplay, and a preview for ANOTHER huge crossover taking place across the aisle? Not a good buy, folks. I am bothered by how fabricated the tragedy in Chicago feels (and I’m not talking about Norm-O here, either) but it does, at least, set the stage for Osborn’s coming fall from grace in a workmanlike way, with not-too-bad art, but a serious lack of satisfactory heft… For the start of the next big thing, it’s a relatively small opening salvo. I’m irritated that another character had to be sacrificed to the grist mill of badassery, even one as minor as Volstagg, as though having anyone in the Marvel firmament who isn’t suitably photogenic and tough-guy awesome. If they turn him into another Penance, I’m going to be highly disappointed. Overall, though, the high points are slightly higher than the low, causing Siege #1 to earn a slightly below expectations 2 out of 5 stars. It’s not a bad comic, just an overpriced package that has been highly devalued by too much preview material…