Or – “Nobody’s Allowed To Be Fun In The Marvel Universe Anymore…”



Iron Man: “Steve.”
Captain America: “Tony.”
Iron Man: “So, it’s good to–”
Captain America: “Wait, are we friends again?  I’m never sure…”
Iron Man: “Um…  This is after Rebirth?”
Captain America: “I…  I think so?  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!”
Thor: “Verily, mayhap we might lower our arms now?

Siege #1
COVER BY: Oliver Coipel
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: Oliver Coipel

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.  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.  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…

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. January 15, 2010 at 4:37 am — Reply

    My shop gave away a preview of this that ended with the scene where the New Warriors Volstagg blows up the small town school football field, which seems to be 2/3s of the story. Kind of a dim-bulb promotion, since it very effectively failed to sell me on the series and managed to give me most of its latest big event’s start for free. And like you, I’m annoyed they picked another pure fun character to make the scapegoat/sacrificial lamb for this crossover as well.

  2. CedricP
    January 15, 2010 at 6:10 am — Reply

    So Steve Rogers don’t want to be captain america anymore(as in “Who will wield the shield”), but he still wear is Captain America costume to watch TV alone in is apartment. Hummm… ok I wont ask.

  3. Navarre
    January 15, 2010 at 7:18 am — Reply

    (nods) I agree with Mela.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    I’ll give it a chance as it progresses but, meh.

  4. Greg A
    January 15, 2010 at 8:34 am — Reply

    I think Siege #1 suffers from not having what Heidi MacDonald calls “The Satisfying Chunk”. When Siege is ultimately collected, I believe it will read fine; however, issue #1 just ends. The final image of Steve Rogers makes absolutely no sense and would have been better served as the first image for issue 2. This seems to be Bendis’s problem when he writes these events—looking to the final collection rather than how it might flow issue to issue. Siege probably would be best served as a couple 96-page giant-sized issues of New and Dark Avengers.

    I don’t like feeling I’ve purchased material twice and that’s exactly how the multi-page Siege #1 preview made me feel as I read issue 1—and all of these previews from both DC and Marvel make me feel. If anything, the preview made me seriously consider sitting this event out and waiting for the collection. I am even more disinclined to pick up this Hulk event, although it was considerably more exciting in those brief pages than all of the first issue of Siege.

    The inclusion of the text pages needs to stop. I didn’t like them in Bendis’ Secret War and I don’t like them now. The production error doesn’t help matters; however, if the information in the text piece is so important it should have been included in the main story. If the information isn’t really important, then it’s just filler—worse than filler given the error.

  5. TaZ
    January 15, 2010 at 8:52 am — Reply

    I don’t care if Jay Leno…I mean, Steve Rogers wears his Cap gear as lounge-wear but for continutity’s sake will someone PLEASE make up their mind what kind of damn BELT holds his pants up? Is it a plain belt like in the past? Is it the retro-70’s two-hole deal like in the seige front page? Is it the combination military pouch/utility belt like in the “impotent rage” panel and Ultimate Cap? See, it’s little details like that that sometimes matter.

    And as far as trying to figure out when all this stuff is happening in relation to Iron Man, Captain America, and other titles I have quite frankly given up on trying to figure that out as much as trying to figure out exactly when in relationship to every dead character in DC Universe becoming a Black Lantern relates to Roy Harper getting his arm ripped off and a new JLA line up. Some of us are OLD for cripes’ sake! I mean they haven’t even finished the series that shows HOW Steve Rogers gets back in current time in his body before they do a shot that shows Bucky Barnes being the current Captain America and then in Iron Man Steve shows up with the shield to “jump start” Tony… Oy vey!

  6. Brainlock
    January 15, 2010 at 11:01 am — Reply

    Looks to me like Steve’s a little happy to be back, up there.
    For Marvel, I’m down to Thor and Incredible Herc–wait, what? ohhh, nevermind then.

  7. January 15, 2010 at 11:56 am — Reply

    Almost makes me think that Joe Q thinks fans will buy any event regardless of quality. Maybe your paying 3.99 for the swerve of the “face” Thor taking a beating from the Wolfpack…I mean The Dark Avenger while Sting… I mean, Steve looks on in quiet rage from the rafters… Oh, you know what I mean ^_^

    And since it sells that means it’s okay, right? o_O;

    • January 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm — Reply

      The Dark Avengers are nWo Hollywood. I’d say that Hank Pym’s Avengers are the Wolfpack, what with Hercules channelling Kevin Nash and the Konnan stylings of Quicksilver.

      But who will be Buff Bagwell?

      • ~wyntermute~
        January 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm — Reply

        JonasVision will be Buff. Heck, I think Vision has more personality than Buff The Stuff. Awoooooooo~!!

  8. Brother129
    January 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm — Reply

    I’m thankful that this “event” is only four issues long. In the time that it usually takes BMB to tell a story, there is probably actually only two issues worth of real story in here. I give Bendis credit for nice dialogue and the overall big picture, but constructing a tightly plotted, well conceived, well paced story is a clear deficit. Too bad Fraction couldn’t have co-written this with him.

  9. DickGrayson
    January 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm — Reply

    this would have never happened had dick grayson been there.

  10. Alan
    January 16, 2010 at 11:30 am — Reply

    “If they turn him into another Penance, I’m going to be highly disappointed.”

    Are you kidding?!? That would be awesome! Imagine an 800-pound Volstagg squeezing his fat ass into a spiky bondage outfit and joining the T-bolts. He could call himself Dark Volstagg, or may be just Darkstagg. Maybe he and Penance could get a buddy series, like the old Power Man-Iron Fist series, except that it would be “edgy,” i.e. so relentlessly depressing that it actually becomes hilarious. Certainly, Dark Speedball running around in that ridiculous outfit for the last few years has been comedy gold. Why wouldn’t we want to see the exact same thing but with a morbidly obese Jack Kirby creation?

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