Or – “Alas, Poor Yorick…”

Siege1.jpg 

“…I threw him, Horatio… 

…into the sun.”

Siege #2 (of 4)

Siege2.jpgCOVER BY: Olivier Coipel
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: Olivier Coipel
INKS: Array
COLORED BY: Laura Martin
LETTERED BY: VC – Chris Eliopoulos

 Previously, on Siege:  Marvel-Earth has not been a happy place for a number of years now, from Illuminati plots to Planets Hulk, from Wars Civil to Reigns Dark, and Norman Osborn’s ascension to a position of political power really underlines the fact that Captain America was right when he said that a database and an oversight committee would undermine what it is that a hero does. With Thor exiled from Asgard, Asgard floating above a city in Oklahoma, and a convenient fake-disaster courtesy of Norm-O’s villainous thugs, Norman has declared war on the floating city. (I’m sure that the President has a few words for him upon his return, mind you..) Last issue, the Dark Avengers, the recruits from Camp HAMMER, and whichever malcontents and criminals Norm could round up attacked, going so far as to knock down the Goddathunda… This issue promises to remind Norman that these heroes have been out before, but never for the FULL count.

A pivotal moment in this battle takes place in the first two pages of the book, as Ares of Olympus confrons Balder and Heimdall, and is told the real truth about Osborn’s pretense of invasion. Ares wasn’t really fully invested in the mortals interfering in godly affairs to begin with, and Heimdall’s words convince him that the entire affair must stop immediately. He sets out to find Iron Patriot, but before he can, Norman’s armor warns him of an incoming attack. Before he can move, he is hit by what looks a bit like a Stinger missile. I am suddenly amazed to hear myself say “Thank the lord for Maria Hill!” The interim pawn head of SHIELD comes in with guns blazing, and extracts Thor from the clutches of the U-Foes and Dark Avengers and escapes in a borrowed pickup truck (with a bit of help from Thor’s lightning bursts.) Half a continent away, Steve Rogers rallies his troops (The New Avengers, the Young Avengers, and Nick Fury and the Secret Warriors) to finally throw off the yoke of the Green Goblin’s mad oppression. at full tilt (thanks to a super-transport that Nick Fury might have stolen from SHIELD) while, in Oklahoma, Ares finally finds the man who lied to him.

“You would have done the same thing,” explains Norman, a bit too calmly. Ares rages that he will rip off Norm-O’s head, but is suddenly taken down by a golden streak from the sky. “I thought us friends,” says Ares, realizing that he’s been attacked by the Sentry, but their fight is NOT that of friends, or even really that of HUMAN BEINGS. Axe meets fist, as the Golden Guardian of Good and God of War lay into one another, for page after page. In Brooklyn, Norman Osborn informs Phobos, the son of Ares, that he’s not willing to take a ten-year-old kid ito a warn zone, and the heroes board their transport, leaving a seething mad God of Fear behind. As Ares begins to feel the effects of the battle, a completely unfazed Sentry grasps him by the throat, pulling him to his feel. “Is he going to–?” asks Bullseye/Hawkeye, knowing what the look in Sentry’s eye means (what with being a psycho-killer himself and all.) The Sentry literally TEARS ARES APART with his bare hands, on NATIONAL TELEVISION, as the stunned combatants look on. We see Dark Wolverine hunting Thor, only to take a lightning bolt to the face (YEAH!) for his troubles… The main battlefield remains still, though, until Norman’s armor again warns him of incoming fire. As he turns, we see the reflection of the familiar red, white and blue shield of Captain America coming straight at his face…

I will say that this issue has some moments that got to me (like the multi-panel “push” on Iron Patriot’s armor as Cap’s shield grows larger and larger, the electrocution of Daken, and even Maria Hill playing cavalry) but events really moved at a breakneck pace throughout. Ares was suspicious in panel one, and dead by page 18, Thor was down and out at the beginning but frying mutants by page 20, and all in all a TON of things happened in quick succession. That’s not at all a bad thing, though, since last issue felt like all-too-much prelude, and there really haven’t been a lot of ‘Hell, YEAH!’ moments during the tense buildup that was Dark Reign. The end of Norm-O is quite obviously on it’s way, and it’s occasionally fun to watch a car roll downhill and burst into flame, metaphorically speaking. Olivier Coipel has come a long way since his early days on ‘Legion Lost,’ and his art here works quite well, especially in the detailed vision of one man ripping another man in half. Spider-Man gets in one good quip, and everyone seems to be acting in character, even if what is set up in the beginning as an epic battle sort of disappears as the issue progresses. I am gratified to see that this book is a four-issue setup, unlike the seemingly interminable Civil War and Secret Invasion 7 and 8 issue smackdowns. I’ve been having cognitive dissonance about Bendis’ work lately, but this issue delivers the goods for me… Siege #2 earns a rather satisfying 3.5 out of 5 stars overall, and a little bit more Cap and Friends could have easily pushed it into 4-star territory. A couple of long-standing plot points are about to be harvested, and it really seems like we’re clearing the decks for the coming Heroic Age

 

Rating: ★★★½☆

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About Author

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.

31 Comments

  1. Thelastavenger on

    As always your writing has made me a fan. Before reading your review i was going to ignore Siege but now i am glad that at least one issue by Bendis has Ares acting like he was in the Ares:God of War mini.
    Also i think it would be awesome if they used siege introduce Marvelman to the MU and have him be a part of the new Avengers team, What do you think?

  2. I really wish that The Sentry would just ****k off. Apart from the original series the character has done nothing but devalue every single other character that he comes into contact with. (Apparently the Fantastic Four never really defeated Galactus that first time, the sentry fought him to a standstill and he went home!) He has no interesting or redeeming character qualities and I’m sick of seeing the pansy cry. I was a great fan of Ares, especially in Incredible Herc, they had some of the funniest fights.

  3. Another great review.

    I don’t mind a breakneck pace once in a while if the pace lends to the story. In this case I suspect Bendis knows where he wants to be at the end of each issue and the pace he wants getting there.

    The roller-coaster feel invokes that tension of being in on the action. So I am good with that.

    The return of Steve Rogers can set the whole world right.

    • The return of Steve Rogers can set the whole world right.

      What if it’s not really Steve Rogers at all? What if this “Captain America” is the actual fullfilment of Red Skull’s evil plot and he’s going to lead everyone to their deaths?

      Cult of Personality is seldom pretty… :)

  4. How does the last Dark Wolverine fit into Siege then? Last issue we see Daken literaly stab Normie in the back during the Siege with Ares still around and all…

      • I have no idea, all I know is that Ragnarok starts with the death of Balder, so I think the goddesses (I thnk they’re supposed to be the 3 Norns from norse mythology) are saying Daken will kill Balder and trigger Ragnarok once again which will ultimately reborn all of Asgard once more on another plane of existance.

  5. I’ll go ahead and note the fact that none of seemed to hurt that Ares was killed in battle. However, I will wager that since he’s a god (small g) that he can return at some point. My only lament is that his scenes were always interesting and that there were hints of potential. By the way, I’m still not buying Thor being beat within an inch of his life by these losers….

    • astrodinosaurus on

      He was never really wounded just knocked out…and those losers did include Sentry (Big G?) But what I really want to know is how this plays into whatever happens to Phobos (Alex, Ares jr)… It has been established that if he dies he then gains god(hood?, dom?, acity?).

      So will he storm into battle when he hears his pappi went down? Will he die in battle?
      Are we going to see a full fledged god of fear?

      • Greek gods in the Marvel universe are at a weird place right now, given that Olympus was destroyed by Mikaboshi. And if you remember that little skirmish, Zeus was killed in battle. After which we saw the sky-father in Hades (Incredible Hercules). So I can only assume that Ares is dead. Not just hurt, not about to return, not mostly dead. All dead and on his way to the Underworld.

        Which makes me very sad. Ares was the best thing to come out of Dark Reign in my opinion.

        Likewise, Alexander/Phobos is a full-fledged god(ling), only limited by his youth and inexperience. It’s already been said by Nick Fury (a good judge of character) that his potential is properly flabbergasting. So like Gaumer, I am most eager to see the dear boy put some terror into the heart of Bob Reynolds, and remind him that “Nobody *@%§ with the god of fear”.

        • Zeus-in-child-form is currently co-starring in the “Assault On New Olympus” arc running through the Herc book. So anybody gonna put money down on Toddler Ares?

  6. I’m anxious for Phobos to find out about Ares and then the Sentry can feel some real fear…which is his only weakness anyways, right?

  7. The Sentry is a much more interesting villain than a hero. I’m finding myself more interested in him being taken down than Norman. I’ve read in so many Dark Reign books that Norman will fail on his own. Maybe this whole direction is going towards The Sentry being the main threat after all.

    • astrodinosaurus on

      If that’s true I want him to be defeated by the scariest thing in the Marvel U…I want it to be solidified that this is the most powerful thing in the Marvel U…I want to see fear in the face of a god when he is defeated by….not’ the Hulk, Thor or any Avengers, Mutants or Gods nor The Beyonder, Molecularman, Phoenix or Galactus but instead Reed Richards mind. Because the reason the F4 have been overlooked during Dark Reign is for the same reasons Bob gets “killed” so often … So powerful they shoot holes in the plot… Make up for it, let Reed and Sue get in the last punch. And lets see the closest thing Marvel have to Superman get done in by the closest thing they have to Lex Luthor. If a glowy rock is involved I will only giggle harder.

  8. blah..so Bendis has to kill yet another character…he does understand that you dont need to bump someone off in every single event story right…I know some people dont mind this kind of stuff, but it annoys me..if he spent half as much time trying to create some new characters on his own, to replce some of these people, I might not mind so much

  9. Ares build up in Secret Warriors (showing his priority is always raising Phobos) and his 3 issue Dark Reign arc that showed his leadership and respect for his brothers in arms (which is why he is so angry at Osborn over misleading him about Asgard) were well done. I hope he does find a way to come back.

    As other people have said: Ares was one of the best parts of Dark Reign. Sadly now I think his whole build up was planned just to have his death/defeat set Sentry up as the villain during Siege.

    I really liked Sentry as the long lost superman, but I think his overwhelming powers are really messing up Earth in MU. If you don’t staggeringly weaken him or kill him (hopefully it’ll stick) I’d hope at the very least he’d leave Earth and become a Cosmic hero/villain.

    I’d love to see Sentry use the power of a million exploding suns to seal The Fault.

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