Siege: Secret Warriors - 'Siege' - Hickman, Vitti and Villarrubia
Story - This week was a bumper one for Secret Warriors fans, not only did we get the latest regular issue, the excellent continuation of the 'Wake The Beast' storyline, but we also get this nice little extra, a one-shot that goes into more detail about the Secret Warriors' involvement in Marvel's mega-event du jour, Siege.
Well, not that much more detail. But it was still enjoyable.
This one-shot is pretty much only concerned with 2 characters, Alex aka Phobos, and Nick Fury. It makes sense that these are the characters that Hickman would choose to focus on, Nick has his enmity with Norman, and Alex's dad, Ares was ripped in half by The Sentry in Siege #2. The issue begins with Alex discovering this information, we get a heart-felt flashback to the Oeming Ares mini, and then Alex goes to speak to the President. I really enjoyed these scenes. It made sense that the Secret Service agents wouldn't know what to do when faced by a little kid, what makes this God Of Fear so fearsome is that he looks so innocent, and when he proceeds to slaughter Agents without impunity, you really see that he is his father's son. He doesn't get to kill Obama, but he leaves a strongly worded letter of complaint, and it's a good insight into his character. I've talked before, most notably in my review of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 that Hickman often ignores character at the expense of big picture stuff, but this one-shot was all about character for me.
Nick's stuff is more simple, he enters into more dick-swinging with Norman Osborn, and then heads into Asgard for the battle. You've got to hand it to Bendis for making the centre-piece of Siege a massive free for all of indeterminate length amid ruins, it allows for plenty of tie-ins to show stories that are happening in the brawl. Here, we get Nick and Cap having a bit of fun. It may seem a little odd to have more light-hearted moments going on in the middle of Siege, but it fits Nick's character, he's just a bad-ass, and he does bad-ass things like take a break for some liquor. He's the baddest mother-fucker on the planet under Hickman's pen, and he shows it well here.
Overall, this was a nice little diversion from the heady 'Wake The Beast' storyline, it built up some characterisation for Phobos, had some bad-ass Nick Fury, and whet my appetite for the delayed Siege #4. Yes, it was hardly essential, and it didn't really add anything to the mythos, but with the series' running length being cut ever shorter by Hickman, we need all the Secret Warriors we can get. Would I have liked something with more substance? Probably yes, but you can't fault this issue, as it's highly enjoyable, and does exactly what all tie-ins should do, support the main story, and not take away from it.
Art - Vitti is no stranger to the world of Secret Warriors, having illustrated the 'God of War, God Of Fear' storyline. His takes on Phobos and Nick are strong, but I feel that when we enter the more brightly coloured Siege battle-scenes, it looks a little off. But he does draw the best mass kid-perpetrated carnage since John Romita Jnr in Kick-Ass. If Caselli ever needs a break again, Vitti is definitely the go-to guy.
Best Line - 'And what would Ares, God of War. do with that answer?'