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Review Group Siege #1

The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

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The Marvel hype machine is pushing Siege as "an event 7 years in the making".  People aren't actually buying into that crap are they?  Yes. Yes they are.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.  Here, you read the reviews and see for yourself and I'll get back to Tales Designed to Thrizzle.
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Review by thefourthman

Since that first explosive story by Bendis, the Marvel brand has been a unified whole. House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion, and now Siege have been stories that affected every nook and cranny of the universe that Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby built. When you think about it that way, every year being a big status quo breaking event for seven years of comics, it is no wonder that fans talk about event fatigue. Our senses are worn. How much more can we take? It’s like Saw Part 7, eventually you stop caring.

Marvel has promised us a reprieve after this one. Four issues, no more. That’s a relief in and of itself, especially considering that House of M and Secret Invasion could have been told in a few less books. It seems maybe the House of Ideas has been listening to the internet naysayers all along. Only time and the decisions of Quesada, Buckley and Disney will tell. But given the general nature of Marvel over the last seven years, the lift in quality across the board of the line as a whole, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

Siege opens up with Loki and Osborne talking about Asgard. If you didn’t know that Siege was about Asgard, I find it very interesting that you are reading this review. It has been the buzz of the internet almost since Dark Reign, the insane status quo where Norman Osborne effectively runs the 616, began. The die hard Spidey fan in me is upset that Peter Parker is not the ultimate unraveling of Osborne’s grasp on ultimate power. However, the no holds barred action and level of storytelling here make up a lot.

Read the rest at http://brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/detail/siege-1

Story 8
Art 9
Overall 8.5

Dammit Marvel. Fuck you Quesada and Bendis.
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Review by Dragavon

This is a damn good book. Bendis writes a tight story that only has a couple of pages of "talking heads" and the rest is action. He even utilizes The Sentry well. The plot is clear and straightforward and well written.

Coipel also does a good job here. His art is beautiful as well as expressive, though half a point gets taken off because the order of some of his panels needs a little deciphering.

My major gripe with this issue was $3.99 for 23 pages of story, some of which was already revealed in previews. The rest of the book is a couple of pages of transcripts by Osborn's Avengers. And a preview for Loeb's next issue of Hulk. So you're paying the extra dollar for a preview of a book you may or may not like.

Story 9
Art 8.5
Total score 7.75 (Point deducted for Marvel's overcharging)
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Review by House of J

The art looks nice, and the story doesn't disappoint as long as you keep your expectations taped to the bottom of your shoes.

If you're tuned in to the current Marvel U, this book is probably something you've been looking forward to and will enjoy as it continues the chain of Events with a capital E Marvel has been riding the last few years. The issue shows progress is an 8 letter word beginning with p in the Marvel Universe, as another Stamford-type incident is used to manipulate the public and heroes of the 616 once again and master strategist Norman Osborn beats Thor by "cleverly" having a bunch of B-listers pour it on, as it were.

This review was brought to you by the letter J.

5
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Review by 48THRiLLS

I have been pretty excited for this especially with no new comics last week I have been jones'n... so, I liked this a lot but I was expecting to love it. I didn't feel that there was enough reason to invade Asgard, it just seemed a little forced. I know that Bendis is trying to show Osborn's madness by rushing off to war without the Presidents blessing but I still feel that Loki talking him into doing it just isn't enough to push him that far. My second quibble with this is that I wanted more, and don't mistake this with me complaining about the price because I am not. I just think that is was a rush to start a war with Asgard and it was way too quick of a fight to bring down Thor, maybe I am just used to these 6 and 7 issue mini's? It would have been nice if this was 5 or 6 pages longer IMO. Aside from that I did enjoy this, Ares was bad-ass and the look on Steve Rogers face on the last page was perfectly drawn by Coipel. The art was solid, Coipel isn't one of my faves but he churned out some damn good looking pencils here and the coloring was well suited. One thing Bendis did accomplish is getting me eager to get my hands on issue 2.

STORY 8.5
ART 8.5
OVERALL 8.5
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Review by stingerman

Terrific issue!

Thought it was great, really did.

While it did read pretty fast I was alright with that as both Secret Invasion and Dark Reign were drawn out. So this pace was more than welcome! Siege being only four issues will most likely be like this, with the rest of the story being told in the tie-ins. To me this only means the tie-ins will be that much better (hopefully).

Gotta love Ares. Did you read his DR mini by Kieron Gillen? If so, you know where I am coming from. Here Bendis continued what I felt Gillen gave us - an Ares we can like! He felt like Maximus from Gladiator to me when rallying the troops! Heck, he more than likely mentored Maximus as Ares is the god of war!

I dug the Sentry stuff as well. We all knew he was the one who could "take on the immortals" when Baldur was speaking to Loki. Still, turning the page and seeing Bob busting through Asgard itself was awesomeness! Then he saves Norman's hide and takes on Thor!

Speaking of the thunder god, guess we know why JMS bid Marvel goodbye, lol. He got HAMMERED! Or so it looks. Add to this the ending with Steve Rogers and the inclusion of Fraction's Invincible Iron Man Stark: Disassembled arc (which has been very good, imo) and we get a hint of the return of Avengers Assemble!

I thought the art was great as well, particularly in the above mentioned pages with Loki and Baldur. Loki looked bad-arse!

Things seem to be moving quick with the Siege of Asgard and I think readers will be rewarded when all is said and done - or destroyed!

Full review: http://www.cosmicbooknews.com/reviews/siege1_review/
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Review by Chubbles

Fucking awesome. I really liked this book a lot. The art was great, Coipel draws my absolute favorite take on Thor. I loved how Ares addressed the troops and how Bullseye was shitting himself thinking about facing Thor. The writing was really well put together and I've been waiting for an oh shit Steve Rogers moment where he's about to lay the smackdown for years and that last page did it for me. This was extremely fun and looks like its gonna continue to be that way.

I have two negatives however. One related to the actual story and another on Marvel’s event strategy here. I thought it was a tad bit lame to use the same 'device' as Civil War to get shit going. But besides that it worked fine for me. My other gripe is that I know how some companies spin events as being self contained but this seems like an event where I will need to pick up all 32 books to really experience this event. 4 issues seems far too short to tell this epic beast of a story. Personally I don't mind bc I already buy all those books, but I can see how the average person might be a bit bothered to say the least.

Story 9.5
Art 9.5
Overall 9.5
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Review by Kerny

I loved this. I much prefer Marvel and have been following Dark Reign and loving it. One issue in and I think I prefer this to Secret Invasion.

Bendis in story purposefully echoing the start of CW was clever I thought and I dug it. I'm also glad we skipped the fallout of that and went straight to the siege-ing aspect of this book. Dig the pace. Ares was pretty badass, and the takedown of Thor was a simple plan but effective.

My only complaint would be the reasoning of why Osborn would see the strategic good taking down Asgard would bring. It's never stated and that’s a problem. Maybe they are gonna have it as "Norman is finally cracked so far that he legitimately believes Asgard is a harmful threat to America and he truly believes he has America's interest at heart"

The art, eh what can you say. Coipel, IMO is a top 5 artist and this issue shows it. Great stuff

Writing 9
Art 9
Overall 9
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Review by Chris

I think this was the best first issue of any of the big Marvel events (Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion)

Loved it.

The odds definitely seem stacked in Norman's favor. I liked that he basically went off on his own, without the President's approval. I have a feeling that's pretty much the first step in Osborn and HAMMER being vilified by the end of all this.

Art-wise, as always, Coipel's stuff is gorgeous. No complaints at all.

Loved the issue.

Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10
Total: 9/10
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Review by GHERU

First of all, Maybe its because of the thread here or maybe it’s because I really do enjoy the concept of a shared universe that comics gives me, but it was difficult for me to read this as a book independent of other stories. I bring this up mainly to get my one major complaint out of the way first

WHEN THE BLOODY HELL DID THE ASGUARDIANS MOVE BACK TO OKLAHOMA?????? Although this is just a part of Marvel's bigger timing / publishing / and reading order problems of late, this one detail really took me out of the story considering that last week I was reading a story about Asgardians fighting Doom in Latveria. I know that I am probably supposed to blame Bendis for this, but considering how rarely Thor came out under JMS I put the blame at his feet.

Other than that, great fucking comic. This felt as if I was going to war. The pacing, the action, the dialogue all had the energy of a comic book about a war. Great use of comics as a medium for story telling - Great art, good usages of panels to communicate, and wonderful timing.

Story 8.5
Art 8.5
Overall 8.5
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Review by amlah6

I am so completely divested of interest in the Marvel Universe at this point that it was clearly an impossible task for anyone to make me care about this comic. I still care about the characters and want to follow their stories, but you can take all this shared universe crap tying all these books together and throw it out the window as far as I'm concerned. I just want to pick up a comic and read a good story, I don't want to have to read another 10 comics along side it to get the full story.

Since I've only been reading Cap and Iron Man for the last six months, this comic meant fuck all to me and didn't do anything to make me say yes please give me 20 Marvel books to read every month so that I can get that full experience. The craft of it was fine, but at this point it should be. Marvel has it's event mini formula down pat. That was my biggest problem with this though, it was pure formula. Swap out Volstagg for Speedball and this is just Civil War #1. Yawn.

Olivier Coipel is one of my favorite artists currently working at Marvel. He's always doing interesting things with the layouts and I enjoy the overall aesthetic to his work. Laura Martin's colors are just a natural fit. It's hard to imagine Coipel's work without Martin's colors.

The supplemental stuff was meh. The Bendis-speak stuff was completely covered by the page in the story proper, had there been actually planning in what was presented that would have been cool, but instead it was just filler. That fact that they fucked that part of the book up is hilarious. Yay editors! Laughing The Cup O Joe recap was a complete waste of paper, but it was nice to see Loeb's Hulk finally get some promotion. Rolling Eyes

Story: 5
Art: 9
Supplemental: -2
Overall: 5
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Review by GLX

Entertaining read, but nothing special. Coipel and Martin definitely carry the issue. Bendis needs to step up in order for this to be tight.

7* out of 10*
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Review by Fintan

I enjoyed this. it was a bit of a quick read but I think it was well written. It was fast paced, some good lines etc.

The art was great.

Story 8.
Art 10.
Overall 9.
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Review by starlord

Since I'm going to be reviewing this for this weeks DeadLord article, I'll be a bit short and to the point here. If you've been into Marvel for the last seven years, you will enjoy this. It's a great beginning to what I really hope is the end of all these crossovers.

Art was solid, writing was exactly what we have come to expect. Story itself is great and I have no problem with it going quickly. Loved the scene with Thor and Sentry. I hope before it's over, Thor gets to do a heck of a lot more to that inane character.

Story: 8
Art: 9
My Score: 8.55
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Review by Fieldy Snuts

Bendis's event writing seems to get leaps better with each that he writes tracking from Disassembled to Secret War to House of M and then Secret Invasion and now Siege.

No time was wasted storywise in the buildup, there were no huge dialog moments that filled up pages going nowhere, the stakes have been set, the key players are all there, the general direction of Osborn's motivations and the repercussions it'll have for the country are set and the first shots have been fired. Everything looks established, set and ready to fly leaving me eager for more.

Like I said, no time wasted at all and Coipel's art conveys the story really well.

I don’t really like giving precise grades or scores in my opinions cuz I usually question whether I might've been one mark too generous or too harsh but I'll say that my overall opinion of this book is a thumbs up from my end and leaving it at that.
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Review by doombug

So that was something right there. The first few pages we've all read at least a month ago via a preview. But Volstagg isn't turned into another Speedball like Civil War. In fact the Civil War allegories and comparisons even in the story itself end right there.

Osborn is calculating, he makes his own rules and does pretty much everything his own way which Brian manages to handle extremely well showing us that the American president is less then pleased with him becuase of it.

As usual Loki is shown to be playing both sides of the coin and it's curious what his end game plan is for this one. Something I have to give to Brian is showing that even the media don't seem to trust Norman's word anymore. This invasion is a last ditch effort of a man who thinks he still holds all the cards bit it's very obvious that his armor is cracking.

Coipel's artwork is the strongest I've ever seen from the man. It's the style from House of M infused with the style from his Thor run and works beautifully.

By the end of this I hope Victoria Hand still has a job. I kind of see where things are going a little, but will see if it pans out.

Art: 10
Story: 9
Over all grade: 9.5

You got 3 more issues Brian, let's see this thing pan out to be your best event ever.
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Review by prozacman

(Spoiler warning for Siege, Origins of the Siege, and the last three or four weeks of Avengers Books!)

Siege is off to a good start. Good start, but could have been a little better. Particularly the beginning.

The event book starts with Norman Osborn already on board with Loki on the idea of taking on Asgard. Asgard is currently floating 12 feet above a farm in the state of Oklahoma. We come in at the planning stages of how to make the deportation of an entire city of undocumented workers that happen to be gods seem like good use of the taxpayers money. That was a little jarring with out having read the buildup to that point.

Norman is crazy but he’s not stupid. Not only that, he just had a string of what would be considered draws at best and defeats at worst. In just the books I read The X-Men out strategize him, He wasn’t able to take out any one permanently on his to do “List”, The Molecule Man made Norman experience his own personal hells, The New Avengers blew up his house, and Doctor Doom almost ate him and the rest of the Cabal alive with Doom Bugs. Sure he was able to spin these events to the public for his advantage, but he knows that his track record isn’t that good at the moment. Attacking a city of Gods that aren’t even causing to much trouble at the moment seems like some thing he would want to put off for a while. Coming off of a string of decisive victories I could understand, but not now. Yes, when Norman formed the Cabal he made a deal with every one at the table to help them with their problems if they helped him with his. Compared to what Norman has done for every one else at the table, the equivalent would be whacking Thor. Not leading the United States of America to war with Asgard.

What I really don’t get is what is the incentive for Norman Osborn or even the Green Goblin to want to start a beef with the Norse Gods? If you picked up the free issue of Origins of Siege, it has an 8 page story (five pages being just art with captions of what your seeing) that tries to answers the question. Even here, I feel like I’m walking in on the middle of the conversation. I could see Norman being talked into doing some thing stupid if it were Spider-Man, The New Avengers, or even the X-Men. He really has a personal grudge against these guys. Why does Norman have a bug up his ass about Asgard all of the sudden? From what I’ve read in the forums here at the Outhouse, it might have some thing to do with stuff happening in Mighty Avengers. One of the few Marvel books I don’t buy. If there are things happening in that book that are important to this crossover, they should have at the very least been included in the recap page in the Origins of Siege.

Once you get past Osborn’s week motivations for thinking that the Siege is a good idea, the book starts to get really good. This is were Osborn has to get every one else to go along with this crazy idea. This is were every one else asks the questions that I thought Osborn should have been asking Loki. The only person he actually convinces that this is the right thing to do is Ares, but even the god of war is only fifty-one percent on board with the plan. Osborn has to bully his H.A.M.M.E.R. agents to get them in line, offers time served to the Dark Avengers, and has Victoria Hand stall President Obama until he can launch the attack.

Meanwhile, Loki double crosses Osborn by warning Balder (Loki's brother and current King of Asgard) of the impending attack. It doesn’t matter. Osborn's initial strike is well planed. The battle starts with the Sentry making Swiss cheese out of the City of Asgard by simply flying back and forth through it. By the time the Norse Gods get their pants on they are being attacked by every member of the Initiative (that now includes every one in the Hood’s gang) and an armada of jet fighters. Thor comes flying in like Mighty Mouse to save the day, but is taken out like he’s Under Dog with out his medication.

Could have been a tighter start, but the end leaves you ready for more.

Story 8
Art 8
Overall 8
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Review by Old Man

Comic book -- a melding of words and art to tell a story.

Siege -- not a comic book.

Page 1: Best page in the book. Volstagg on a horse, with Asgard in the background. Only page of art worth mentioning in a positive way. Suitable for framing.

Page 2: Set in Chicago. Why is Volstagg in Chicago? How did he get there? Chicago is a long way from Oklahoma, which is where Asgard is located.

Page 3, panel 4: A Bendis character makes a fat person comment. Again. Why does Bendis hate?

Page 4: 4 characters new to the story appear, but are not introduced. Orange guy uses some kind of force ray that emanates from his hand to blow up some stuff. Pink guy uses some kind of electrical field that emanates from both hands to lift Volstagg from the street and into Soldier Field (on page 5).

Pages 5 and 6: Note that the dimensions of the field are not right. The field is only 70 yards long instead of 100. And the sideline is straight, not bowed out. See the image included below. Orange guy and pink guy team up their powers and blast Volstagg. This results in the entire stadium going up in one huge inferno. Note again that the dimensions are not right. The incinerated goalpost in the foreground is the same size as the goalpost in the background. Again, see the image. The artist appears to have used a Google Image as reference, yet still can't get the dimensions right.

Pages 7-10: 4 pages of endless "characterization", otherwise known as endless prattling on that does nothing to advance the story.

Page 11: Ares, speaking to dozens of people. Zooming out, the camera shows he is speaking to perhaps 100,000 people. Who are these 100,000 people? Where are they housed? How do they get to Oklahoma? As to the speech, it's similar to Gerard Butler's "Tonight we dine in Hell!" speech, or perhaps Mel Gibson's "Today we earn the right to wear these frilly panties we have on under our kilts!" speech.

Pages 12-14: More endless prattling.

Page 15: Mary Sue shows up.

WE INTERRUPT THIS REVIEW FOR A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

THIS IS AMERICA! BUY AMERICAN CARS!

The preceding announcement brought to you in the middle of this review because of the placement of an ad for Honda which was placed in the middle of the story pages, the only advertisement inside this comic.

Page 16: Splash page showing numerous characters flying.

Page 17: Numerous characters flying, including Mary Sue. I know that Mary Sue is among those flying because there is a Rainbow Bright color scheme wherever she goes.

Page 18: "You're going to need a bigger stick." Oh, I laughed so hard at the 23,045th use of that old line from Jaws. Not. Clichéd writing at its worse, which is what Bendis does best.

Pages 19 and 20: Here comes Thor to the rescue...OOPS!

Page 21: Mary Sue has intercepted Thor. Thor beats down Mary Sue with one blow from the Mighty Mjolnir. Osborn and his friendly neighborhood fiends arrive, including orange guy and pink guy, and all blast Thor at once.

Page 22: Thor takes it all in stride, then Osborn beats him down with one punch. Osborn is one bad dude, yo. All this has been filmed and televised.

Page 23: Cap fills his Depends. It's a bitch having explosive diarrhea.

And that's the story. Butwaittheresmore! 3 pages of Cup O' Joe, which might as well have been blank pages. 5 pages of 'Ares War Plan Transcript', which is even more poorly written than the story. And even a repeated section on one page. And the title of it should have been either (old style) Ares' War Plan Transcript or (new style) Ares's War Plan Transcript. 1 page Siege checklist, and 6 pages devoted to a preview of Hulk #19, the best storytelling in the book.

As you may be able to tell, I didn't care very much for this comic. Bendis can write better than this. Coipel can draw better than this. The story and the art do not mesh together to form a good comic book. Obviously, there are thousands of people who salivate each and every month when an Avengers comic comes out -- latest sales numbers show 75,000 buying Avengers comics every month. More power to them.

Bonus point for Thor smacking Mary Sue with his hammer brings this comic up to a 6. Otherwise, a waste of my time.
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Review by guitarsmashley

I'm tired and don't feel like writing a full review. I didn't like the art at all and the story was just ok.

6
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Review by Punchy

Story - I've written before how it is rather difficult to review Event Comics, they are not written to elicit critical response, but more of a knee-jerk, 'holy-shit-was-that-awesome-or-what'? one. Even when reviewing a book I didn't really like, such as Blackest Night, there were moments that did excite me, and did shock me, and since that’s what Events are designed to do, do you forgive the book's faults?

But now we come to an event from a writer I am a big fan of, tying up years of story that I have almost unilaterally loved. Can I actually review this? Or will I be reduced to a quivering child, rambling about all the awesome explosions?

Well, It's a bit of both, Siege #1 is certainly a strong comic, an exciting issue which packs a lot of stuff in, but I do have some reservations.

Siege is supposed to be the event which ties up all of Bendis' long-running plot threads ever since Disassembled, and I think the way he's doing it is genius, the catalyst for Siege comes from Civil War, as Loki and Norman decide to engineer their own Stamford, their own 9/11, in order to start a War with Asgard. And it works, the Voluminous Volstagg is attacked, the Chicago American Football Stadium is blown up, and Norman rushes off to War. But this time he doesn't have Presidential permission. It is in this that I feel that Siege's short 4-issue length shows it's negative side, in Civil War there were about 1 and a half issues for you to feel the impact of Stamford, here, it's not really dwelled on, maybe it is in Siege: Embedded, but I didn't pick that up. Unusually for Bendis he moves at lightning (heh, Lightning, get it, like Thor) speed, and it actually makes you wish he'd slow down a bit, decompression aunt all bad ya know? He has a lot to accomplish in these 4 issues, can he do it?

I think what's most impressive about this is that Bendis still manages to put the characters first, above the events. Norman, Loki, Ares and others all get important bits of characterization, I'm working on the advantage of following these books for a long time, but it's not just a mindless abrupt full-stop to an awesome sentence, this makes sense. I am particularly interested in what Ares will get up to in this series, he is not a bad guy, and surely he must realize what's going on here? The Sentry too, he doesn't say a word in this issue, and that's how he works best, he's a scary guy, and when he takes out Thor, you hold your breath. I don't really like Thor, and am one of the few Sentry fans out there, so this actually pleased me, stupid Thor.

Interestingly, we don't get much from the point of view of the heroes here, you see Tony, but he's comatose still (as per the RG from a few weeks back), and Thor is quickly dispatched by Osborn's forces. The last page is exciting though, it's Captain America and he's mad. Marvel have been using Steve Rogers as a last-page cliff-hanger a lot lately, but it's still effective. In this issue we see neither hide nor hair of the New Avengers, or even the Mighty Avengers, and you have to think they'll be heavily involved, this event is supposedly bringing back the so-called 'Classic' Avengers, after all. Once again, is only 3 more issues going to be enough?

Siege #1 is a pretty much perfect Event opener, it kicks off with a bang (literally), and then moves swiftly and cleverly through a series of important and shocking events, without skimping on character, you've got Loki's machinations, Norman's madness, and friction in his team. As I said, I have concerns about whether Bendis can accomplish all his goals in the next 3 issues, but they are future concerns, when it comes to Siege #1, I really enjoyed it, in that child-like way we really all should feel more often. It was just awesome right?

Art - Olivier Coipel is a fantastic artist, I've enjoyed his work ever since Avengers: Red Zone with Geoff Johns, and he's only gotten better since. He meshed wonderfully with Bendis on House Of M, and it's just as good here. I love his cartoony, yet realistic style, he can do exaggerated expressions, but then he pulls out a scene with an epic grandeur Bryan Hitch would be hard-pressed to beat, like the splash page which shows Norman's invasion force.

His layouts are also very interesting, the double page spread where Loki wakes Balder is an excellent example, as are the 2 pages where Donald Blake becomes Thor and then attacks Norman, he just does things no other artist really does, and although it's a different experience, it's a good one.

Best Line - Either 'Well he's the Fattest damn super hero I've ever seen...' or 'And now you have your incident'. Funny and chilling, Bendis does both!

8/10, a really strong issue, but has Bendis bitten off more than he can chew? Either way, the future is unknown, and you can't hold the unknown against this issue. But you should buy The Unknown, it's a good book.
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Review by Frag It

I liked Siege. It set things up nicely.

Only problem I had was not that Thor was taken out, but by who. But that is just a minor gripe. Good issue.

Solid 8.
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Review by Jude Terror

This book is billed as wrapping up all the turmoil that has gripped the Marvel Universe since Bendis took over the Avengers with Disassembled seven years ago. During that time, we've seen, for better or worse, a different Marvel Universe than we've been used to. Heroes hate each other, the bad guys are in charge, the good guys are on the run. Overall, it has been a darker place, culminating in Norman Osborn, one of the most evil people in the Marvel Universe, being basically in charge of everything. This is it. This is, supposedly, the end of this epic story. The end of an era. If Marvel can pull it off, not only will they succeed in ending something *gasp* BEFORE it has worn out its welcome with the fans, but also in telling one of the most epic stories in comic book history. Can they do it?

The Story:

Siege moves pretty quickly right out of the gate. We start with Loki explaining his plan to Norman Osborn, or at least what he wants Osborn to think is his plan, in caption boxes as the plan unfolds in real time on the page. Already we can see that this is not your typical Bendis decompression. This event is going to be packed with action and meaningful plot advancements, and that is a good thing, as it is only four issues long.

After things are set into motion, we get some good dialog between Norman and his Dark Avengers. Norman wants them to help him invade Asgard, and the team is justifiably reluctant, showing the seriousness of such an act. However, Norman promises to free them from their obligations to him if they help him. He is putting all his cards on the table. It really gives the feel that this is the beginning of the end, and that no one is holding back.

The final part of the story shows the first strike on Asgard, which is swift and efficient. I won't go into the details, but not only does the team hit Asgard hard and fast, but they manage to take down several big players quickly, most notably Thor. As this unfolds, we see some heroes learning of this and preparing to strike back. Captain America and others should be joining the battle next issue.

Overall, this is a fine first issue story that sets up the event. If the tone set by this issue remains throughout the book, I think we will see a lot of tightly packed action. I also get the feeling that we will be seeing the ramifications of what happens in Siege for a long time in other books. The event will fly by before anyone can really digest what happened, bring all of the characters that had been divided over the past seven years together, shit will hit the fan, and then we will deal with all the issues that have built up over the past seven years in the aftermath. I love it.

10

Art:

The art here is pretty good. Coipel is better than he was on House of M, and does a good job conveying the huge events that occur here. I'm not sure that I bought Coipel as the kind of superstar artist one would expect on this kind of book, but I'm hoping that by the end he proves that he is.

7

Overall: 8.5
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Review by MrBlack

Unlike many others, I have really been enjoying much of Brian Michael Bendis' recent work in the Marvel Universe. Of course, I am in the enviable positon of having been out of comics when Avengers: Disassembled dropped, so that might have a lot to do with it. While I did think that House of M could have been executed better, I have enjoyed Bendis' Avengers books, I liked Secret Invasion, and I have loved Dark Reign.

Now we have Siege, which is supposed to be the climax of the story Bendis began with Avengers: Disassembled seven years ago. While the first issue is not without its faults, this still seems like a strong beginning to an exciting event.

The issue begins rather abruptly, with Loki and Norman discussing how to justify a war with Asgard. The reason I found this to be abrupt is because Norman's justification for the attack is rather thin. He clearly believes that it is in his best interest to get the Asgardians off Earth, but why he believes war to be the best option, or why he would trust Loki's judgment on the issue, is not stated. This likely has to do with Norman's increasingly fragile mental state, but again, that is something that is not dealt with in the actual event comic.

As the comic continues, the pair discuss how to best set the stage for war, and decide to set up Thor's BFF Volstagg. They send some members of the Initiative to take on Volstagg, knowing that it will lead to massive collateral damage. Two complaints here. First, I had no idea who the guys sent by Norman and Loki were until someone pointed it out on this message board. It would have been nice to at least name them in the comic. Second, Norman and Loki's plan is very similar to the event at Stamford which set up the superhero Civil War. While I am sure this is intentional on Bendis' part ("See, even allegedly trained heroes can cause huge disasters!") it seems a little too cute. It does not help that he also references the Skrull Queen's justification that God is on her side in the backup material, where Norman makes the same claim. I realize that this is likely included to establish to the reader that Norman's rise to power was a mistake by tying it to other recent tragedies in the Marvel Universe, but, as I said, it is just a little too cute. In any event, the plan works to an extent, and Norman and Co. begin their attack. Even the President is powerless to stop him! Boy is that Norman evil!

Complaints aside, I did enjoy the story. Unlike some of Bendis' other work, the story zips along very quickly, and we get plenty of big moments in the first issue alone. By the end of the story, Bendis has set up the basic conflict in the story, and provided a motivation for the major players to move into position for the second part in the tale. There are also some great moments with the Dark Avengers along the way. We can see that Ares is torn about whether it it right to attack Asgard, and that as badass as Bullseye is, even he has second thoughts about taking on Thor.

Aside from the misprint, the backup material was well done. The Cup O'Joe is a good primer for newer readers, and the Ares War Plan Transcript helps to flesh out some of the less intriguing parts of the story that might otherwise have been left out.

On the art side, Olivier Coipel does an admirable job. The action scenes look great, his characters are fairly expressive, and he adds a good amount of detail to his work. My only complaint is that the panel layouts could have been better. While the introduction to Asgard on pages 13 and 14 is beautifully done, and the fight between Volstagg and the U-Foes is well executed, the actual attack on Asgard looks a bit cramped. Bravo to the creators for showing some restraint with the splash pages, but it might have helped clarify the fight between Thor and the Dark Avengers to free up some panel space by having a one or two page splash of Thor and the Sentry taking each other on.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this issue aside from some minor flaws. I look forward to seeing how the story of Norman's fall bears out over the next three months.

Story: 8
Art: 7
Overall: 7.5

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Sex Blimps!  Sex Holes!  lol

Oh, you're finished?  By my count, Siege #1 has racked up a group score of 7.84.  If those spoilsports House of J, Old Man and amlah (that's me!) hadn't been so grumpy, maybe Siege could have bested Secret Invasion's slightly higher 7.95.  What will really get Punchy's panties in a bunch though is that this was nowhere near Blackest Night's 8.87.  "Oh the injustice of it all!" he'll probably say, but with less eloquence.

To bask in the glow of Gail Simone's Magic Vagina or maybe to read one of 4thy's dozens upon dozens of long winded posts that I personally just skipped right over, join us in this week's thread (http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=34965) found in the News Stand forum where you are also invited to post your own review.  Hey it's officially the most bloated Review Group thread ever, you should check it just for that fact alone.
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Daringd has the pick for January 13th and he has selected Amazing Spider-Man #617 from Marvel Comics.  Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning to join in on the fun.

Amazing Spider-Man #617

WRITER: Joe Kelly
PENCILS: Max Fiumara

The Gauntlet continues to close around Spider-Man in this heartbreaking story of love, loss and lust for power as the Rhino charges into Spider-Man's life, out to make a name for himself...by killing the Rhino? Joe Kelly & Max Fiumara, who kicked off The Gauntlet in Amazing Spider-Man #600's prelude, return for this pulse-pounding chapter! Rated A …$3.99

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