Jude Terror and Erik Galston look at the final issue of the super-mega-blockbuster-epic Marvel event, Siege!
Credits & Solicit Info:
COVER BY: Olivier Coipel
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: Olivier Coipel
INKS: Mark Morales
COLORED BY: Laura Martin
LETTERED BY: VC - Chris Eliopoulos
THE MARVEL BLOCKBUSTER OF THE YEAR!! This double-sized finale brings the Dark Reign to a shattering conclusion and brings with it the bombastic new HEROIC AGE. Every single page of this book is a shocker: Lives are changed. Heroes fall. Deaths. Revenge. Villain comeuppance. And when the dust settles, who will be in charge of the Marvel Universe?? You will find out here and only here. This is the one they will be talking about. Cardstock Cover/Rated T ...$3.99
IN STORES: May 12, 2010
RATING: Rated T
Siege #4 Review by Jude Terror
Let's get this out of the way early: this review will contain spoilers. If you're still on the fence about whether or not to buy this book, and you're looking to this review for advice, then to you I say, "What the hell are you waiting for?! Walk, run, fly to the store immediately and pick up a copy!" For the rest of you, I'm going to discuss the events of this book in all their spoilery glory, so please read on.
I've heard some of my friends and colleagues here at the Outhouse complain about event books that don't end in the main series, but instead in the various tie-in issues and one-shots, and I've heard some say that this is true of Siege. I'm of the opposite camp, however. I believe that Siege ended two months ago in the pages of Siege #3. Norman was already beaten. The heroes were reunited. The ending was a foregone conclusion. In fact, in all of the tie-in issues we've seen since Siege #3, the characters themselves have acted like the battle is over (see Venom in Siege: Spider-Man, aware that the villains are defeated and simply trying to cause as much havok as possible before his inevitable superhero beatdown).
So, if the main storyline of Siege was already ended, what's left to do in Siege #4? Well, Siege #4 is an opportunity for Brian Michael Bendis, mastermind of the seven year epic that led to this story, to tie up loose ends. And he does so to great effect and satisfaction.
There are two major deaths in Siege #4. First, let's talk about the Sentry, teased for years as being on the verge of insanity. He has finally gone over the edge in Siege, and Siege #4 is his final showdown with the heroes. The battle with the heroes itself is a little bit underwhelming, as a fully evil Sentry could probably have carried an entire event on his own. Instead, his grand finale is condensed into one issue, or more accurately most of one issue, and I feel that some opportunities were missed here by not expanding on the concept.
That's not to say, however, that his death is poorly done. After slapping the heroes around for a bit and shrugging off their attacks, the Sentry is finally defeated by Iron Man dropping the entire SHIELD Helicarrier on top of him like a bullet. After that, a confused Bob begs for his life to be ended, and after some violent persuasion, he convinces Thor to do just that. In a fitting final tribute, on several levels, Thor then carries his body out into space and tosses it into the sun. None of these events are shocking or revolutionary, but they follow the story path naturally, which is really what has been happening for the entire crossovers: characters behaving in the only way they can faced with the circumstances they are.
Before Sentry is gone, however, he does manage to add one more casualty to his kill count: Loki, the god of mischief. In what is the true "shock moment" of Siege, Loki dies not as a villain, but as a hero, making a completely unexpected, repentant sacrifice. Throughout Dark Reign, and in the Siege series along with its tie-ins, we've seen Loki's masterful manipulation in action, and many believed that it would be Loki who would be the true villain of Siege. However, when push came to shove, Loki sacrificed himself to give his brethren from Asgard and Earth's mightiest heroes a fighting chance at victory, begging his father forgiveness, removing the Norn Stones from the control of The Hood, and imbuing the heroes with their power. He is torn asunder for his actions, but Loki dies a hero, most importantly in the eyes of his half-brother Thor.
It is in this moment that Oliver Copiel's art really shines. It's true that there are points in this issue where the action can be a little difficult to follow, in particular the moments filled with lots of void-tentacle action. However, the look on Loki's face as he delivers his final words is the kind of panel that is instantly burned into the memory of the reader, and will be one of the defining moments of this passing era in Marvel history. Due to Copiel's art, even more than Bendis's writing, one of the greatest villains in the Marvel Universe actually dies a tragic death.
In the end, as mentioned previously, loose ends are tied up. Captain America passes the mantle to Bucky. The Avengers are reunited, and old wounds can begin to heal. Tony Stark is a good guy again! Villains are brought to justice. Norman's Dark Reign is over. Most importantly, the Superhero Registration Act is repealed, likely the most important symbolic evidence that we are moving into the Heroic Age, a brand new beginning for the Marvel Universe.
If you're looking for flaws, they can be found in anything, and Siege #4 is no exception from this rule, but that doesn't change the fact that it is one of the strongest conclusions to an event ever. While stories like Civil War brought dramatic change with their conclusions, Siege brings a sense of closure, a rare commodity in the modern comics. This is among both Bendis and Copiel's best work, and a shining example of the event book done right. I'd be shocked to find out there's a comic book fan who isn't reading this, but if so, I hope you'll change your mind and grab a copy from the story, if for no other reason than to witness history in the making.
Rating: BUY IT!
My rating scale:
BUY IT - You have to read this for the foreseeable future.
TRY IT - Worth at least a few issues.
WAIT FOR IT - Pick this up in trade if it lives up to its potential.
SKIP IT - Spend your money on something better.
WANT ANOTHER OPINION?
Siege #4 Review by Erik Galston
Warning: This Review will contain spoilers.
Let me just start off by saying that I have been in LOVE with the entire storyline of Siege. I haven’t been this excited for an event in a long time. The previous three issues were all a lead up to this final chapter, and believe me, this final chapter delivered on EVERY page.
The opening monologue from Loki was amazing. You could really feel the remorse that the god of mischief feels for what he brought to Asgard’s door. Turning the page to see Loki use the Stones of Norn to empower what were formerly his longtime and greatest foes was incredibly moving. The action in the next few pages was breathtaking, culminating in Loki sacrificing himself to give the Avengers the upper hand, which was completely unexpected and added a new depth to the event.
Thor and Iron Man were amazing in this issue. Iron Man using the Hellicarrier as a missile was ingenious. By the end of the issue, I really could believe the Avengers were back together and the Heroic Age had begun.
The art work was stunning! It is Coipel's best work so far in my opinion. The opening splash page and Loki's empowerment of the Avengers were my absolute favorite. Coipel is, at least in my opinion, the only artist in Marvel's excellent stable of talent that could have pulled this epic series off.
Much can be said about Brian Bendis’ writing. I won't say much other than that it was spot on. The characters felt like the characters I've been reading for years. The Avengers, and the Marvel Universe for that matter, are in capable hands.
This issue was by far my favorite of the series, with lots of action, but also lots of small moments. The small moments were what made this event, moments such as the Hood and Madame Masque's reactions to Loki taking the power of the Norn Stones and giving it to the heroes, or the Secret Warriors wondering if they would keep those power upgrades. These moments showed Bendis's strength in attention to detail and characterization.
For me this is a MUST BUY. For fans of the Avengers and fans of the Marvel Universe in general. It was a great issue full of amazing moments, many which this reader won't soon forget.
Can two of the Outhouse's review staff both be wrong?! Better not risk it. Go grab a copy of Siege #4 today!