Siege #2


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Siege #2


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Olivier Coipel
  • Inks: Mark Morales
  • Colors: Laura Martin
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Feb 1, 2010

Norman Osborn has brought hell to the gates of the gods. Literally.

Siege #2, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Olivier Coipel, is the midway point for this universe encompassing event. Siege rolls out from the happenings of, well, every event since Avengers: Disassembled, back in 2004. During that series, Bendis systematically destroyed and disbanded the Avengers in spectacular fashion, much to the dismay of fans all over the world. Disassembled was a four issue slam bang, fast paced, action story that culminated in an Avengers Finale in December, 2004.

It’s hard not to notice the symmetry that Siege and Disassembled have in common. Both share the same publication structure. Both culminate in the end the Avengers title(s), and both are fast, furious and take the reader by storm, not stopping to breathe. For the characters represented, this is a culmination of action, frustration and pent up emotion. Bendis chooses to write the story in this fashion, forgoing too many platitudes or master plans, save for the issue’s central rallying cry by a resurrected Steve Rogers.

For the duration of this chapter, we’re moved back and forth between Norman and his Dark Avengers (with the forces of H.A.M.M.E.R. behind them) storming Asgard and Captain America 1.0 rallying every Avenger, Secret Warrior, and  former member of S.H.E.L.D. he can find to join the fight. It was a great balance of character inspiration and amped up momentum with destruction, devastation and sacrifice.

The stakes were literally getting raised in between moments of our heroes merely getting ready for the initial threat. Bendis knows how to stack the decks for maximum carnage and emotional impact. Within these covers, there are plenty of both. Especially felt with the issue’s marquee battle, changing both participants (in HUGE ways) and for a long time to come.  

I am a fan of Bendis, but I can recognize the complaints that many have about his style. Some have felt that his handling of certain characters is disrespectful or abundance of dialogue is a waste of issue space. However you feel about him, it can’t go unrecognized that as a storyteller, he takes risks and brings his stories to their most logical conclusions, despite any kind of status quo or fan favorites that get up-heaved in the process. It’s always exciting and makes for superb conflict. Even the pacing issues that seemed to have plagued Secret Invasion (enough about the Savage Land) were necessary for that story just as the apparent brevity of Siege is necessary for its impact. Boom, Boom, Boom… and the drama’s within the rubble.

The pencils by Olivier Coipel are downright beautiful. He frames his scenes in such a mystical, but realistic way that it gives his pages a wide-screen scope grander than anything else on the stands. He also draws the very best Thor, with his fellow Asgardians, around (his Avengers aren’t too shabby either). Coipel is as perfect for this book as Ed McGuinness is for Hulk.

It’s difficult to critique a book like this, with such a reckless abandon and free flowing carnage. We are in the meat of a story, without any clear shape of what’s to come. As a single issue, Siege #2 is a success. It escalates the gravity of this event and should have massive effects on what comes next. It also has what might be my favorite last page of any book I’ve read so far this year. Yes, it’s only February, but it’s that good not to mention. These last four panels are the perfect marriage of Coipel’s technical and cinematic skill with Bendis’ visual wit and ability to hook the reader. 

Whether Siege ends up being the biggest or greatest event of our generation is yet to be seen. But, no matter what the outcome, these are well put together pieces of entertainment that succeed in at least one very important way… they keep us excited about what happens next. 

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  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Feb 5, 2010 at 10:25am

    Very thoughtful review Noel. Good Job. Yeah, this is one of those sucking me back in books and as much as I love it, I hate for making my reading list big and cumbersome again! About last pages, my favorite last page this year is Sweet Tooth #6, the contents of Jeppard's bag were the biggest moment of a book full of big moments.

  • Noel Bartocci

    Noel Bartocci Feb 7, 2010 at 12:15am

    Thanks, Lee. I haven't gotten that far on Sweet Tooth... tell me nothing! :)

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