Siege #4


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Siege #4


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Olivier Coipel
  • Inks: Mark Morales
  • Colors: Laura Martin
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 12, 2010

With issue four of this mega-series, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Olivier Coipel finish the seemingly endless string of events since Bendis took over the titles in "Avengers: Disassembled." With the shock and awe style that he’s designed for this era of Avengers, it closes in similar fashion. This four-issue story has been brisk, action packed and concerned with the large strokes. 

It’s a classic style Marvel tale with large moving pieces and a lot happening in every panel. As a whole, it definitely works, only suffering in this latest issue. So much happens that a second reading is almost necessary. Of course, the blow of that necessary read through is softened with the excellent combined work of Coipel, inker Mark Morales, and exquisite colorist Laura Martin. They’re a super team of epic proportions, creating a visual palette that’s on level with the type of story Bendis has chosen to tell. To pull this off, it has to be big, brash, and heroic. Story details aside, the art is a colossal success.

The details of plot that roll this train thunderously forward seem inconsequential to where the story ends. This is definitely a case of writing towards an ending. Bendis and company knew exactly where this was going from panel one, with no room for meandering. There’s no fat to cut and all the pieces are laid in place to wipe the slate clean. With the end of this event, Bendis has wrapped up his entire run of the New Avengers, and in turn, the whole Marvel Universe’s overarching thread of stories for a majority of the last decade. It’s almost as if he’s clearing the deck for the next writer, but that’s not the case. He himself is building a new form of Avengers from the ashes, which perhaps would seem like overkill were it not for the new way in which he approached this series. 

I’ve heard many arguments for and against the style in which Bendis writes. Many consider it too wordy, while some think it’s too deconstructed or protracted. In the past, maybe it has been, but this whole affair feels different. It’s as though he’s really trying to channel a brighter time in the Marvel U. Sure, some pretty terrible things happen to our heroes and there’s real loss, but the over arching theme of teamwork, friendship, and perseverance almost seems refreshing. It hasn’t been completely missing all these years, but maybe it’s just been more apparent during Siege. Not only more apparent, but also reminding us how much we may have missed those themes and how they’re often and unfairly dismissed as cheesy. This is the same feeling I think Bendis was aiming for with Mighty Avengers, but which the book only recently achieved under the shorter, follow up run by Dan Slott. 

Siege has not been an event in vain, establishing its purpose, staying true to its mission, and welcomingly reminiscent of early Marvel events. They’ve successfully captured the feel of 1970s and 80s comic book events, but through the filter of modern storytelling techniques. I hadn’t understood or felt excited about this Heroic Age since it had been announced. As it approaches and its origins are now behind us, a clearer picture is forming. A picture depicting epic, character based and intimate stories reminding us of the values these modern mythologies were created to represent. 

Some treasures lose their shine over time and are only appreciated when broken. Having been disassembled, disbanded, outlawed, impersonated, and beat down, it’s time to rebuild, spit shine, and reassemble these Avengers. In this new Heroic Age, perhaps they can shine brighter than they once did.

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