Siege #4 marks the end of one of the most satisfying events from Marvel in some time. When it began, I questioned if this series was going to do the exact same thing that Secret Invasion and Civil War did – force us to have to continue reading just to get to the end of the full story. Each of the previously mentioned stories didn’t have an ending that really left much of a lasting impression with anyone. We had to wait for the true end of Civil War until Captain America #25 when Steve Rogers was “assassinated”. And for Secret Invasion, the end was quick and left much to be desired – Osborn points gun at Skrull Queen and pulls the trigger.
Brian Michael Bendis did something else with Siege. Claiming this was the culmination of seven years of plotting and planning, it would have been embarrassing if his early work with the Avengers turned out to be truly awful on an epic scale or if this story didn’t really have a conclusion. But thankfully, it did. Spoilers on the way…
This final chapter opens with the Sentry, who has been taken over by his darker Void personality, literally killing the heroes assembled in the ruins of Asgard. Loki, knowing what the Sentry is capable of and what he is doing, prays for forgiveness from Odin as he uses the Norn Stones he took back from the Hood to give the heroes the power they need to withstand the Sentry’s power. The Sentry realizes this is Loki’s doing and attacks the God of Mischief. Thor and Iron Man rush to Loki’s aid, but is too late. Loki is torn apart.
While Captain America tries to get answers from Osborn, an enraged Thor takes on the Sentry again. Iron Man takes control of the heavily damaged H.A.M.M.E.R. helicarrier and uses it to knock the Sentry out of the sky, reverting him back to Robert Reynolds. Reynolds begs the heroes to kill him and Thor refuses, but as the Void reasserts itself over Reynolds, Thor delivers a killing blow. The Watchtower disappears from the roof of Avengers Tower and Thor takes Reynolds’ body to space and throws him into the sun.
Steve Rogers drops Osborn off with the other captured villains and makes the others promise that everyone will be persecuted by a jury and locked away forever for what they’ve done. Rogers then is summoned by the President and installed as the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. The heroes celebrate the overturning of the Superhuman Registration Act as all the Avengers assemble on top of Avengers Tower. Thor arrives with the most well-known Asgardians to deliver a gift to help everyone remember the sacrifice and honor they all displayed in fighting alongside them – a piece of Asgard that takes the place of the Watchtower on top of the Avengers’ building.
And so, the Heroic Age begins…
A lot of readers will likely say, “Hey… This wasn’t so great. We knew how it was going to end and nothing was left to really knock our socks off.” I have to admit that the only real surprise was who delivered the final blow of the battle. But sometimes it isn’t the shock and surprise that makes a story great. We’ve seen the ads for months about the Heroic Age. We knew this was Osborn’s curtain call for the Dark Reign. We knew the Sentry would have to die.
All that said, knowing what we knew to be how this was going to end, I really have to tip my cap to Bendis for actually bringing something to a close in a solid manner. Yes, as I mentioned before, most Marvel events only act as a piece of a puzzle and that has detracted so much from the stories they tell, but I think this is a different story. Siege is how the heroes were able to move beyond the dark times they were put in over the past decade or so and come together to do what they should be doing. They put aside their differences to make the world right again. This is a stepping stone for the Heroic Age, but it’s a true end to the past seven years of troubling times.
Olivier Coipel’s art is a little more subtle in this issue than the others. The previous issues had bombastic art to go hand-in-hand with the battle. This one was the resolution piece, but his art still captures the tone of what is going on. Agony, sadness, anger, happiness… It’s here and the portrayal of it shows how strong Coipel is in all artistic areas. He can tell the big heart-pounding story and the joyous conclusion, even if not everyone survived it.
All-in-all, I’m not disappointed one bit. Siege lived up to everything it was advertised to be.
I want to know what you think of this issue. Did I hit the nail on the head or are my praises undeserved? Write a comment and tell me what you felt!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|From start to finish, Siege did what it said it would do… Bring the heroes back to make the world a better place. Art and story were top-notch for all four issues.||I expected to see a few more deaths based on the solicits, but I can hardly be upset about the outcome.|
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