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And So It Begins

January 30, 2010

     The event book that will bring a close plotlines that started with Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Disassembled, Siege, has arrived.  And, like Civil War, as Loki and Norman Osborn point out, it starts out with a big explosion.  V0lstagg is off trying to do good for the world, everyone having recently returned to Asgard, and Osborn sends the U-Foes against him, leading to the destruction of a famous football stadium in Chicago and the deaths of everyone in it.  This was done deliberately, by the way.  Osborn uses this as an excuse to invade Asgard, though it’s a tough sell with everyone.  Ares doesn’t want to fight his allies, the Dark Avengers don’t want to fight gods, and President Barack Obama doesn’t want a war.  But Osborn convinces Ares, tells the Dark Avengers that if they do this, they’re free, and ignores Obama.  Loki heads to asgard and warns Balder, and Osborn brings the full force of H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Initiative down on Asgard.  Maria Hill and Donald Blake, while taking care of Tony Stark, watch from afar, and Blake transforms into Thor.  Thor then gets attacked by a bunch of Osborn’s cronies at once and is taken down on live television, as Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, watches in horror.

     Well, this is everything we hoped for in Siege, thus far.  Osborn is finally and rather clearly overextending himself and wearing out his welcome, and Loki’s machinations will finally bear fruit.  We’ve also got the convergence of the Marvel trinity, Cap, Iron Man, and Thor set up.  I like how Ares seems to be one of the narrative focal points of the book, considering his ties to both Osborn and the Asgardians.  The whole thing is written quite well and very action-packed, though I do have problem with one point.  How is it that Osborn, the U-Foes, and a few random other people could take out Thor with energy blasts when, in a previous panel, Thor knocked away the Sentry with no difficulty?  Rather odd, isn’t it?  Really, the Sentry is the only person Osborn should have who’s in Thor’s league, and it should have taken almost everyone Osborn had brought to stop Thor otherwise.  But, aside from that little mistake, this is a fun issue that sets up the rest of the story very well.  And Olivier Coipel’s art is just beautiful.  I’d like to point out in particular his Thor (just as good as before) and his Volstagg (likewise).  His only mistake is making Victoria Hand’s lips look like they’re brimming with collagen.  It kind of makes her butt-ugly.  But that’s really my only complaint in art.  So this may not be the most thought-provoking, internet-splitting issue ever, but it’s a damn good start to the end of Bendis’ massive opus.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t fall apart in the next three issues, like his event books tend to do.

Plot: 9.0      Art: 9.4      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 9.1

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