With House of M, we saw the destruction of the mutants and the Avengers. This forced both groups to rebuild. With Civil War, we saw the war of two ideologies at battle. One represents comics of old while the other demonstrates a more modern take on superheroes and comics in general. Then, there was the Initiative. Finally, the Heroes and Brains were running the show! They introduced a new way of doing everything including training and registration. It was a short lived success that was soon spoiled by the Secret Invasion. Skrulls had placed themselves within every organization in the world by replacing people with doppelgangers. The Skrulls made their push to take over the world but the heroes retaliated and won.After the Skrulls destroyed the Heroes' infrastructure, no one trusted them anymore. However, citizens did trust the charismatic Norman Osborn, a villain with a plan. He initiated a Dark Reign over Marvel, by placing the villains in charge. The interesting thing about Osborn's plan is that it worked. Out of all these events, Dark Reign was the most successful and didn't even have its own book. Then finally we have the Siege.The Siege is about Norman Osborn and his Villains attacking Asgard, on the behalf of Loki. Norman was very good about uniting the Villains and scratching their back so they would do the same in return. So came the day that Loki had an itch. The war was waged and it was clear that Norman was losing his control over his inner demon, forcing the heroes to untie and defeat him. There was just one problem in their way... The first issue of the Siege was entirely set up for the battle. Norman created a situation that would then force him to invade Asgard. The President wants to sort everything out before causing a conflict on American soil, and that's when Norman truly loses it. Up until that point, he had the President's undivided support. But Norman chose to invade Asgard anyway.
The second issue saw the betrayal of Ares and the heroes gathering their forces to put aside their differences. Steve Rogers does what he does best and rallied the troops against impossible odds. Ares on the other hand, finds out that Norman has in fact lied to him about Loki being in control of Asgard. This issue also answers the question: How do you kill a God? The answer is: The Sentry. The two battle with the Sentry smacking Ares from left to right until he rips him apart.With the next issue, the story really became interesting. In fact, writer Brian Michael Bendis (House of M, Secret Invasion) had done something amazing. He showed that a cross-over event didn't need to be six or eight issues long. This is something that has eluded Marvel and DC for quite some time. The third issue saw the heroes and counter-fit heroes, a.k.a. the villains, finally going at it. It marked the return of Tony Stark in his classic armor. But there was still one big problem standing in the way: Norman succeeded in destroying Asgard, but in doing so lost control of the Sentry.With the final issue of the series, it became evident that the Sentry had checked out long ago, leaving only the Void. The Void and the Sentry are one in the same. They are Yin and Yang, but way more complex. This issue again asked the question: How do you kill a God? Well, it's the same answer, have the Sentry/Void tear them in half. This time, Loki found himself on the end of the question. Loki has a change of heart when he sees what he's unleashed, but gives the heroes a fighting chance before dying. The only question that remains is: How do you defeat someone with the power of a million exploding suns?This series does a lot of things right when it comes to a huge cross-over event. What DC and Marvel have failed at for the last seven years is that they're their own best hype-men. They build up the event leading to the cross-over so well that by the time they get there, the event take too long to get the point across. Bendis should be applauded for keeping it short and sweet.The first three issues of the series do a wonderful job of building up to the story. The first is a little slow because it's moving the pieces into to place, but the next two are brilliantly fun. Ares death is not as important or even as relevant as the Captain America, the Wasps, or even the dozens of lives lost in the Civil War and Secret Invasion. But his death is scary. The God of War is torn in half! What chance does anyone have from stopping the Sentry? That's really what this story became. How do you stop the Sentry?The third issue plateaued the excitement of the book. This didn't become obvious until the fourth issue though. Where Bendis failed in this event is the same place he and Marvel (and even DC) have been continuing to fail. They use the last issue to set up where the Universe is going rather than finishing the story they set out to tell. Unfortunately, the Siege is not the exception and the better half of the fourth issue is spent talking about what's to come rather than properly closing out the chapter.Again, Marvel is their own best hype-man. The readers have known for months that Marvel will be entering into the Heroic Age. If they truly wanted to usher in the new chapter of Marvel History, they could have easily done a giant-size one shot that went from key character to key character i.e. Brightest Day #0. Instead, they chose to continue the hype and aggravate the fan base.What this series really has going for it is some beautiful art from Oliver Coipel (House of M). The real treat is that Bendis and Coipel started all of these events at Marvel and they also finished them. Coipel's pencils are distinct and at their finest. Mark Morales (Secret Invasion) compliments Coipel's art with his own sharp inking. The coloring of the book by Laura Martin (Secret Invasion), gives it the sense of darkness that the story represents for Marvel, but then leaves it looking bright and beautiful. As a whole the Siege is a success and hopefully sets the example for future writers on what to do/not do. Readers will more than likely be disappointed with the final chapter and frankly have a reason to be. But what the Siege did was undue everything that had come before. The warring ideologies of old school comics and modern comics have been appeased by finding a middle ground. Now it's okay to put on a funny costume and go be a hero. Just know that the other heroes are going to make sure that you make amends for your mistakes.What made the Dark Reign so good was that there was a face to the evil. Norman Osborn was everywhere attacking everyone and getting away with it. The heroes needed an obstacle to overcome in order to be interesting. Otherwise, they just end up fighting themselves again.Story – 8.0
Plot – 8.5
Characters – 9.5
Pencils – 9.8
Ink – 9.8
Color – 10.0
Overall – 9.3One of the best lines of this series comes from Spider-Man when he tells Commander Hand, "You need to learn when to shut up." It's like Bendis finally learned that Spider-Man doesn't always have to say something cute. Follow Dustin on Twitter and ask him anything on FormSpring.
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