Pick of the Week

Pick of the Week – 03.17.2010 – Siege #3

What did the
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994
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.6
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 61.9%
 
Users who pulled this comic:
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: Olivier Coipel
INKER: Mark Morales
COLORED BY: Laura Martin
LETTERED BY: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER BY: Olivier Coipel

Size: pages
Price: 3.99

Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Such is the case with Siege #3.

I’ve really been enjoying this entire mini-series… event… story… whatever you want to call it. For a guy known for long, drawn out, decompressed stories that cause many fans to complain that “nothing happens,” Brian Michael Bendis sure can write a slam bang action story.

In the case of this week’s Pick of the Week, Siege #3 was almost too slam bang. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

Much like my last Pick of the Week, New Avengers #62 (which was also written by Bendis), this issue was all about moments. Those moments you live for in comics after years and years and decades of reading these things. This issue was filled with great moments that I knew going in that I wanted, hell, needed to see, and I was still happy and surprised when they occurred.

Bendis has been telling this Avengers story for a long time now. Going all the way back to Avengers: Disassembled in 2004, we’ve had a long road to get to this place in Siege. It hasn’t always been a good road or a fun road, but a six year long epic is something I can respect. It has taken so long to get here, in fact, that the speed in which everything seems to be wrapping up is kind of breathtaking.

But not always in a good way.

I’ll just get my one small criticism of this book out of the way now. It’s the same one I have for a lot of what is going on in Blackest Night right now (especially in Green Lantern Corps), and that is that there is almost too much going on in this issue. There is so much action, so many moments, and it’s like we are being thrown from one to the next. I felt like I had whiplash by the time I was done reading this. A fast paced story is not necessarily a bad thing, with Siege it has been quite good, but sometimes you really want to linger on those good moments before you are thrown into the next one. As I was reading this, I found myself thinking that maybe Siege should have been a five issue mini-series because apparently there is no satisfying me.

That minor quibble aside, let’s get back to the good stuff.

When last we left Siege, Captain America had thrown his mighty shield and Norman Osborn was mere moments from yielding. As I opened this issue, instead of finding emotional release in the shield connecting with Norman’s stupid face, we instead pulled back to find the President of the United States being briefed in the Situation Room on the events happening around Asgard. The President and his advisors narrate the action for the rest of the issue, and although that device came dangerously close to the past tense narration from Secret Invasion #8, I thought it worked here. If you’re like me and you’re not reading every book that is tying into this story (like Thor or Invincible Iron Man) having the narration explaining everything and everybody was helpful and appreciated.

Oh, but the emotional release that was to come! I didn’t have to wait long to open up a two-page spread and see Cap’s shield connect with Norman Osborn’s stupid face with a big ol’ CLANG while Cap shouts “Avengers Assemble!” and almost all of the good and true heroes of the Marvel Universe fan out behind him. That was my first “hell, yes!” moment.

There would be more.

Despite the fact that Tony Stark is a fascist scumbag, I was both shocked and thrilled that after he was given the suitcase that Jarvis provided, Tony showed up on the battlefield in the classic 1980s red and gold Iron Man armor! Yes! The little 10 year old Conor that lives inside of me and always wants to eat junk food and watch The A-Team goes giddy every time that suit appears; which is not all that often these days.

As I was reading this issue and I watched Captain America repeatedly beat down Norman Osborn I began to grow fearful that we’d go through this entire story and Spider-Man would not get his moment in the sun. This is his baddie, after all, and even though it would be entirely predictable to have Spider-Man take out Osborn, I think in this case, it still needed to happen. As the issue wore on and such a confrontation seemed no where in sight, I started to think things like “Wow, are they really going to do this to Peter Parker? I can’t believe it!” But then, finally, we had two great moments run back-to-back. After having his armor ripped off of his body, Norman Osborn is laid bare and the depths of his madness are revealed: He has altered (painted?) his face to look like the Green Goblin. It was one of those funny/scary/”that is fucked up!” moments that bring these big stories home. And no sooner does that image of pure crazy sink in before Spider-Man punches Norman Osborn in his stupid face in a fantastic panel drawn by Olivier Coipel.

And what about Olivier Coipel? This man can flat out draw. There are two things about his art that I really like. One is that there is a tremendous sense of depth to many of his panels. A lot of comic book art these days is only concerned with what is going on in the foreground, but this issue is filled with epic panels with action in the foreground, middleground, background, and FAR background. Some of these panels go on for days. I also really like the way he employs a lot of tight cross hatching to achieve a rough, tactile texture (although I didn’t like it so much when he showed Captain America’s indestructible shield was chipped on the edges).

The breakneck pace of Siege #3 ends with Norman Osborn, his Dark Avengers, and H.A.M.M.E.R. finally defeated and the Avengers left to face their true greatest threat: The Sentry. I actually really like the way The Sentry has been used in this series. Here he is the scary and insane and indestructible big bad and I honestly I have no idea how the Avengers are going to defeat him.

That’s exciting.


Conor Kilpatrick

And now I have the Captain America song stuck in my head.
conor@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. Cool!  Can’t wait to read this on Friday.

  2. Fraction’s made a point of de-facisting Tony as of late in his Iron Man run, what with the Tony-not-knowing-anything-past-House-of-M bit, if the end of Iron Man #24 is to be believed.

  3. This is truly a masterpiece of a story being told.  Everything from Dark Avengers & New Avengers, as well as bits of Thor are coming together in a massive and explosive way, creating one of the best comics Marvel has produced.  The structuring of everything that has come before is pitch perfect and it makes this issue all the richer experience.  Bendis is a supreme creator, always has been, Coipel has always been this good as well honestly.

  4. Glad u threw in the comment about Stark being a fascist scum bag.  I want to see the conversation between Tony and Steve..and it better not be another Ms.Marvel / Cap whispering in the background cop-out. Please..let Iron Man groval…no really..please..just a little damn it..

    But yeah it was a great pick..and best part ?? Looks like we could be heading to the end of the Sentry..o Gawd please..now if only if they got rid of the Hood as well..

  5. @tazz: Well, according to events that I have not read in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, that conversation between Steve and Tony is probably not going to happen any time soon, what with Tony’s post-HOUSE OF M memory wipe. Who knows, though.

  6. Great review, I’m not reading siege but I think this may be one of those event comics that I pick up in trade. But I did See the spread of Cap smasihing in Osborns face and I want that painted on the side of the friggin white house. Thats how awesome it was.

  7. Do I have to kill another god today?

  8. I liked this issue a lot.  I was just so excited to see Tony be given the suitcase and kept turning the page dying to see the panels of him opening it up and using the collapsible armor so it was a huge disappointment to all of a sudden see him appear all armored up already.  Would have loved the moment of him getting into the armor after months of Stark Disassembled.  Besides that this was a lot of fun.

  9. I suspect you’ll have to wait for the great Tony-Cap exchange a little bit. They’re doing a special mini-series all about it (with Thor, too), so I think you’ll get it in spades there. But that’s apparently going to come AFTER the re-launches. So, it’ll be like going back and covering the quiet moments after the fact.

    This was a great read; totally agree with Conor’s assessment. Almost a little TOO breakneck, but certainly a fun action romp. Great stuff. But I still have many great books to read…

  10. So far this is the single best issue of the year so far. I cant wait t see how they take down whatever the Sentry truly is down.

  11. @Conor: I would’ve agreed until I read GLC #46.  Damn this a great week for comics!

  12. If this wasn’t the pick of the week, I would’ve sued. It wasn’t the best comic ever, but it was 100,000% the most awesomest comic in a long time. I wonder if the Siege one shots will zoom in on smaller moments in the fight a la BN: Wonder Woman.

  13. So adult Conor doesn’t want to watch The A-team and eat junk food? i don’t buy it

  14. This is the first and only book I’ve read so far and I have to say your minor criticism that lead the critque of the book was the thing that I had a hard time letting go.

    There was too much action and I wasn’t always connecting with it like I did in the first two issues.

    I liked this book a lot, but it was my least favorite of the three issues so far.

    My favorite aspect of the book was the Sentry and Thor throwing down.

    I actually am a bit concerned for Thor even though they wouldn’t kill him after having brought him back less than two years ago.

  15. I always love the early pick! I was on my way out the door to the comic shop, just happen to check the  site, and now I know one more issue to pick up.

    I’m not fully in the know about the Sentry, and I don’t want to spoil the remaining issue in the series, but I’m under the impression (assumption really) there is something special happening with the Sentry very soon. (If you learn more about Heroic Age team line-ups and you might figure out what I’m talking about.)

  16. Agreed on all points–I will say that Fraction has done a really good job of bringing Tony face to face with his own fascistic scumbaggery–I think we’re going to see a repentant Tony in the Age of Heroes.

  17. This was the best thing I read this week for all of the reason Conor laid out.  Although when reading this all I could think of was, this is how a limited should be written.  I enjoyed the break neck speed for once after how slow events like these play out.  I’ve been waiting for Marvel to go back to some good old fashioned superheroing and this book is the beginning of that.  

    Goodbye Dark Reign!

  18. As a Marvel comics fan this has been a really amazing story, and as a comicbook fan it’s rewarded me with brilliant narrative art. My only disappointment is as a fan of what JMS built in his short tenure on Thor, seeing that torn apart so quickly as the casual backdrop to this epic tale. I just hope that Matt Fraction builds an equally immersive new world for Thor when this has wrapped up. But for the moment, I’m really being entertained!

  19. This issue was fine, but it really wasn’t screaming epic and fascinating to me.  I just see a flat-out action story that is trying to wrap up everything Dark Reign dragged on for the last year so that we can get to the Heroic Age.  That’s all fine and good – I just don’t think it deserves a lot of high praise.

    I really hope we end this whole Sentry saga though.  He just never interested me, even in his Void-like state, after being force fed him these last few years as Marvel’s version of Superman but with personality disorders.

    Copiel has been the saving grace for me – the man has great penciling skills and it shows well in his background action.  (SPOILER ALERT) The two-page splash of Asgard coming down is a great example of that.

  20. I said this in the issue thread, but I seriously feel those two pages of Speed delivering Tony his briefcase were written for me.

  21. YEAH!  This is what you do with a character who has been ridiculed and rightfully belittled.  You turn it around and say, "Oh yeah?  How you like me NOW?"  Ba-BOOM!  Nice.  Siege has been surprisingly great, especially when I consider some of the mediocrity that led up to it. 

  22. I read this at the store and……it was okay. I’m not gonna fully critique it since I don’t have it physically in my hands. But from what I remember it seemed very light on story and just a ton of action. Not saying that’s a bad thing but if we’re celebrating the obvious happening then I’m down with it.

    Brave and the Bold #32 was my pick for Aquaman goodness. 

  23. @Conor: Good pick, but surprised u didn’t pick Brave and the Bold, i know how much u love aquaman and he is a total BADASS in this comic.

  24. This was really good, but for me, nothing beats Amazing Spider-man this week.  It was one of the best comic books I’ve read in years.

  25. A decent issue but way too predictable

  26. I loved every page of this book. The *only* thing that hurt it were the poorly placed ads that really fucked up my reading flow.

    And my prediction: I think the Sentry is going to get his ass imprisoned in another dimension by Thor.

  27. I guess he isnt Marvelman

  28. @trobinson79: Totally disagree with you there my friend. If you really think about it, it takes immense skill to actually collaborate plotlines and wrap up a 7 year long saga in under 50 pages of action. When I wrote for "sequentially ever after" I realized how difficult it really is to get A & B plot lines together, let alone the umpteenth plots Bendis has been tying together. =)

    Also, I’m honestly a little worried that there are two Conors in the one Conor we supposedly know. I just hope he doesn’t paint his face.

  29. This issue was crazy awesome! I have been fliping through all three books right now, and i cant wait for the Sentry fight in Siege 4. But looking at issue 2, i have a good idea about whos going to jump into this fight and rock The Sentrys face. Flip through the book, hes not in many panels but its fairly clear……

  30. Do you mean Phobos?

  31. 03.17.2010 – Siege #3 – FINALLY! Someone punches Norman Osborn in his stupid face.

     

    That made me laugh out loud. 

  32. @tazz – I believe the requisite grovelling was contained in Civil War: The Confession, but I agree, he does have some face-to-face ‘splainin to do.

    And you made me realize that the problems that I and many others have with the Hood an the Sentry are the same and different at the same time. The Hood was a cool character in the BKV mini and was being set up to be a great vigilante, but they turned him into a villain instead. Sentry was a lame hero who has been turned into one of the greatest villains of the past 10 years. So, really, in both cases, the problems with the characters is that they are just in the wrong roles, however, one of them has finally ended up in the right one, while I fear the other will never return to his potential.

    @Omegadark – Please expound upon your assertion! Who, who, who?

  33. @Mangaman Except that’s my problem – they hype it up as a "7 years in the making" wrap-up storyline, but I only see the Avengers Disassembled and Civil War storylines as part of what makes up this long epic storyline, which only makes up for maybe 2 of those 7 years.  I highly doubt we want to say that House of M, World War Hulk, and Secret Invasion were ever part of this because they were completely different plots with completey different results (though you can somewhat make a case for Secret Invasion since it obviously what led to Osborn leading the Dark Reign, but even that to me seemed forced upon us).

    Once again, I’m not saying Siege is horrible and I’m not saying the last 7 years have been filled with bad editorial choices by Marvel as far as the Avengers direction goes.  I just don’t get why people are so hyped up about it when Siege is clearly just a generic action story where the heroes are clearly going to win.  Maybe I’m either expecting too much out of Marvel or I’ve been spoiled by Vertigo books as of late.

  34. As cool as this was Doomwar pwned it.

  35. Can’t wait to read this.Copiel kicking ass once again with his pencils.

  36. I LOOOVE crazy Sentry. I don’t like arachnid Sentry. That’s my only sour point. I just wish we could watch the Avengers beat the piss out of the Sentry instead of making arachnid-possesion excuses. I want the Sentry to be a bad guy. He’s so much more fun that way. 

  37. @leonard He’s still the bad guy, it’s just that the Void is in control now and probably has been for a while. The Void always looks a little different everytime he goes apeshit. Back in New Avengers when he appeared he looked like a rock monster, sometimes he’s a man in a black trenchcoat and hat, but it’s still the Void.

  38. So disappointed that I have to wait a whole two weeks to get this.

    That’s life, though.

    -J.

  39. A couple of weeks ago on the podcast that the moment Captain America walked into the new Avengers hideout and had a little reunion was like a drug for comic fans.  That was exactly right.  But this is issue was like taking that drug and making so much stronger.  The whole issue was filled with great moments that comic fans love to see. Great issue.

  40. There’s a great line by Spidey when Iron Man shows up. Kind of sums up my feelings on the entire 6 year saga. Awesome.

  41. Loved the issue, really looking forward to #4. But looking at that last page, I have a theory…

    Remember waaaay back in New Avengers #2 when The Sentry flew Carnage up into the stratosphere and tore him in half (seems to be a hobby of his, in retrospect)? Remeber how Carnage is a parasitic symbiote?

    Did that shot of The Sentry on last page of Seige #3 look a bit Carnagey to anyone else but me?

    Just sayin…

     

  42. @colmichaelrossi   y’know when the void showed up in dark avengers this week he looked kinda like a big ass symbiote. the void always looks a little different each time so i didn’t think anything of it. you might be onto something here

     

  43. To be honest, it looks a little more like that Fox Demon from Naruto. I would LAUGH if this was inspired by that.

  44. @trobinson79: But that’s the thing man, HOUSE OF M WAS part of it all. It’s what led to the downfall of mutant kind. It’s why the X-men currently CANNOT intervene with SIEGE. And let’s face it, mutantkind was a huge deciding factor against Osborn’s reign, so I certainly count it. World War Hulk counts because it proved why the Initiative (under Stark’s Rule) didn’t work. Have do you own the issues or trades of all "The Initiative" issue? It’s all there. Also the "Illuminati" trade recaps all of the important events leading up to the Secret Invasion and how it all culminates into a worldwide infiltration. These are events that basically encompass the downfall of the hero. Each event marginalizing and destroying the social structure of the superhero community. Then you have the culminating result which is Dark Reign. And the aftermath, Siege. I really don’t see how you find those events unrelated. But I respect your viewpoint and defend your right to say it.

  45. Couldn’t agree more. This is the closest that a comic book has gotten me to actually cheering and applauding. Let’s just say some fist-pumping was done and leave it at that.

  46. @MangaMan I’m glad you can comment on those as being relevant because my memory doesn’t serve me well any more.  Much as people say turning 30 is the new 20, I’m not seeing it 🙂

    All in all, I see where you’re coming from and it does look some of these events I commented on do connect some of the dots (I only have some of the initial Initiative issues, I’m afraid).  That being said, they may have been connected these last 7 years, but that doesn’t make them all good reads.  House of M was ok, nothing too awe-inspiring and with some odd twists (Wolverine gets memory back because Scarlet Witch said "No more mutants"?) and World War Hulk was all just one big brawl and an excuse to get Hulk back on Earth after they were done with Planet Hulk.  Sorry to belittle those two stories, but that’s just my perspective.  Best I can say is the pencil work was great for those.

  47. @trobinson79 – "7 years in the making" refers to that Cap, Thor, & Iron Man have not appered in the same comic book in 7 years.  That’s since before Bendis was on the book.  He’s never put those 3 characters together, so them coming together for 1 story and 1 cause is "7 years in the making."  Now you get it?

  48. @KickAss – Fair enough – all good points.  I still don’t think that when Siege is all said and done and we enter the Heroic Age that it will have the greatest impact in all of comics other than bringing the big three back together.  If anything, I believe Blackest Night is going to do that because we’re seeing the culmination of everything the Guardians of Oa prohpesized and tried to prevent.  And this has been something built for a long while, even beyond when they first announced that they’d be doing this project at the end of Sinestro Corps War.  I really see a lot of great lasting impact out of that series as we head into Brightest Day, the continuation of the other GL books, and possibly others.

  49. @trobinson79 – Wolverine didn’t get his memories back because Wanda said "No more mutants", he got them back for the same reason Magneto was runnin’ shit and Scott and Emma were living a domestic life once she clicked everyone into House of M. The change was based primarily on giving the movers and shakers what they really wanted.

  50. @ActualButt – I must have missed that part.  I only thought Wolverine, when he was brought into House of M, "conveniently" was the one guy who could tell something was wrong with the world he was brought into that other characters couldn’t tell initially.  I don’t recall him actually getting his full memories back while he was in House of M, only afterwards.

  51. Nope, it was during.

  52. Can’t read the article, don’t want spoilers… but I hear Spidey gets a lick in….YES!

    If true, that is the way it should be (not Cap)

    Having difficulty as recently changed from LCBS to discount comic books, once a month

  53. Okey-dokey, then I will zip it then on that particular issue 🙂

  54. @trobinson79 It’s easy to forget because in House of M he talks about it briefly but then after house of M they had all that origin stuff with daniel way and it was kinda in our faces that he remembered everything.

  55. Oh my good god…just read this and it is indeed a great pick.  As long as Bendis can bring it in for the final approach next month this will be a perfect example of pure superhero rock n roll, just so much fun.

  56. @RoiVampire yeah true, which makes it all the more amazing that you guys here do remember that.  Kudos to all for having better functioning brains than mine 🙂

  57. @trobinson79  When it comes to comics, movies and tv i have a brain like a steel trap. As for everything else, in one ear and …hey look at that shiny thing!

    seriously though i can barely remember what i got accomplished at work yesterday

  58. @RoiVampire: I’m the same way. 

  59. I hope osborns face stays that way, its so ridiculious

  60. This was a great week in comics.  Nearly everything I read was a 5 star book for me.  I really enjoyed this issue of Siege a lot, but I thought Amazing Spider-Man was just a masterful comic.  It was so emotional and wonderfully told.  Joe Kelly is a beast!  ASM was definitely my POW.

  61. I gotta say that when I saw the page of Osborn wearing make up (of all things) to look like Green Goblin…..I laughed a lot.

    You gotta be REALLY insane to do that! 

  62. Look, I like Spidey punching Normie in the face as much as the next guy, but can anyone honestly tell me how to make heads or tails of this event? I mean I’ve been trying to figure out how ties fit in, but none of it makes any sense to me.

    I guess this is why my little corner of the Marvel Universe is Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers and the cosmic characters. 

  63. Very nice, well written review.  Especially like "panels that go on for days"–a little ifanpoetry.  

  64. Great pick Conor. Great issue, great art, can’t wait to have the marvel universe right again.

  65. yes on the pick and good review. 

     

    I wanted to see if anyone else noticed the shield cracks Conor mentioned. I thought they were cracks, but then they seemed to be 2 spots the sun is shining on it and its reflecting. I dont have the issue in front of me.

     

    Also, Maria Hill’s thing at the end was ok but long. I liked the prior "pre-game" discussions better from the last two.  Bendis is so good at the everyone around the table discussion. 

  66. I think Siege is, in part, a middle finger from Bendis to all the naysayers who claim that he can only write stories that are too decompressed and boring. As Conor mentioned, he can write one hell of a fast paced, high octane, slobberknocker series. I loved this issue, and I think that the Spider-Man/Norman Osborn punch ranks up there in the greatest comic punches in history, right along side with the Captain America/Hitler punch! 

  67. I just noticed osborn painted teeth on his lips, man green goblin minstrel is creepy

  68. I like Goblin makeup more than the mask

  69. Great written review Conor.  Always impressed how you guys usually write how I’m feel about a book but never can find the words to describe it. 

    My favorite part of the book was the Spidey line halfway through "Look at that…and all of a sudden it’s all worthwhile"  Pretty much sums up Dark Reign.

    Also for the first time really I liked and cared about Thor, he was awesome in this.

  70. don’t get me wrong I always like seeing Osborn getting punched in the face but didn’t Fury do it as well back in "The List" one shots?

  71. @Legamorph: You’re taking it too literally. He’s been punched before, obviously, these are action books. This is the climax of the story, however, and the punch actually means something.

  72. i’d like to see a Sentry vs Noh-varr rematch next issue. 
  73. so, the next one has been pushed back to May 12th.  yep.  are we surprised?

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