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Siege #2 [Review]

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover: Coipel, Morales & Martin
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics

This issue is largely a lengthy fight-scene. Ares vs. Balder. Ares vs. The Sentry. Dark Avengers vs. Thor. And while these battles are going on, Steve Rogers rallies the Avengers, with Nick Fury providing transportation. And the issue ends on a ridiculously annoying note.

While I like the visuals overall, something about the Sentry comes across like some totally ticked-off child, if not some sort of demon-possessed child. The other characters all look pretty good–and are quite recognizable. The only part where I really had any trouble following the action in the visuals was the most gruesome image of the issue–you’ll know it when you see it. Though the gore makes it clear the character has been killed, it seems to come out of nowhere. If the final page of actual comic store didn’t have “To Be Continued” I’d be asking why a page was left out–what seems to be done for cinematic/dramatic effect feels extremely anticlimactic, and does nothing to make me want to get the next issue. The sequence–in my eyes–should have been played out.

The story itself seems very simplistic…we see things going awry and Norman losing control of the situation as he’s closer to being exposed publicly. Characters fight, someone dies, etc. The fight sequences make the issue read far too quickly–there’s too much quick action and too little dialogue. I’d almost prefer to see a tie-in mini to flesh out the action, and let the main series involve more dialogue and interaction as the event goes down.

In and of itself, there’s not much of anything here to recommend this issue. Marvel only makes it worthwhile as it’s part of the story that ends the Dark Reign, and we’re almost–almost–to the point where Osborne’s gonna start to get some of what’s coming to him. This is an “event book,” and the “core mini” at that–this seems the bare minimum one should get if specifically following Siege. While there’s loads of other stuff surely going on, this has been doing a decent job–for what I’ve read–of having the main stuff unfolding here rather than in the tie-in/crossover issues.

Not wonderful, but there’s plenty worse out there to be read…plenty that doesn’t at least have as its end result a brighter tone to come for the Marvel Universe.

The text piece at the end held no interest to me–it may have some stuff for context, but I couldn’t even get through it.

Story: 3.5/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 5/10

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Siege: Embedded #2 [Review]

Writer: Brian Reed
Artist: Chris Samnee
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer & Production: VC’s Rus Wooton
Cover: Adi Granov
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Executive Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics

I think I read the first couple issues of Civil War: Frontline, and while I snagged an issue or two from a quarter bin somewhere, I don’t believe I’ve read any of the World War Hulk: Frontline. I also hate the $3.99 price point, but after growing so weary of even just the phrase “Dark Reign” and seeing that on comics on the shelves. That Marvel would actually do a 4-issue event in Siege seemed astonishing to me, and I’d decided to compromise my principles and buy the core issues despite the $3.99 tag–at least it was an ‘event book’ and not just another standard, monthly issue of an ongoing title. With the Origins of Siege freebie the week prior, and a small week of new issues, I decided to give Siege a bit more of a shot than I would otherwise, and not only bought SiegeEmbedded #1, but also picked up #1…and while I was at it, snagged the cabal one-shot from December.

With the second issue of both Siege and Siege: Embedded out this week, I again went ahead and snagged both.

This issue continues the journey of Ben Urich, his travel buddy Will, and Volstagg, in the wake of the “inciting incident” that allowed Norman Osborne the excuse to invade Asgard. Urich is interviewing people during the journey while stopped at gas stations, while his buddy tries to keep Volstagg from being noticed. When the group hits a traffic jam, things get bad pretty quick as Osborne’s people lock onto Volstagg’s Asgardian properties. While he fights the would-be captors, Urich and Will wind up in less than ideal conditions, where they must rely on one another without their Asgardian friend.

The issue’s art seems rather simplistic in a way…not really in a grim and gritty way, but just some stylistic thing. It’s not bad–but it’s nothing wonderful, either.

The story itself seems to have virtually nothing to do with Siege itself, other than Volstagg’s presence/situation. Siege sets the “environment,” but other than that, this doesn’t seem to add anything to the main title’s story. This is just its own story set within the event. I’m somewhat enjoying this story as–while it involves super-beings–the main character(s) are not themselves super-heroes/villains. They’re just people who live in a world populated by super-beings.

As said–this really adds nothing yet to Siege itself. But if you’re looking for a larger experience than just the main Siege book, this is worth getting, as it is also a 4-issue mini-series, and there’s the chance it’s not going to get you hooked on another ongoing title that just ties in to Siege.

Ultimately, a solid issue, but kinda take-it-or-leave-it. I’ll be interested to see how the series is collected–it’d be great to see this collected WITH Siege itself, though I’d be shocked to see that actually happen.

Story: 7/10
Art: 4.5/10
Overall: 6/10

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