Hey there X-Maniacs, I was going to do some terribly unfunny post for April Fool's Day, but I decided to spare all of you, and instead just stick with a few reviews. I'm also currently watching the Batman comic where Jason Todd makes his first appearance on eBay, there's 20 minutes to go, so I'm hoping the price stays around where it is so I can swoop in and snag it, since I'm on a Jason Todd kick(as is pretty evident by the spotlight over at my scan site!). Anyway, I have a trio of Siege related comics to go over tonight, starting with the penultimate part of the mini-series. So far this series has impressed me WAAAAY more then I expected, and to be honest, it's been a lot more cohesive then the huge mess Blackest Night became towards the end.
Siege #3(of 4): Writer: BENDIS. Pencils: Olivier Coipel.
Last Issue: 7 1/2 out of 10.
This comic gets started with the President of the United States and his cabinet watching the events of Norman Osborn's Siege on Asgard take place. The President is angered that Osborn went against his orders and went and attacked the Asgardians anyway. After some debate, the President decides to send in the military to arrest Osborn and shut down HAMMER. While that's happening, Captain America(that would be the original, Steve Rogers), and his ragtag group of Avengers launches an all-out assault against Osborn and his forces of evil. That fight rages for a while, while a little bit further off, the main event is taking place, with the Sentry, now fully under the control of his evil alter-ego the Void, battling the Thunder God himself, Thor. Thor hits the Sentry with everything he has, and the Sentry simply stands through it all... Well, THAT'S definitely NOT a good thing! Osborn, who is being trounced by the Avengers, calls for assistance, and the Hood and his army of super-villains arrive on the scene to assist Osborn. The Young Avenger Speed, brings the suitcase containing Tony Stark's Iron Man armor to Stark at the behest of Captain America himself, hopefully serving to bury the hatchet between those two heroes. The US Air Force attacks the HAMMER helicarrier and brings it down, while Osborn watches in disbelief, as his house of cards literally comes down all around him. Cap takes that opportunity to attack Osborn, but with his armor, Osborn is still more then a match for the Sentinel of Liberty. Osborn goes to blast Cap, however his armor becomes unresponsive, and as he tries to figure out what happened, Tony Stark, now in full Iron Man mode, arrives on the scene and tells Osborn his armor was being shut down. Osborn begins to panic, sensing the end, so he sends word to the Sentry to bring down Asgard itself, to which the Sentry stunningly does, completely destroying the floating city, sending it crashing to the Earth. From there, Cap tells Osborn he was under arrest, and Iron Man forcibly removes the armor from Osborn, revealing that his face was painted in the colors of the Green Goblin(???). The heroes knock Osborn down, and he tells them that they had made a grave mistake, as the Sentry hovers above all of the gathered heroes menacingly, while the sky around him turns black, which ends this issue.
Damn it, I didn't win my Batman comic... Anyway, this was another solid effort from BENDIS, although I liked it a little bit less then the awesome first issue, as some of BENDIS'S annoying dialogue began to rear its ugly head again. There was a lot to like here, such as Cap and IM appearing to finally make nice, Asgard being destroyed(I'm sorry, but I NEVER liked the idea of Asgard, home to Norse Gods, floating above Oklahoma!), and Osborn finally getting pulled out of his Iron Patriot armor. There were also a few, “What the HELL?!?” moments as well though, such as Osborn's face for some reason resembling the Green Goblin, and the Sentry transforming into a... giant spider looking creature... That's the best I can describe it! Also strangely enough, Loki has been absent through it all, even though it was his machinations that started this whole Siege on Asgard in the first place! So next issue, which is the last issue, should give us everybody vs the Sentry/Void. Since this is Marvel, and this is their yearly big event, I guess the main thing to wonder is, which character is going to die as this mini concludes?
Score: 8 out of 10.Umm, huh???
Avengers: The Initiative #34: Writer: Christos Gage. Pencils: Jorge Molina.
Last Issue: 8 1/2 out of 10.
This comic follows two stories, the Avengers Resistance battling the Hood and his gang at Camp HAMMER and the Taskmaster's role in the battle for Asgard. I'll begin with the Avengers Resistance story. The Resistance puts up a good fight, but are unable to bring down the Hood, who is using the immensely powerful Asgardian Norn Stones to empower himself and his henchmen. All looks lost until Penance(the former Speedball), decides to assist the Avengers Resistance, which is filled with many of his former New Warriors teammates. With the added muscle from Penance and the other non-evil members of the Initiative, the Resistance begins to turn the tide of the battle. At that very moment, the Hood is summoned to join Osborn's forces in Asgard, and he takes several of the evil Initiative members with him, leaving the other evil Initiative members at a strong disadvantage. Back in Asgard, the Taskmaster realizes that it's all falling apart for Osborn, but he decides to take a shot at Captain America, figuring that even if Osborn loses, beating Cap would help his rep as a mercenary. Taskmaster and Cap go at it for a bit, until Cap switches off with Bucky, since Taskmaster had never studied Bucky, and as such wouldn't be able to mimic Bucky's fighting style. Bucky and Taskmaster continue their battle until the fighter jets blow the HAMMER helicarrier out of the sky, at which point they both stop to watch the fireworks. This issue ends with the Sentry bringing Asgard down, while several members of the Initiative are still trapped inside, including star-crossed lovers, Constrictor and Diamondback.
This was a pretty good comic that did a marvelous job tying into the main Siege storyline. Stuff that happened in Siege #3 also happened here, giving the two books a very nice feeling of cohesion. Since most of the things that happened here simply expanded or retold what happened in Siege #3, I think it's pretty fair to give this comic the same score.
Score: 8 out of 10.My only complaint is that this fight didn't last longer!
Thor #608: Writer: Kieron Gillen. Art: Billy Tan, Batt & Rich Elson.
Last Issue: 8 out of 10.
This comic follows the Asgardians themselves during the events of Siege #3. While the majority of Asgardians are fighting against Osborn's forces on Asgard, Volstagg is being harassed by Thor's evil clone, Ragnarok. Ragnarok wants to kill Volstagg for what happened at Soldier Field in Chi-Town, but Volstagg is afraid to battle Ragnarok, fearing that he might inadvertently kill innocent bystanders again, just like in the Chicago incident. Instead of battling Ragnarok, Volstagg makes a run for it, and is pursued by the crazed Ragnarok. Ultimately Volstagg leads Ragnarok to the uninhabited area directly underneath the floating city of Asgard, and the two battle, since Volstagg can cut loose without worrying about collateral damage. The two fight for a few pages, and Ragnarok ultimately gains the upper-hand, knocking Volstagg away from the floating city. Before Ragnarok can reach Volstagg to deliver the death blow, the whole of Asgard collapses onto Ragnarok, ending this issue.
As with the Initiative book, this comic did a wonderful job of enhancing the main Siege storyline. You know, as much as I hate to say it, with how chaotic and disconnected several of the Blackest Night x-over comics were from the main Blackest Night mini-series, DC should REALLY take some notes from Marvel and Siege, because ALL of the Siege x-overs have blended PERFECTLY into the main Siege story! If nothing else, that's what has impressed me the most with the way Siege has moved forward, all of the various x-overs fit with the main story so well. This comic was no different, as it gave us some more of the Thor/Sentry battle from Siege #3, as well as showing the Asgardian's plight as they faced the magically powered Hood, who appeared in Asgard by way of Initiative #34 and Siege #3. Not only that, but it also gave us its own story, with Ragnarok battling the oafish Volstagg. The only thing that disappointed me was the ending, when Asgard fell on Ragnarok... I really hope that isn't the way Ragnarok goes, because I'm still awaiting a Thor/Ragnarok showdown. Here's hoping Ragnarok somehow managed to avoid the falling city before it was too late.
Score: 8 out of 10.Fake Thor vs a fat Asgardian... Strange...