Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Siege #1 and Siege: Embedded #1

This I really want to see succeed.

After reading both Siege comics for this week, I can say that one of them was good, the other I want to see improved before four months are over.

Siege is a great premise. It's almost as if it is the anti Final Crisis. It is shorter. It has fewer tie-ins. Gods from a far away realm have invaded Earth. The villains are in charge of the world, yes, but this time the villains are the normal people and the Gods are the heroes. Most importantly, for me, it is written in a straight forward style hat is hardly confusing, which i something I I designate about 80% of what Grant Morrison writes.

Basics out of the way. This story is supposed to be the culmination of the stories Brian Bendis has been telling since Avengers: Disassembled. After that. we had the start of New Avengers, then House of M and Decimation, then Civil War, then World War Hulk, then Secret Invasion (which was so secret I missed it until Issue 6), then Dark Reign (The Countdown to Siege), and now we end up here. Asgard, the Viking one, ends up in the middle of Oklahoma. Loki continuously schemes to gain control of the land and National Security Commander Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, has to fall over himself to help his only friend left in the original Cabal of Super Evil, outside of the Hood. Loki convinces Norman to stage a Siege on US soil of Asgard. That's the gist. Man vs. God.

However, Brian Bendis does a horrible, horrible thing. He features a beat down of Marvel's Thor and instead has a reporter tell us instead of showing us. I think I get why. He's used to decompression. He wants to keep a secret member of Norman's Cabal hidden from us. I have a feeling it is the guy that looks like an orange Vincente from Age of Apocalypse's "Generation Next". I feel like he didn't want to reveal this big gun yet until a later issue, but because he only has 4 to work with instead of 6-8 he can't reveal the guy on issue 2 or 3 like he wants without having to edit out the fight scenes where ths secret member can be of value.

It's no excuse. The book is a normal Marvel 3.99 book, but instead of the scene where we get Norman being told by everyone in his Dark Avengers that he is a nut job and that this cannot go anyway other than bad, he coudl use those three pages to show a potentially awesome fight scene.

What's a worse kick to the junk is then he practically prints the extended edition of the planning scene in script in the back of the comic. Really? What was int he comic par tof the book couldn't be put back there so that I could get more Thor fighting in this book? Hawk(Bulls)eye's witty banter is just more important than Asgardian environment smashing?

Actually, that's just one piece of what makes this book frustrating. The other part is that the events in this book are after the current stories of half the solo books for all involved. Ironman is still in Tony Stark: Disassembled being revived from lobotomizing himself. In Siege we can tell he's fine. Great Job! I don't need to spend my money now to read the story. Thor apparently got Asgard back into Oklahoma, because in his solo book the Asgardians moved the place to Latveria to shack up with Doom. So, I guess its good to know what happens in Thor before it does. Thanks Bendis! And, well, we already knew what happened to bring back Steve Rogers since EVERY book is ahead of Captain America: Reborn in terms of the publishing schedule. Nice cohesive universe going on there Quesada.

I want Siege to work. I do. As a plot, I think its great. However, the execution was off on this first issue.

Now, for Siege: Embedded, I liked that one. I knew what I was getting into with that one and I got what was delivered. Brian Reed weaves the tale of Volstagg after he accidentally obliterated Soldier field with a Bears Game going on into a story on how orman Osborn is using the press to manipulate the American Public to go along with this scheme to assault Asgard. Okay, the references to government politics and the manipulation of the media, especially harkening back to the Bush Administration, are pretty evident. Of course, that whole concept has been a good standby to use since 1776.

I'm just happy to see a book that glorifies good journalism. It is nice to see a book that gives us a protagonist that is antagonistic to his government. That's what a journalist needs to be. The Glenn Beck/Sean Hannity analog is a nice touch too, and shows just what can happen to a journalist who doesn't believe in ethics anymore.

So, Embedded was good because it told a nice untold story within Siege 1, got a good theme across, and introduced us to some characters that play their roles on the stage perfectly.

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