Thursday, February 4, 2010

Siege #2 Review

With a highly disappointing and boring first issue my hopes weren’t too high for the 2nd issue of Siege. Though deep down I still had some hope that Bendis could wine me over again and give me the over the top fun event comic I had been hoping for.

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Marc Morales
Colorist: Laura Martin

Story Rating: 5 out of 10
Art Rating: 7 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10

Opening Comments: Siege #2 is more of what I wanted out of this event, over the top action and some fun moments. Sadly this was still far too thin a read and it seems like Bendis wasted this first half of Siege to set the stage for the real fun next time, and that’s sad to see.

Story Comments: This issue’s biggest flaw was definitely the lack of story and moving things forward. When you’ve only got 4 issues to tell your “everything changes” storyline you’ve got to actually do something with that precious time you have. There’s no room to just wait around and waste our time.

This is what’s confusing me about Siege, it seems like Bendis is writing this as some kind of 8 issue event. I mean honestly, does Siege feel half way over? Not at all. If anything it feels like I just read the first chapter of an 8 part storyline. Now I’m glad it’s not 8 issues but what’s the point of having 4 issues if you’re going to write it like it’s 8?

I almost wonder if Bendis wanted Siege to be much longer but Marvel told him to cut it down to 4. It sure as hell feels like it. I could easily mistake parts 1 and 2 for one issue of the event. This is a huge problem for any event. Even Blackest Night by it’s halfway mark felt like it had accomplished something.

I should address once more the flaw in Norman’s plan. Just one day attack Asgard and everyone will love you? I still can’t see the logic behind this. I know time and time again everyone points out that he’s crazy so there’s no need to explain it but…no…I refuse to accept that.

Maybe if something real had happened, like if the Asgardians where involved in a real incident but nothing has happened. Norman made up one event that killed a lot of people and just like that, bam, we’re invading Asgard. It’s just so inane and boring, like Bendis pulled a magic wand out of his ear and said “there, now Norman wants to attack Asgard and he did this and that”

I just can’t see any reasoning behind attacking gods. Unless you’re just bored. Is that it, Norman? You woke up one day, looked at your Gwen Stacy dressed hooker (Too soon to make a Gwen Stacy fetish joke? Everyone else is doing it.) and figured to yourself “I’m bored, lets go invade Asgard!” I mean I try again and again to understand it but I just can’t.

Now for the one part of this issue I honestly loved and that was the Sentry and Ares fight. Bendis handled Ares incredibly well here and I absolutely loved the fight, short and one-sided as it was. This is actually something that’s bugging me. Would a fight with the God of War really be that one sided? I’m sorry, but I’d think a god could put up a better fight then that.

I get that Sentry is super strong, really, I understand all that but it still feels so boring to have him be this super powerful. I mean come on, Ares is a damn god, you are telling me he couldn’t last at least a few minutes with Sentry, maybe do some real damage? He got in one shot and Sentry acted like he felt nothing.

Then there was how short the fight was, while I liked the fight scene, why was it so damn short? Bendis added a totally useless scene of the Avengers suiting up to kick ass but it was totally pointless. Trust me, Bendis, I wasn’t going to freak out if the Avengers showed up without showing the S.H.I.E.L.D. jet. It was a waste of page.

It would have been great to have more time devoted to the Sentry/Ares fight. Maybe, I don’t know, actually let Ares do something cool? Hurt Sentry? Just a little bit? I know it’s a crazy idea, how dare Sentry be proven he isn’t perfect. We’ve got to boast that Sentry is the most awesome guy in forever.

Then there was Ares’ death. I’ll admit it was a surprising moment and handled well, but there’s always the biggest flaw and that’s that Ares is a God. No point in killing off a character like that if he’s just going to come back. If this was Moonstone or Venom I may believe the character was dead but with Ares it is obvious he’ll be back.

Now here’s one question I have for Marvel: Why is it okay to show Sentry literally ripping Ares in half, showing his guts, spinal cord and other nasty bits spilling out as he’s torn up and show it all in graphic detail, but Moonstone can’t say the word “bitch”. I just don’t get it. It’s cool to show a brutal murder, but the word “bitch” oooh that’s the real taboo here.

I get why the F word and “Shit” are censored. But really, Moonstone can’t say “bitch”? We have to censor it? I just don’t get it. It makes no sense and if Marvel is going to boast this as some mature and real important event can’t you be a little adult and just say the word “bitch”? My eyes won’t catch fire if I read it. I’d rather my 13 year old son read the word “bitch” then see someone get ripped in half.

One thing that really confused me is how long it has taken the Avengers to get here. I’m sorry, this is a big event and the Avengers are just now showing up? At the very end? Really? I have my doubts they would take this long to act.

I’ve been pretty negative, but I will be totally honest when I say I did indeed enjoy this issue for the most part. It was miles ahead of it’s weak starting even if it was still frustrating. While it was painfully thin and rather dull deep down I still had a good time reading Siege for its fun over the top action.

Bendis indulges on the dumb fun of an event comic and it doesn’t get much dumber then this. Unless all the characters lose their ability to speak and are only able to move  by punching each other. But I still had a lot of fun with the action and how it all came together.

Is that any excuse for how stupid Siege is? Not at all and I’m not trying to act like it is. But in the long run an event comic is dumb and you can’t really expect anything else out of it but action and some fun moments. That’s been what event comics are about, and maybe every once in a blue moon it will have an actually interesting thought in it but that is indeed a rare moment for an event comic.

Still much as I try to hate how stupid Siege is I just can’t hold that against it. I’m not reading Siege for a thought provoking or interesting read. I read good comics like Ultimate Spider-man, Jersey Gods and Invincible for that kind of stuff. No there’s no need for any of that pesky good storytelling here. I just want dumb over the top action and like a fun dumb action movie it satisfies that desire.

Add in that it’s only 4 issues and it’s like getting to watch an abridged version of Die Hard and that is awesome. Sure I love Die Hard, but do I really give a damn about the story? No. I care about seeing one badass kill a bunch of other badasses because he’s top badass.

So overall this issue was weak, so very weak, but it’s a guilty pleasure of sorts.

Now about the ending, it was just dumb. Norman standing there as the shield is about to smack him across the face. I felt like I was in a theater watching a bad horror movie and shouting at the screen “Ruuuuun ya moron!” I mean seriously. It was so boring, Norman looks up and is about to get smacked with the shield. It’s only a slight improvement over the ever so exciting Captain America getting pissed as he gets up off his couch.

Because nothing says pissed off like standing up off your couch, children.

Art Comments: Coipel’s art was a big step up from his weak art last month. It’s still not as great as I was hoping for but I’ll admit it was a big step up for him as it seems he’s doing a better job of capturing the epic scale that Siege deserves. While his work definitely still looks rushed I still enjoyed it.

My big confusion was his reuse of panels. Just painfully lazy of him. He did it a couple of times, the scene with Steve Rogers giving a speech to the heroes one panel he’s looking at the right, then the next he’s looking at the left and it’s the same panel copied and pasted. Clever, Mr. Coipel, I almost missed it.

Usually I don’t mind an artist recycling panels if they do it in a clever way. Mike Deodato has usually been able to get away with it. But this here was just painfully lazy. Recycling the same panel 4 times on the final page especially was pathetic.

I’d like to think that when you’re handling a big event comic you should pride yourself on that work and try and add in that extra effort. Cutting little corners like this as well as his rushed art really took down what was solid art a lot for me.

Final Comments: We’re half way into siege and I still can’t really recommend it much. If you like me have that craving for dumb fun action then Siege is a good book for it. But other then that its pretty much a dumb event at it’s dumbest.

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