Belated Diamond Nipples: SIEGE.
May 6, 2010 Leave a comment
I’ve been meaning to make this post for about a week, but I’m very slack. Safeer pointed out that I started this on my blog and at this stage I’m not necessarily sure that I’m going to stop doing it over there. I would be very hurt by the discontinuity in my work. And, honestly, if any readers of this blog aren’t reading our personal blogs (except Safeer’s because not even Safeer reads Safeer’s blog) then they’re doing us a disservice and a disservice unto themselves. But, in all that, I’m very happy to bring the banner over to here, too.
I’ll try and keep them different. On my blog, I’ll keep things very personal. I don’t really review the books as much as I relate to the experience of reading them. That’s why it’s mostly X-Books and Transformers, with very little to mix it up. Here, I think I’m going to try and be more critical. But there’s an image I really must share before I do that.
That’s the gestalt cover to the five Siege tie-ins that were pushed forward in release to make up for the delayed Siege finale. The cover is, without a doubt, the most fantastic thing to happen in Marvel this year, so far, except for Second Coming. I’m not really surprised to inform readers that the books are less impressive.
The five tie-ins take place at various points in the series. Siege: Captain America is during the fight, just after the fall of Asgard. Siege: Spider-Man is an aside; Siege: Loki takes place before and fills in the holes; Siege: Young Avengers is as the first and Siege: Secret Warriors is as the second. From all of this, we get one story – one story – that is worth it’s effort. The Loki book is the only one that actually has any impact on the narrative and on the Siege mini as a whole. This fact is to the detriment to every other book mentioned in this post: because every book feels needless.
Siege: Captain America is horrible. It’s written poorly and the pencils make it nearly unreadable. Steve looks like Bucky and they both look like retarded aliens. Bucky’s costume is just, wrong, and the colorist totally missed the mark. The narrative was unenjoyable and, as a whole, the story was less than memorable. They fought some nobody, they won, saved some idiots and then went back to the main fight. Meanwhile The Sentry must have been standing around having a smoke. He just destroyed Asgard, kids, and he’s faster than Superman (point of reference). There’s no way anyone in this book would have a second to breathe before The Sentry got all in Thor’s face and the big smack down began. This book chose the wrong point in the event to inject itself into; and worst of all it was ugly while it did it.
Siege: Spider-Man was less of a disaster. The pencils were nice and I could believe the aside — Asgard hadn’t fallen yet and Pete went after Mac Gargan. It was personal. The whole book was personal, and that was nice. Pete clearly had a reason to be smacking Mac about and Mac, well, he’s a jerk. The dialogue was really nice, but I’m not sure that Carol Danvers wearing the suit was very believable. What she did to inadvertently join with the symbiote was fantastic, but actually wearing the suit? Eh. The dialogue hit its weakness here, too, and I’m not sure I liked the flirting between Carol and Pete. Sure, Carol’s great and all, but most of the readers are still frightfully scorned by the whole Mephisto thing with Mary Jane. We’re not ready for Pete to move on, however much we might like the idea in fanfiction.
Siege: Loki was the best book of the lot. It had fantastically written Doom and, just, the best pencils on Loki that I think I’ve seen since reading JMS’ Thor and the subsequent prelude to this event. The pencils and the colors didn’t suit anything other than Loki, but my Gods did they suit Loki. I’ve read elsewhere praise for this book along lines of it demonstrating that, while Loki would get his arse handed to him in a fight with Thor, he’s still a Son of Odin — so he’s still fucking badass in a fight. And really, that was shown without a doubt in this book. It was a really nice incite to the current Loki character and, again, the pencils were great and the whole book was just, great. It was the only one that really worked and it was the only one that felt worth its cover price. ($2.99, for the kids playing at home).
Siege: Young Avengers was the most conflicted book. Everything about it was good, but it didn’t feel worth it. It didn’t feel like it was needed. We got great character moments, a great story and great pencils — but we just didn’t need it. That’s all that can really said about it and I think it says volumes. I mean, a book is clearly doing something wrong if it can’t convince it’s reader that it’s worth reading.
That can be said about Siege: Secret Warriors, but for a different reason. Secret Warriors was always a bit silly in my opinion. It was a contrivance to demonstrate the lack of Fury, but it was a bunch of characters that really struggled to engage the audience. I never felt the need to bother with their material. This book had me suckered in by necessity. It cheated. But it didn’t fail as a book. Other than it’s terribly inconsistent pencils, it’s not bad. The Son of War; The God of Fear is basically trying to kill Obama. Because he blames Obama for Ares death. Sentry killed Ares because Normie told him to because Obama made Normie the boss of the planet after he won the Secret Invasion. Logically unsound? Probably; but this is a twelve year old we’re talking about and it was, I felt, a really realistic response from a Godchild. So I liked the book despite its flaws and despite my apathy. That must speak credit to the writing.
And now quickly, the creative teams, from the covers in the order that I mentioned their titles: Gage, Dallocchio, Brusco, Schwager; Reed, Santucci, Sotomayor; Gillen, McKelvie, Fairbairn; McKeever, Asrar, Hanna, Olazaba, Milla; Hickman, Vitti, Villarrubia. Look at all of those names.