100 Days, 100 Comics #60: ‘Siege’ #1

First thoughts to hit my mind while reading Siege #1:

• There was a missed opportunity during the aerial assault to use those personal aircraft vehicles from the Captain America and the Avengers arcade game.

• Flying a jet with Ares surfing on your nosecone must be next to impossible.

• Oh, it’s “World War Thor.” Clever.

That last one was my real “Ahhh, now I get it” moment for Siege. The kickoff for this story has been a total full circle revisitation of Civil War thematically mixing in the extra-terrestrial conflict angle from Secret Invasion. The number of Marvel Universe plot threads that Bendis tied together in this one issue speaks volumes for the amount of planning and coordination that’s obviously gone into this event.

Issue #1 comes off more as an extension of the pre-circulated preview spotlighting Volstagg and the Soldier Field disaster that kicks Siege into gear than it does a single chapter, and everything in here is an opening curtain to part of the crossover, so it’s difficult to evaluate the story as much as it is possible to acknowledge that all of the Captain America, Tony Stark, and Thor arcs are now in gear, so how they come out on the other side of issue #4 will be where I make my decisions.

Olivier Coipel’s concept execution is much more impressive than his character-by-character and panel-by-panel style, but that speaks well of his understanding of the medium. There isn’t any one Avenger in here that he really makes his own, but there are sequences such as the Volstagg incident and Sentry’s little kerfuffle as narrative depictions of action and motion that demonstrate his strengths. He leaves little ambiguity to what’s going on, even if the characters’ personalities aren’t always center stage — and that’s not necessarily a criticism so much as it is pointing out a choice that he consistently appears to make as an artist to spotlight the action. Siege seems to be on its feet and headed in a provocative direction, so I’ll probably be back on here with a post for issue #2.

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