Asgard falls, The Sentry gets put down, and Norman Osborne’s “Dark Reign” comes to an end. Does this final chapter of Siege deliver on the promise of a great ending? Yes and no. There is one last battle to be had and some nice closing moments during the aftermath setting up Marvel’s near future. However, issue #4 of both Siege and Siege: Embedded is the weakest of both four-issue mini-series (and Embedded loses point for me by shoving the title of Marvel’s next big event into the kind of forced “hey this is important!” comic narration that makes me want to stab someone in the eye). Spoilers after the jump.
Neither issue is bad, though each is underwhelming in its own way. The final showdown with The Sentry is rushed and anti-climactic. And the fate of this hero who was shoehorned into the Marvel Universe and now so (relatively) easily kicked to the curb is far from the operatic ending that Marvel kept tell us this “hero” deserved. Seriously, no Marvel character as gotten this kind of schizophrenic treatment since the Scarlet Spider. Did The Sentry’s existence mean anything? Anything at all? His entire existence seems to be little more than a practical joke on longtime comic readers by trying to get them to care about a character they “should” care about and getting rid of him when they finally realize we don’t.
As for the comic’s other “death” can we really care about a villain dying who Marvel just got done telling us can’t ever die (see this Siege tie-in in case you missed it)? So…why am I supposed to get worked up over this, again?
The real question to ask is were Dark Reign and Siege a success? Despite the building everything on the laughable premise of the US Government giving Norman Osborne the keys to the kingdom, the answer is yes. What intrigues me most about Marvels’ “Heroic Age” isn’t so much as what happens to the major characters (though you know some long term issues are going to have to be dealt with). What I’m more interested in is what Marvel has planned for the villains like Moonstone, Daken, (and to a lesser extent The Thunderbolts), who took center stage during the past few months. Are they simply going to fade back into the Marvel Universe or will they find new niches in which to shine? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
[Marvel $3.99 / Marvel $3.99]