1. Worst Freebie Ever
The whole point of Marvel sending out these free preview books to retailers is to drum up a little excitement. This particular preview included “An All-New “Siege” Prologue” and a sneak preview of Siege #1. I can’t even come up with a clever remark about how dull this was. Norman Osborne and Loki sit around and talk about how Asgard must be removed from its current position, floating above Oklahoma. Never mind how logistically inconvenient this is to the people of Oklahoma, or how having a city of Gods in America might threaten Osborne’s position of power – no, Norman just doesn’t understand it so he doesn’t like it (that’s really the only explanation given). It makes more sense if you imagine Norman Osborne as Nixon talking about hippies.
2. “Norman Osborne is the new political and media darling”
Straight from the set up given in the first page. I didn’t buy it when DC tried to do it with Lex Luthor, and I don’t buy it now. This is why Senator Palpatine isn’t scary and the evil Emperor is – (fake) politics in comics is booooring.
3. “Your First Look at the Event Seven Years in the Making!”
Color me baffled, but was THIS what Civil War and Secret Invasion and Dark Reign and House of M and Decimation and World War Hulk and Avengers Disassembled and Captain America Reborn and every other event in the last seven years was building up to? REALLY?
4. Bendis Does It Again!
And by “it” I mean having characters use a tragic event as political strategy and “again” because that’s exactly what happened in Civil War. Only this time it’s seemingly planned, but not really? Or something? AAAAAAH
5. Nine Realms
Okay so these “realms” are floating rocks in space – which you can get to via rainbows. No, I’m not talking about Super Mario Bros. (I wish), but in fact Loki’s explanation for….wait, this didn’t explain anything! It’s useless!
6. Neil Gaiman Did It Better
This may not have been as stark a contrast if I wasn’t reading Sandman at the moment – but Gaiman’s use of the Norse mythology is 10 times better (sorry Bendis). I mean sure Marvel couldn’t have Thor trying to clean up his own vomit with his beard the way he does in the Sandman books, but still. In the context of Siege, hearing about the realms of “light elves” and “dark elves” creates the kind of unintended humor that makes this book reek of avoidability.
7. There Is Only One Siege.
And that’s Under Siege.
8. Siege? Really?
When I hear siege in my head, I can only imagine it being screeched by a drunken pirate. And with the sausage fest line up of “key players” in this book, Loki + Iron Man + Norman Osborn + Siege can only mean one thing. Did anyone else think gay porno when they saw the fake movie poster mock up in this preview? Not that there’s anything wrong with gay porn! It would be a great companion book for Marvel Her-oes.
Finally something for the ladies!9. Loki + Osborne
10. Osborne + Loki
I really can’t stress how much I don’t care about either one of these characters.
11. Crossover Fatigue
Crossovers have reached a new level of obnoxious intrusiveness. This is a small event compared to the onslaught of forced tie-ins that was Secret Invasion, Civil War, and the most recent vague banner of Dark Reign. In other words, I don’t mind buying a Marvel title, but I do mind buying a “super big tie in you have to read to understand what’s going on oh yes you can’t avoid it buy it noooooow”.
12. Totally Unnecessary
Marvel has recently announced that the editorial direction of their books will change greatly in the next year. They feel that the superheroes of the Marvel U have had enough squabbling amongst themselves and that it’s time to get back to the good fight and focus on the essence of the characters…wait, is this the same publisher that is putting out Siege? Wasn’t the Skrull invasion a perfect opportunity for the superheroes to unite against an outside foe, setting aside their differences and getting back to good versus evil? No, wait. Without Siege we wouldn’t have a way to get rid of Norman Osborne! Because the Marvel Universe getting back to its roots doesn’t involve a bloated reformed villain pulling the strings. Unless he’s wearing a certain green outfit. Really that's what the Siege "storyline" is all about, getting Osborne out and having the Marvel U back to status quo.
And there you have it. Basically I hate any event that only serves as an explanation for a future event rather than tell a good story, it’s a formula for sloppy results. I think Bendis is a tremendous writer, but puppet master he is not. If Marvel really wants to “get back to its roots” then it has to start with good writing.