Brian M Bendis. Oliver Coipel. Marketed as the final exclamation point of seven years worth of work. Siege #4 is Brian Bendis’s final act for Marvel’s grandest epic to date, but does it satisfy all the loose ends that we need? Does it provide the right conclusion of seven years of expectation?
Almost. I know it’s not a yes or no, but the answer is never that easy, and at times, I loved Siege but also was infuriated with the lack of development in some of the build up issues. However, Siege #4 provides the answers we need and a great ellipses for the future of the Heroic Age.
To avoid spoilers, I won’t say anything in terms of plot, but I will critique Bendis’s writing. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am a huge fan of his work in Ultimate Spider-Man because of his ability to capture the dialogue of the Peter and his friends. In Siege, this knack for dialogue is proven yet again, and I especially love when the smaller characters like a Young Avenger or two get a line of dialogue. It’s not great, but considering that Bendis has to balance the voices of every Marvel character inserting a one liner here and there works to remind us of the magnitude of the event. Moreover, with Bendis at the helm, the supporting cast still sound like themselves. In terms of the trajectory of the plot, Bendis’s Siege #4 does a great job wrapping up loose ends. Some villains escape, which is inevitable if Marvel wants to build toward another event, while some antagonists are given their just desserts. And I will say that one villain pays the ultimate price for his crime, and it is great that Bendis does this to remind the reader that although this is a comic book event people can die (I.e Nightcrawler). And as usualy, Bendis can write his Avengers like no other. Spider-man is snaky and witty. The Captain plays the stoic, right wing hero. And Iron Man takes control of his Avengers and takes his spot as the Commander on the ground.
Simply put, Oliver Coipel is a master. I loved his work on House of M, and it is a joy to see him provide the art for the final chapter of the event. Although his faces tend to look the same, it’s not too distracting, but it is there nonetheless in case you aren’t a fan of artists like Coipel, Quietly, or even Cheung. But his splash pages are fantastic, and when shit hit’s the fan, Coipel illustrates them marvelously.
All in all, Siege #4 is an enjoyable and necessary read for anyone that will continue reading the Avengers line of books. It explains how the heroes take the keys back from Norman, and Siege does it in a fun way while maintaining focus on the plot. Don’t expect it to blow you away because, come on, everyone knew the heroes would win (points to Marvel’s extensive Heroic Age advertising), but it will provide a fun read that will satisfy the kid in all of us that wants to see huge explosions. In addition to the explosions and the fighting, the plot itself holds and Bendis essentially opens the door into a new age for Marvel Comics.