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“Siege” is a nice reset for event books: short, intense, and filled with great characters. The spread with Captain America — THE Captain America, Steve Rogers — leading the charge, shouting “Avengers Assemble!,” is breathtaking, but short on what I consider true Avengers. That one scene shows what has happened to the Marvel Universe and why this battle is important.
As Norman Osborn’s attack dog, Sentry’s role in the siege of Asgard expands exponentially in this issue. Following his god-killing actions last issue, Sentry sets his sights on killing more gods here, starting with Thor. The fight between the two widens the eyes of characters and readers alike.
Bendis has been criticized for filling his books with talking heads, but this issue doesn’t have any room for talking heads. The twenty-three pages of actual story are packed with shield-slinging, repulsor rays, mystical hammer-generated lightning, and explosions. Lots and lots of explosions. Bendis delivers widescreen action here guaranteed to thrill.
My biggest gripe with this book is the Maria Hill transmission that takes up the last six pages of this issue. Including two stunning and near-perfect double-page spreads drawn by Olivier Coipel, the visuals in this book are intense and worth every penny. That doesn’t keep me from wanting to see more from Coipel with these characters though. Coipel doesn’t skimp on the art for this story, and his creative collaborators are right there with him. Mark Morales’ inks are tight and powerful, accentuating the characters perfectly; You need only check out the page where Tony Stark returns to action. Laura Martin’s colors are every bit as action-packed and brilliant. Asgard is beautiful in its rugged earthtones, Thor’s lightning is radiant, and Captain America’s shield is well-worn, but durable.
The fourth issue of this series will have quite a bit to live up to given what has happened in the first three issues, but from what I’ve seen here, issue #4 seems like a lock to be a great read. Surprisingly enough, this series appears to still have some surprises in store and more than a few wonderful characters to deliver those surprises through, I just hope the final issue uses all of the pages for story and Coipel art.