Collecting the Siege prologue, Siege: The Cabal, Siege #1-4, and Avengers: The Way Things Are.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Lucio Parrillo, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Jim Cheung

This is what the Norman Osborn Avengers were headed towards: the final confrontation between them and the real Avengers. Let’s face it, we all knew that it would end like this.

Asgard has fallen to Earth and Osborn is increasingly paranoid about it. The cabal of supervillains he has gathered isn’t helping his paranoia. Rather, Loki is feeding it. After the Cabal has a falling out, Osborn contacts the President (of USA) and just tells him that Asgard is a security risk and must be destroyed. The President forbids him but Osborn leads his faux-Avengers, H. A. M. M. E. R. and the initiative against Asgard’s forces, anyway. They beat down Thor first on live TV. Of course, Cap and his allies come to battle it out.

Osborn’s biggest gun is the Sentry who shows his real dark side. Ares even turns against Osborn but Osborn commands Sentry to kill Ares. A few other characters are killed, too, but I’m not sure if any of them stay dead. Loki, at least, is back.

This is the end of Marvel’s grimmer age. The next stage is Heroic Age where the Avengers (and other teams) are reborn as more heroic characters. I’m not a fan of grim heroes and liked the lighter Heroic Age more.

The final story in this trade is set before the Siege. In it, ice giant Ymir had beaten Thor and New York is in danger of being buried under snow, in May. Spider-Man calls in the real Avengers but Osborn’s Avengers also show up. They and the real Avengers must team up to retrieve the Twilight Sword from the ice giants.

The Siege event itself doesn’t introduce the characters at all; the assumption is that the reader has been following the storyline and so knows at least most of them. But the final story somewhat introduces the central characters and the conflict between them so it was strange to but it at the back.

While the event has a lot of characters, it focuses on Osborn and to some extent Steve Rogers, which makes it clearer than many other events. Especially if you read the last story first, so that you get to know (or are reminded of) the characters a little first.

Overall, this was a good ending to the conflict with a hopeful future for the heroes.

Advertisements