Best Shots Extra: SIEGE #3 Review W/Poll

Best Shots Extra: SIEGE #3 Review W/Poll

Siege #3

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Olivier Coipel and Mark Morales

Colors by Laura Martin

Lettering by VC's Chris Eliopoulos

Published by Marvel Comics

Review by David Pepose

Reading Siege #3, I couldn't help but think of that one quote: "It's always darkest before the dawn." No. Wait. That's not it.

Oh yeah: "It's always darkest, just before it goes totally black."

While I really dug the first two issues of Siege, for their fast-paced blockbuster battling, the latest issue is starting to unravel that good will for me -- it may move like lightning, but without any weight to back it up it feels more like a gust than a freight train, even as it goes veering off the tracks.

Part of this is due to the ever-increasing ties between comics and their marketing teams. Billing Siege as an event seven years in the making is proving to hurt this book from a critical standpoint even as it might be buoying it from a sales perspective -- namely, if you have the Big Three coming together, it needs to touch upon the Civil War. If you put Norman Osborn in charge of the Marvel Universe, ultimately Spider-Man has to be the one to take him out. And when somebody as powerful as the Sentry kills a man... you better be quakin' in your boots.

So in the end, there's a real disconnect here between expectation and execution. With the expectations being raised with the first two issues, this doesn't hit the same level. It's not to say that Bendis doesn't touch upon any of the items I mention above -- he does -- but ultimately the knock-you-out-of-your-seats moments that these books have been building to, aren't there. Siege #3 starts off strong, with that gorgeous double-page spread of a returned Steve Rogers laying the smackdown with his mighty shield, but the other characters -- namely Spider-Man and Iron Man, who suffered the most during the Dark Reign -- don't get as much of an opportunity to shine.

How about the art? When it comes to splash pages, Olivier Coipel knows his stuff. As I mention before, the return of Cap's Avengers looks fantastic, and the final page of this book looks absolutely frightening. But the writer-artist connection does feel a little shaky in certain places -- namely, there are a lot of double-page sequences that rely on slightly thin letterboxed panels that don't feel quite as meaty as they should. And ultimately, the complaint about the heroes not getting their action shots does fall at least partially on Coipel's head. There's not the same motion, energy, or weight in Coipel's image compared to past "event" artists like Steve McNiven -- which is surprising, considering how rock-solid he's been in prior work like Thor.

As Brian Michael Bendis makes a sudden left turn into a whole other threat -- one that feels organic enough, but on the other hand points out some real flaws in the red herring/long-term planning department in regards to the identity of Norman Osborn's secret weapon -- it's clear that the final issue of Siege will be the make-it-or-break-it moment for the entire Dark Reign experiment as a whole. As far as this issue goes, it's well-intentioned, but ultimately the action is scattershot, with no central theme to anchor everything together. It is a penultimate issue that served to end an entire section of stories, only to open up another, which may have been the main problem. There have been some great moments in this line-wide saga of Dark Reign -- Iron Man, Elektra and the first arc of Dark Wolverine being three series that immediately come to mind -- but if they can't bow out Norman Osborn with a sense of grace, it may end up tarnishing other stories as well.

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