Marvel was on a roll with their Avengers books and Brian Michael Bendis at the helm. After Secret Invasion, a year long banner entitled Dark Reign was the modus operandi for all the books. Bringing an end to that was Siege, a four issue event book written by Bendis and drawn by Olivier Coipel. Still experimenting with their event book format, this was one of the more successful ones due to it’s quick pace. Though not entirely memorable, it still told a decent story while finally killing one of the worst characters in Marvel history.
First, the preamble. Secret Invasion happened, Norman Osborn was in charge with his own team of Avengers; himself as Iron Patriot, Wolverine’s son Daken as Wolverine, Daredevil villain Bullseye as Hawkeye, Moonstone as Captain Marvel, Venom possessed Mac Gargan (was the Scorpion) as Spider-Man, Noh-Varr (don’t ask), god of war Ares, and the Sentry. Second point, Thor and all of Asgard died in Ragnarok. Thor came back to life, reincarnating all the gods and brought Asgard to Earth, floating above Broxton, Oklahoma. Cool?
Norman Osborn, having replaced S.H.I.E.L.D. with his own H.A.M.M.E.R., had tricked the world into think the heroes were villains, hence the Dark Reign moniker. This was a pretty boring time for Marvel. Most of the books involving this banner weren’t very good. Though it did give us things like Frankencastle (exactly what you think it is), there wasn’t too much to write home about. Finally, after a year, which honestly seemed a lot longer, Dark Reign was coming to an end and the Heroic Age was set to begin. But first, an event.
Osborn was slowly going mad, still the Green Goblin in his mind. Asgard was the last place he didn’t have control. He, along with Loki, orchestrated a supervillain fight for the traveling Asgardian Volstagg, causing an explosion at a crowded stadium, killing everyone. Osborn used this as an excuse to invade Asgard. Freshly back from the dead Steve Rogers (see Civil War), brought together a team of real Avengers, who haven’t really work together since the Superhero Registration Act, to assist Thor.
Quick side note. The Sentry was some bipolar hero who had all the superpowers. Seriously, he was Superman, only crazy. Power of 10,000 suns or some nonsense. Taking a page from Miracleman, he was erased from the world’s conscious, and supposedly existed all along. He had another personality called the Void, which was even stronger, but evil. It was dumb.
Osborn’s big gun was Sentry, who even Thor couldn’t take down. Ares, a general good guy who was tricked by Osborn, finally realized what was happening. Turning on Osborn, the Sentry ripped him in half. It was awesome. The heroes arrived, they fought. It was all televised. Stark finally regained control of his stolen armor, stripping Osborn of his power and revealing his face painted like the Green Goblin underneath. The Sentry meanwhile, had gone crazy and slipped into his Void persona. Osborn, powerless, could no longer control him. Sentry brings Asgard crashing to the ground.
The combined might of the heroes can’t stop Sentry. Loki repents for bringing this fate down on Asgard, and uses some magic rocks to power up the heroes to defeat Sentry. Realizing where the power was coming from, Sentry killed Loki. This gave the heroes the fuel they needed to knock the Sentry out of his Void state. Sentry begs Thor to end him. Reluctantly, he does, bring down a lightning strike that leaves only a skeleton. His body is then taken to the sun.
Then, the wrap up. Osborn goes to jail, S.H.I.E.L.D. is reinstated with Steve Rogers taking the director position, the Registration Act is abolished, Steve gives Bucky the shield, officially making him Captain America, the Avengers are on one team again and the Heroic Age begins. It was just as boring as Dark Reign but less gloomy.
Honestly, Siege is a footnote. Thankfully, it was only four issues. While the bridge itself was decent, it’s hard to generate any excitement when traversing from one meh idea to another. Next up, Fear Itself. Talk about garbage.
Did Dark Reign drag you down? Glad the Sentry’s dead? Comment below!
Ares’ death was pretty cool.