Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Battleworld: Siege Review (Kieron Gillen, Filipe Andrade)
A lot of the Secret Wars tie-ins riff on well-known/popular past Marvel events/storylines - Age of Apocalypse, Civil War, House of M, Korvac Saga, etc. - but Siege doesn’t really have anything to do with Brian Bendis’ Siege book from nearly 10 years ago. That one was about Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers battling Thor and co. when Asgard was floating above Oklahoma. This one is about Abigail Brand defending the Shield (a big wall) from waves of monsters who want to kill Doom.
It’s a pretty dreary read. Waves of monsters attacking the wall, being repelled, blah blah blah - you already know how the wall falls if you’ve read Secret Wars, but it’s shown here again. Basically the siege is pointless. I’m still not sure how Ben Grimm became the Shield itself but it’s mentioned that he doesn’t make up with whole wall so why didn’t the attackers focus on the non-Thing parts of the Shield?
Besides the tedium of repetitively seeing forces attack/repel, there are some pointless storylines like Kang time-travelling, two robots in love, and Leonardo and Michelangelo, the Architects of Forever, pooling their genius to… make a big gun. That shoots big. Bang. Real smart, fellas.
Kieron Gillen uses this miniseries to high-five the characters he’s written about for the last few years from Abigail Brand (Uncanny X-Men) to Leah of Hel (Journey Into Mystery) to Ms. America (Young Avengers) - er, yay? Brand was such an annoying character though, complaining and acting like a petulant teen half-wit most of the time, monotonously narrating the supposedly exciting events.
Some of the splash page art is interesting and it’s cool seeing the Summers clones’ giant optic blasts, though the main art is pretty terrible and blotchy. About the only great moment in the story is when Thanos is getting the Thing worked up and asks him “What time is it, Ben Grimm? WHAT TIME IS IT?” (you know his catchphrase). So. Awesome.
The last couple pages of the story almost sound like Gillen making excuses for writing this crappy comic, like he got roped into throwing something together for Secret Wars and got this bag of nonsense from Marvel Editorial to make something of: “I did what I could with what I was given… And fuck you if you think you could have done any better… Make your own mistakes.”
And that’s Battleworld: Siege - an excuse for a bad comic.