January 9, 2010

Marvel Reviews: Siege: Embedded #1 Review

Publisher:  Marvel Comics
Writer:  Brian Reed
Artist:  Chris Samnee
Cover:  Adi Granov

“Siege: Embedded pt 1”:  In 1994, Marvel had a great idea to tell the story of their universe from the perspective of  journalist Phil Sheldon in the Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross masterpiece Marvels.  The heroes and villains were more of a backdrop as we focused on how their actions affected everyday people.  Now over the years Marvel has taken that concept and steadily applied it to coincide with many of the big crossover events like Civil War and Secret Invasion with the Frontline series.   I did expect this to happen again with the Siege storyline, however Marvel gave it a little twist with the title as it is now Siege: Embedded.  The meaning behind the title is that Norman Osborn has basically set up a blacklist of  certain press allowed to cover the incident at Soldier Field, Chicago, and is only allowing the media outlets he approves of, thus stacking the deck in his favor by having embedded journalists!

We open up to Todd Keller of the Patriot News Network stroking Osborn in all the right places, and demonizing all of the heroes and the President while building up to his feature of the night – Volstagg’s incident with the U-Foes, which ended with the deaths of thousands at the football stadium.  During the commercial break he is visited by a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent that makes him an offer directly from Osborn to tell the world how he will beat Asgard.  We then go to Chicago where Front Line reporter Ben Urich is sitting in the back of a police car for being on the list.  A local camera man asks the officer if he can speak with him, and after he’s given permission Ben quickly recognizes his former colleague and they both run away into the night.  After some brief catching up, William Stern takes Ben to Soldier Field where they see the Dark Avengers and local fire fighters helping with the aftermath.  They leave shortly after, and while pondering what Osborn’s angle is while having a quick bite, Ben spots Volstagg and jumps out of his seat to go speak with the warrior. Volstagg states that he is walking back to Oklahoma to face the judgement of the gods and admit his crimes.

It seems that after Marvels, these types of stories are either hit or miss with fans, with the majority of them being misses.  I find the premise interesting, and it serves a purpose more so than some of the multiple tie ins that come with these big events.  Brian Reed has a solid story going on here, though at times it seemed a little off.  For example, it was ridiculously easy for William to get access to see Ben, and then the two just run off into the night without being chased?  I’m also confused a little about the timeline because Ben and William watched the Dark Avengers help with the disaster, but in Siege they were on their way to storm Asgard.  These incidents, though annoying, don’t detract from the story too much.  I like the back and forth with the regular guys as they try to figure out their world that includes these super powered beings and how their lives intersect.  It’s also not the most visually stunning book, but Chris Samnee has kind of a gritty style that fits in a weird way with this story.

Ben Urich is one of those “average joe” characters that I’ve liked for a while now. From his varied Daredevil and Spider-Man appearances he usually does or says something that makes an impact, and in a series like this he usually shines.  Siege: Embedded is only four issues, and I’m thinking it will be one of the better books in this vein of story telling from Marvel.

Infinite Speech



  1. Kelly

    Great review, Speech. I’ve never picked up one of these “reporter” side stories, but it looks interesting. I once tried to pick up everything in a Major Event (Skrull Invasion) and nearly drove myself mad with all the tie-ins. I’ve since learned to pick and choose. It’s reviews like these that help me decide which books to pick up. Thanks!

  2. Billy

    I enjoyed Frontline, but Embedded to me was even better. Eventhough I can’t explain why. lol. Good review Speech!

  3. Kristin

    These timeline issues are becoming very annoying….
    Can’t Marvel control their staff and their releases?

  4. @ Kristin:
    It’s because Jim Shooter isn’t there to crack the whip anymore 🙂

  5. InfiniteSpeech

    At least this one didn’t involve any spoilers Kristin however it’s annoying. Though I’m sure someone at Marvel would use the ole “it happenend off panel” excuse 🙂

  6. InfiniteSpeech

    Glad I could help Kelly! I’ve tried to get all the books involving a crossover and I know the madness involved lol I’ve since learned to just scale back and only get the ones that are necessary or at least a fun read and leave the filler on the shelf!

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