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Embedded: Rebuilding Ben Urich

Brian Reed discusses bringing Marvel's ace reporter back from the brink in SIEGE: EMBEDDED

By Tim Stevens

Reporter Ben Urich does not tend to be a violent or spiteful man. That disclaimer said, there can be no doubt that Urich hates Norman Osborn.

Over the course of his career, Urich has experienced a great many things. He has been threatened, stabbed, witnessed the first alien visitors to this planet in recorded history and exposed many a wrongdoing. Of all the one-time Daily Bugle veteran's accomplishments, however, his exposure of Osborn as the Green Goblin brought him both the most pride and the most pain.

It recently appeared a struggle lost, with Osborn being labeled a hero and ascending to Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. in the wake of Secret Invasion. However, Siege may prove the event that renders Osborn touchable once more. On February 3, in SIEGE: EMBEDDED #2, writer Brian Reed and artist

SIEGE: EMBEDDED #2 preview art by Chris Samnee
Chris Samnee aid Urich, along with Asgard's Volstagg the Valiant, in bringing that possibility closer to reality.

"Ben went toe-to-toe with Norman at the end of Secret Invasion, and he lost," Reed reminds. "For Ben, Siege is round two. Ben's not going to wait for Captain America to punch Norman into submission, he's going to show the world he was right before, and make sure that whatever Osborn's trying now, he will not get away with it."

Before that can happen though, Urich needs to reclaim the energy knocked out of him by his recent trials. Reed believes that Siege represents an opportunity for the reporter to do just that.

"A lot of EMBEDDED is about re-awakening Ben's love for life," the writer reveals. "He had some really rough times post-Secret Invasion, and EMBEDDED is him getting over that. Ben has certainly built up a fair deal of cynicism towards the events of the world, but he's not going to wallow in that. Things are bad, have been bad, but Ben believes they can and will get better."

SIEGE: EMBEDDED #2 preview art by Chris Samnee
Urich's optimism represents only part of what Reed feels makes the reporter an optimal character to guide readers through this epic event.

"Ben's a regular guy who has walked in the shadows of super-powered humans," he explains. "As readers we're immune to how astounding super heroes really are. But Ben gives us the chance to step back, and see the super-powered folk for how bigger than life they really are. I've loved having his voice to talk about the latest big events."

Additionally, Urich, as a newsman, represents a perspective not offered in other Marvel comics that will be dealing with the same events, something the writer attributes to Urich's transition to head of the Front Line publication.

"Ben used to be the crime reporter," Reed points out. "He worried about what the criminal underworld was up to and that was his beat. But after founding Front Line, he started to have to look at the big picture, and fate put him in the position where he could see that picture first hand."


SIEGE: EMBEDDED #2 preview art by Chris Samnee
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      well hey there, it's been a while since we got here, and only essay writing might help us out a lot more as well


      I agree with one thing the previous poster said, that being unfortunately if you want to enjoy Marvel comics you will have to take their liberal leftism with a grain of salt and try to enjoy the rest of the comic. They are known to throw conservatives under the bus, as in Captain America with the Falcon Tea Party comment, their blind support of Global Warming and evolution (of course if you teach and or say anything about creationism your automatically considered a loon... Odd since our Nation was founded on creationism), their obvious support for the current administration. Among many other things I'm probably missing. I'm aware of them and when I read over them I choose to laugh instead of getting angry.. Getting angry over what someone writes in a comic does no one any good, if you do want to do something write Marvel and call them and talk to them. Change only comes with action.People have the right to choose what they believe and to express what they believe. You can choose how you react and what you do about it.


      not gonna happen, either suck it up and trudge through it or drop comics, but most marvel writers are left leaners and calls em like they see em. there have always been charictures in comics and Ben Urich is almost always as a character used as a liberal proxy, as the character is very liberal. he has admitted his paper is openly liberal minded and the character is not interested in being fair minded. so really if your gonna read about Urich, you need to expect that.as for libertarians being represented, Spidey has been traditionally thought of as being Libertarian, and I myself identify as one and have never really felt insulted by anything i see, but thats because I am libertarian who gets furious at Conservative BS alot more then Liberal BS, they both piss me off, but the conservatives get an extra amount of spite.also i hate glenn beck so anything that makes fun of him is fine by me


      It's a real shame that Brain Reed decided to play politics in Siege Embedded #1, and I can only surmise that the same will be true for the future issues. His not so well disguised caricature of Glenn Beck (a.k.a. Todd Keller) in Embedded #1 was not needed, and strongly implies that conservatives in general are gullible troglodytes that willingly support fascist characters like Norman Osborn when they feel threatened. Marvel has a long history of being politically one-sided, and Siege Embedded seems no exception. I have enjoyed Marvel comics for a long time now, but this kind of writing really is irritating and doesn't make me want to rush out and pick up subsequent issues. I can only hope that Marvel will eventually reevaluate how it portrays conservatives and libertarians, and decide to be more fair-minded in the future (or at least keep politics out of their comics completely; this would be much better). But given their track record, I'm not very optimistic.