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Siege: Heroes & Villains

Christos Gage and Kieron Gillen get in the heads of two Star-Spangled Avengers and the God of Evil

By Marc Strom

As Norman Osborn's attack against Asgard marches toward its conclusion, readers will glimpse into the minds of some of the event's biggest players in SIEGE: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 and SIEGE: LOKI #1, on April 7 and April 14, respectively.

Christos Gage writes and Federico Dallocchio illustrates the tale of two Captain Americas-Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes-fighting their way through Osborn's troops. Since Bucky reunited with his former mentor, the two have maintained a "good [relationship] on a personal level," according to Gage.

"As far as professionally, I think Bucky has more questions and doubts than Steve, and we'll be exploring some of them in the one-shot," he promises.

Siege has brought Steve Rogers back into the Marvel Universe in a big

SIEGE: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 black and white preview art by Federico Dallocchio
way, and Gage sees the original Cap's heavy involvement as making up for lost time.

"[Siege] is the culmination of what's gone wrong while he was 'away,'" the writer remarks. "Quite honestly, had he come back at any other point when Osborn was up to shenanigans, he probably would have done something about it then, but a major power grab like this, launching an unjust war against one of Cap's oldest friends, that's not about to get a free pass."

Following his apparent death and return, some fans might expect Rogers would need more time to prepare for a major initiative like the one he's mounted in Siege. But according to Gage, everything Captain America's experienced lately won't hinder him in the least.

"He's Steve Rogers! Of course he's ready!"

Besides Steve and Bucky, Gage will also explore the events of Siege through another point of view.

"I tried to get some of the perspective of the 'person on the ground,' [the] ordinary citizens of Broxton, and how they are affected by what's happening," he relates. "That, to me, is what makes it real, what give it emotional resonance. And Captain America-either one of them-has always been about protecting that sort of person."

SIEGE: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 black and white preview art by Federico Dallocchio
While the Caps continue to mount the heroes' offensive against Osborn, the God of Mischief pulls the strings on the other side of the battle in SIEGE: LOKI #1 from writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie.

"Loki keeps his cards tight to his chest," says Gillen of the reasoning behind some of the villain's recent actions. "His motivation, well, that's the question, and that's the question the [story] is about answering. There are two main thrusts of motivation I see for Loki. One half is tied to his relationships with Asgard, which is touched on relatively lightly here and something I wrestle heavily with in THOR #609.

"Then there's the other half, which is about Loki's relationship to himself. He's the God of Mischief, the chaos bringer, liar supreme, [but] what does that actually mean? The sort of hook the story hangs on philosophically is that if he's always going to be chaotic, [but] doesn't that mean that he's actually incredibly predictable? That sort of boundary of self chafes somewhat."

Loki conspired with Norman Osborn to set the Siege in motion, but that doesn't mean he necessarily has an investment in Osborn's triumph.

"Regarding Norman, the man's just another piece on the board for Loki," notes Gillen. "He's pushing him around. Whether he wins or loses, Loki has a lot of fun. What can go wrong?"

Fans reading SIEGE may have wondered where Loki got off to once the fighting really began, and Gillen hopes to fill them in on exactly that. 

SIEGE: LOKI #1 cover by Marko Djurdjevi
"While there are a couple of scenes which are just before Siege, including an opening [set] a couple of weeks before, the majority of the story overlaps with Siege proper," he explains. "You'll have noticed that Loki hasn't exactly been present in the main story. What's he up to? Well, SIEGE: LOKI answers that. This is him, busying himself behind the stage, moving the final few props into place for his ultimate masterpiece of manipulation. This will be a performance everyone will remember, for as long as they live-which, admittedly, probably won't be very long."

SIEGE: LOKI joins Gillen with artist Jamie McKelvie, his co-creator on their critically-acclaimed independent comic series, Phonogram. And while their collaboration on this story has some superficial differences, it also has a number of similarities.

"[Jamie's] slightly less likely to draw hot punk girls with asymmetrical hair-cuts, though the guyliner-Loki is totally a McKelvie move," jokes the writer.

"More seriously, the working relationship is very similar. The scripts include lots of random details and we talk about ideas afterwards. We talked a lot about how we wanted our Loki to feel, which I think really comes across in the finished pages. I wanted to leave a lot of room for Jamie to play with the presentation angles, so I was far less dictatorial than [with] Phonogram. I said in the script that I felt this story would really showcase

SIEGE: CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 black and white preview art by Federico Dallocchio
his Suburban Glamour skill set, and there [are] some pages where it's totally bringing those skills to bear. I'm really excited about the results."

Getting in the spirit of the character, Gillen left off with one final, mischievous tease.

"Loki scrubs up well, when he wants to make the effort to make an impression with the ladies. That's Loki-level enigmatic enough, methinks."


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