By Jim Beard
SIEGE, a four-issue limited series event rolling out in January 2010, reunites not only superstar creators Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel but a certain team of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
"We are at the climax," Bendis says of SIEGE's place within the Dark Reign epic. "Norman Osborn's reach has gone as far and wide as one could possibly imagine it ever would and he has set his sights on Asgard. Why he does this and how he does this, the question is, 'Is this the event that will bring not only the Avengers teams that already exist together but the classic Avengers as well?'
"[SIEGE] is an Avengers story but the nature of Dark Reign and the Avengers books and how they have been in the past few years makes it a Marvel Universe story. This is Avengers-focused but also involves the Young Avengers, the Secret Warriors-it's a big pile. Nick Fury is there front and center. But I think the real show stopper is the chance to see Thor, Iron Man and Captain America fighting alongside together. And what could possibly be big enough for them to get over themselves and do such a thing? SIEGE."
As director of H.A.M.M.E.R., Osborn has often raised his sights high-but why the fabled realm of Asgard, and why now?
"It is a very scary proposition to learn that another realm is hovering right over our realm," Bendis explains. "And from [Norman's] point-of-view that is a threat. If all of a sudden another country is hovering over our country it would not be met with a picnic. It would be seen as a threat. And not
|Preview art by Olivier Coipel|
"This is not only a spin to the public, it's what he believes. Norman isn't a moustache-wielding villain. He is mentally ill and the clock is ticking until that magic puppet makes itself be known. The reality is here that he thinks a certain way. What I like about a good villain is that their [point of view] isn't incorrect. It's arguable. It's what they're doing about that that you may go, 'Hey, that's not right.'"
The writer noted to artist Coipel that SIEGE should be viewed as more of a war story than a super hero adventure. The duo's work on 2005's landmark HOUSE OF M series paved the way for this tale, their latest collaboration.
"When I found out [Coipel was] available for this I thought 'No way,'" he says. "SIEGE has been great because HOUSE OF M was a blast for us and we felt just at the end we were getting into something, not just having fun making comics but you get to this other level where you were feeling each other's brain. Every time we see each other we say 'We have to