…or, to call it by its real name – Siege: Front Line. Because, let’s face it, that’s what this is. And if you liked the previous couple of Front Line series, then good news, it’s pretty much more of the same. If you didn’t, you might as well turn back now.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, the concept of Siege: Embedded is a sideways look at the events of the crossover from a “man on the street” angle. A bit like Marvels, if Marvels had been done to death in series without any suggestion of a point before it was released. While previous Front Line minis have followed a reporter caught up in the melee and panic surrounding superhero fights, Siege has the obvious problem that a lot of the action takes place in Asgard – so, for this series, we’re introduced to Todd Keller, a TV newsman who is “embedded” with the Dark Avengers as they invade Asgard.
However, so far not much has actually happened in Asgard, so we actually see more of Ben Urich, Front Line’s stalwart reporter and sometime friend to the spandexed. It’s a pity, because Keller, as a right-wing, government-supporting commentator is actually a far more unique character than Urich, with obvious potential for an interesting story arc given the events of Siege. Regrettably, we see more of Urich, whose story is generic and uninspired, composed, as it is, of chance meetings with an both old friend and Volstagg (who is apparently wandering around unnoticed following the events of Siege #1. Really?) and a rather unlikely escape from police custody. It doesn’t entertain, or provoke, or even comment on what’s going on. As a story, it’s just …there. And that’s a poor situation for any comic to be in.
Chris Samnee’s visuals reflect the material he’s been given. There are no glaring technical errors, though the overly simple page layouts don’t help make the story very dynamic. What truly kills the art is the dull, brown-and-grey colour scheme. As it is, a different artist might have worked at odds with the tone to give the book a little of the personality that it lacks. As it is, it’s all a bit too close to Marvel’s house style, and the writing and art reinforce, rather than complement one another. Unfortunately, it’s comics like this that make the $3.99 price point on limited series really start to hurt.