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Marvel's Current Epic Story Line: Siege

"Siege" is an American comic book storyline that is running from January 2010 to May 2010. Published by Marvel Comics, it deals with the aftermath of the "Dark Reign" company-wide storyline, which led to a shift of power in the Marvel Universe toward Norman Osborn.
A former supervillain who, through deception and media manipulation, has become the United States' security czar, and how the Asgardian trickster deity Loki, intending to send Asgard back to its native realm, manipulates Osborn to lead an all-out assault to overthrow Asgard. Marvel announced in early 2010 that the events in Siege will lead to the subsequent company-wide storyline, "Heroic Age".

Norman Osborn calls a meeting of the Cabal (Doctor Doom, The Hood, and Loki) to discuss Asgard, the last hold out in Osborn's consolidation of power. Namor and Emma Frost are absent due to their betrayal during the events of Utopia, and are replaced with Taskmaster. During the meeting Doom expresses his displeasure with Norman's actions against his ally Namor. Doom accuses Osborn of attempting to kill off members of the group that are not obedient to him, and orders Osborn to bring forth Namor. Upon refusal to do so Osborn has Doom attacked by an unknown assailant. After the attack Osborn examines the body to see that it is not Doom, but a small swarm of robotic insects inside a Doombot. The insects attack the Cabal and under the suggestion of Loki, The Hood flees. Avengers Tower is ordered to be evacuated, with only Osborn staying to attempt to fight off the swarm. When his shields (as the Iron Patriot) are about to fail, Sentry comes in to destroy them. Osborn is later seen talking with the President of the United States to try to secure permissions to invade Asgard under the claim it poses a national security threat. The President does not feel the threat is serious enough to warrant an invasion and orders Osborn to stand down. Loki, listening to the conversation, reminds Osborn of the superhuman Civil War, explaining that it all started with a tragedy in Stamford, Connecticut and that a similar tragedy could be used to gain approval for an assault.

Siege Part 1 + Tie-ins
The story begins with Volstagg leaving Asgard in order to have adventures on Earth, while Osborn and Loki talk about using him to cause an incident similar to Stamford. Volstagg reaches Chicago where he intervenes in a robbery, he manages to stop the robbers but causes much collateral damage. He is then assaulted by the U-Foes (Ironclad, Vapor, Vector, and X-Ray). Their fight leads them to the packed Soldier Field football stadium. Vector and X-Ray bombard Volstagg with energy blasts, but while he manages to deflect their attacks with his sword, the blast's shockwave destroys and kills everyone in the stadium, causing the deaths of thousands of people, leaving Volstagg essentially unharmed, but horrified at the carnage he has inadvertently wrought. Osborn and Loki watch this in astral forms, now declaring that Asgard will now be held responsible for the disaster. Norman Osborn returns to his office, where the attack has reached the news networks. Victoria Hand comes in to the room, where Osborn tells her to tell the President that they have everything in Chicago under control. He also tells her to assemble the Dark Avengers and the members of the Initiative loyal to him, declaring that they are invading Asgard.

Later, Osborn is seen trying to convince Ares to come up with a plan to invade Asgard, even though Osborn promises Ares that nothing is wrong, Ares tells him that if he is lying, he will kill him. Then Osborn discusses with the rest of the Avengers about the plan. While they are worried about the plan, Osborn offers them the deal that if the invasion is successful, they don't have to work for him anymore. Norman Osborn reveals that the Void side of Sentry is his secret weapon. Void tries to get the Sentry to give in to him. Victoria Hand suggests to Norman to see a psychiatrist when she gets concerned about his Green Goblin side resurfacing. Soon the sky suddenly turns an unearthly color, heralding the return of Sentry; surrounded by the mysterious black void tendrils seen in the previous issue. The tendrils start to damage New York City, wrecking buildings and causing havok. While the Dark Avengers work on crowd control Norman talks down Void/Sentry, telling him that this kind of destructive behavior will gain the attention of powerful members of the 616, enough perhaps that it may make them realize they have to deal with Sentry once and for all. Sentry powers down, but Norman realizes that Sentry's wife Lindy Reynolds may have caused his recent meltdown. Realizing he has to deal with this problem, the episode ends with Osborne sending Bullseye to kill Lindy. Bullseye takes her for a helicopter ride, and strangles her and dumps her body in the ocean. When the Sentry questions him about Lindy's whereabouts, Bullseye claims she committed suicide over the countryside by jumping out of the helicopter, and the Sentry flies off to find her. Hood reveals the Norn Stones to his crime syndicate and states that it can empower them with the ability to find the New Avengers and those responsible for helping Luke Cage escape. Living Laser assists some H.A.M.M.E.R. Agents into attack Bucky and Steve Rogers and is joined by Corruptor who corrupts Bucky. Captain America manages to knock Corruptor out. Mandrill and Griffin attack Spider-Man and Spider-Woman where Mandrill takes control of Spider-Woman. Spider-Man manages to free Spider-Woman from Mandrill's control and they managed to defeat Mandrill and Griffin. Meanwhile, Luke Cage assists Steve Rogers and Captain America in fighting off Living Laser. Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors arrive and fend off the H.A.M.M.E.R. Agents. After that, Ares speaks in front of the Initiative, Avengers, and the entire H.A.M.M.E.R. to rally them up for the coming battle. Meanwhile in the White House, the President tells Ms. Hand that he wants to speak with Osborn directly that he is doing this without authority, he then realizes that Osborn has gone out of control.

In Asgard, Hogun and Fandral report to Balder on the situation with Volstagg, that he has turned himself into the local police in Broxton. As they are preparing to eat, Knut comes in warning them all that Asgard will fall on the morrow, and that he will not live to see the sunset. The other Asgardians don't believe him, Tyr tells him to sit down and shut up basically, and Heimdall tells them all that he can see no danger. Loki escorts Knut to his room, and tells him that he believes him, but that it is midnight, "tomorrow", and his prophecies are coming true, as Loki pulls a knife out and kills Knut. Later, Heimdall awakens to find his entire bedchamber moved and encircled with sorcery to the lowest part of Asgard. Loki tells him that no one could march against Asgard without his knowing, but the trick is in the telling what he knows. Heimdall looks out and sees an army without number swarming towards Asgard, and he is helpless to warn anyone. Elsewhere, Kelda travels into Broxton to find Bill's father, and tell him how his son, her love, died. In the upper part of Asgard, Tyr kicks in Knut's door to rub his face in his prophecy being wrong, only to find Knut's corpse. Realizing Knut was right, Tyr races off to warn the others.

The scene changes to Loki coming before Balder, warning him that Midgard is moving against Asgard. The Siege of Asgard starts with the Sentry attacking Asgard, followed by a massive aerial assault led by Osborn himself. While this happens, Donald Blake says that Tony Stark's brain waves are still weak but are getting stronger everyday. He, along with Maria Hill, see the attack commence. Blake tells Hill to take Tony away from there as fast as possible. Blake then goes outside and transforms into Thor and heads directly towards Osborn, but gets attacked by the Sentry into the ground. Thor then strikes the Sentry, sending him flying away, but the combined blast from Osborn and several Initiative agents manage to hurt Thor, with Osborn managing to knock him out with one final blow. The Siege is being covered on the news, declaring that Thor has been brought down. All of this being watched by a furious Steve Rogers. Upon seeing Norman Osborn's attack on Asgard, Steve Rogers has the Avengers assemble to fight the Dark Avengers and those that are on Norman Osborn's side. Meanwhile, Diamondback sees the Dark Avengers attacking Thor. She wants to help, but can't if they find her aiding Thor and states to herself that they need the REAL Avengers to help stop this.

Todd Keller, a conservative talk show host, is approached by a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent on behalf of Norman Osborn to exclusively cover the invasion of Asgard. Meanwhile Ben Urich is arrested in Chicago for attempting to enter Soldier Field. Will Stern, a cameraman spots Urich and convinces the arresting officer to release Urich into his custody. Urich and Stern then leave for a local dinner where they have a chance encounter with Volstagg who is headed back to Asgard to turn himself into the Asgardian authorities. Urich and Stern realize that Osborn is attempting to shift public opinion by stacking the media in his favor. They then convince Volstagg to allow them to accompany him on his way back to Asgard to get his interview and to cover the invasion from another perspective.

Siege Part 2 + Tie-ins
As the battle in Asgard intensifies, Ares finds himself battling Balder and learns from Heimdall about Osborn's deceptions. Meanwhile outside, Norman Osborn tells a battered and injured Thor that he is under arrest and that Asgard is now under his jurisdiction. Before he can take Thor into custody, Norman Osborn is attacked with a rocket launcher by Maria Hill and a young man named Jason. After fending off Moonstone and X-Ray, they help get Thor to safety. In Brooklyn, Steve Rogers delivers a speech to the assembled members of the New Avengers and Young Avengers as well as the Secret Warriors and tells them that they're going to take back their country. Back in Asgard as Osborn dispatches Daken to find Maria Hill, he is struck down by Ares, who vows to kill Osborn for his lies. But Ares is suddenly attacked by the Sentry and a brutal, but short, battle ensues, in which the Sentry barely seems to be hurt, while Ares is beaten badly, breaking his nose. It then comes to a violent conclusion when the Sentry literally tears Ares in half before the horrified eyes of the combatants on both sides. Back in Brooklyn as the Avengers and Secret Warriors prepare to depart for Broxton, Bucky gives Steve back his shield. At first Steve refuses, but Bucky tells him that if he wants to take the country back from Osborn, he needs to put on his uniform and stand up. Edwin Jarvis then gives Steve a briefcase and asks him to give it to an unknown person (presumably Tony Stark) and asks him to help him. Nick Fury tell Phobos to stay behind to keep him out of danger. Phobos tries to use his powers against Fury, but he tells Phobos he's seen all there is to see in the world and that there's nothing he could do to scare him. Back in Broxton as Osborn declares martial law in order to flush out Thor and Maria Hill, Daken is blasted by a bolt of lighting and severely burned. Thor then declares that he will not hide from Osborn or his minions and will defend both Broxton and Asgard with his last breath. Osborn orders the Sentry to find and kill Thor, but then receives a message from Taskmaster telling him to turn around. As Osborn does, a reflection of Captain America's shield in his faceplate can be seen coming closer.

Ben Urich, Will Stern and Volstagg reach a roadblock as they approach Broxton, Oklahoma and are spotted in their news van by H.A.M.M.E.R. agents. Volstagg exits the van and engages the agents directly while Ben and Will speed off but are caught only moments later. While in custody at Tinker Air Force Base, Will fakes a seizure and knocks the unsuspecting guard unconscience when he comes to investigate. The two then take the guard's keys, free themselves and escape.

In the Broxton jail, Volstagg is speaking to the sheriff and his deputy as the news reports on the attack on Asgard, showing footage of Thor being beaten down. Realizing that what's going on is wrong, the sheriff releases Volstagg so that he can go help defend his home. Volstagg stops though, when he realizes all the lies that are being spread about him and the other Asgardians. The sheriff sets him up in front of a webcam, and Volstagg sends out a video to the world about what really happened in Chicago. Word quickly spreads, and people everywhere are beginning to question Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R.'s attack on Asgard. As Volstagg is leaving the police station, Thor lands in front of him and smacks him to the ground. Volstagg realizes that this is not the true Thor, but the savage mechanical clone Ragnarok.

Ultron is shown to infiltrate Jocasta and the Infinite Avengers Mansion. He names himself Ultron Pym and seeks to kill and replace his father Henry Pym before using his Infinite Avengers Mansion to conquer the universe.

Norman Osborn sends his Thunderbolts to infiltrate Asgard and steal a weapon from the Asgardian armory that will turn the tide in his favor, Odin's spear, a weapon equal to that of Thor's hammer but bearing no worthiness enchantment. They managed to obtain the weapon, but Mister X kills an Asgardian guard on the way out. However, they have a run-in with The Mighty Avengers members that Amadeus Cho called in. They ran afoul of The Mighty Avengers where Scourge ends up using Odin's spear to sever U.S. Agent's left limbs.

When visiting his brother's grave, Donyell Taylor is conflicted if he should go with the deal Norman Osborn and the Hood gave him. Counter Force takes the fight to Camp H.A.M.M.E.R. and ends up fighting the Hood's gang. They are knocked down by Hood's new Asgardian weaponry. When Donyell arrives, Hood gives him an opportunity to prove himself by killing Tigra. Hood demands that Donyell kill Tigra if he wants his brother revived. Instead, Donyell attacks the Hood and is joined by Tigra as Hood uses the Norn Stones to empower some of the cadets on his side. Robbie Baldwin evades the guards and manages to get Batwing, Bengal, and Butterball to help the Avengers Resistance as he also reveals his identity. Hood receives a call from Norman Osborn requesting his assistance in Asgard. So Hood leaves in a portal while the other villains continue fighting. As Hood arrives in Asgard, Taskmaster deals with Captain America and is taken down.

Siege Part 3 + Tie-ins
Meanwhile in Washington, the President is watching the invasion of Asgard with his security council and orders the Secretary of State to mobilize all available military forces to be dispatched to Broxton and to have Osborn and the Dark Avengers arrested for treason. He also says that they should all pray for a miracle, to which one of the counsel members remarks that he thinks they just got one because Captain America has just arrived and brought his friends with him. At the very same moment in Asgard, Osborn is struck down by Captain America's shield as he and his allies descend onto the battlefield. As the Avengers, Young Avengers and Secret Warriors come to the aid of the Asgardians, Balder notices their arrival and welcomes their help. At the same time, Thor and Maria Hill are confronted by the Sentry. Thor unleashes a massive lightning blast against him, but it has little effect. As the Avengers advance through Asgard, they are met by the Hood, Madame Masque and all the members of his gang who attempt to bar their way. Constrictor saves Diamondback from an Asgardian soldier damaging his bionic arm. Diamondback then aids Captain America. Elsewhere, Hill returns to Tony Stark's hiding place to move him to a safer location when Speed arrives with the briefcase that Edwin Jarvis gave Captain America earlier. Maria Hill orders Speed to surrender when Stark stops her and asks Speed to give him the case.

Tyr informs Balder that Osborn's forces are advancing. Believing that the forces of Midgard could not strike with such power, he asks Heimdall what he sees. The All-Seer of Bifrost answers that he sees the Hood, bearing the Norn stones, given to him by Loki. Balder takes Heimdall with him to find Loki, leaving Tyr to maintain the defenses. Seeing the Hood's gang push forward, Tyr decides to go the House of Healing to gather any who can still stand up. Meanwhile in Broxton, Oklahoma, Volstagg is attacked by Ragnarok, the insane Thor clone who had come to pronounce judgement upon him. Volstagg readies himself for battle, but then remembers the last time he deflected an energy blast with his sword. Unwilling to let the same tragedy destroy his adopted home, Volstagg runs out in the field. Ragnarok follows him considering him a coward. Elsewhere, Kelda explains to Bill's parents that their son was killed in Latveria. Unfortunately, a H.A.M.M.E.R. squad is outside planning on destroying the house if she doesn't surrender. Back in Asgard, Tyr arrives in the House of Healing to find many dead and those surviving. He then comes upon the the remains of Ares before cursing himself for a fool. He goes out to help his fellow Asgardians before confronting the Hood. He attempts to snatch away the Norn stones only to be blasted away. Elsewhere in Asgard, Heimdall hasn't found Loki, but then sees Thor battling the Sentry. Heimdall reminds Balder that since Thor is exiled, he must be executed for returning....if they survive this war. Balder remarks that the law would not stop Thor from doing what is right and wishes that all of Odin's sons were like him. Right beneath Asgard, Volstagg has stopped deciding that this field is the perfect spot where no bystanders can be hurt. He attacks Ragnarok in a vicious fight, before the latter bests him. Ragnarok declares that he is weak, just like his false Asgard. They then both notice the U.S. Air Force attacking the H.A.M.M.E.R. Helicarrier. Unfortunately, the Sentry has leveled Asgard, bringing it down upon them.

Back in Washington, the President receives word that ground and air military units have arrived in Broxton and are awaiting his orders. The President decides to let Captain America and his allies deal with Osborn and his forces and to have the military units take down H.A.M.M.E.R. itself instead and they begin by opening fire on the H.A.M.M.E.R. Helicarrier, which sustains massive damage. Victoria Hand then gives the order for all hands to abandon ship. As Thor and the Sentry continue their battle, Captain America and Osborn face off against each other. As he strikes Ms. Marvel down with an energy blast, Norman Osborn's Iron Patriot armor is completely shut down by the arrival of Tony Stark (who is dressed in a variant of his MK III armor). Enraged, Osborn orders the Sentry to annihilate Asgard rather than allow the Avengers to have it, which the Sentry does, practically leveling the city before the horrified eyes of Thor. As the New Avengers are fighting Hood's gang, the Void-possessed Sentry starts to demolish Asgard with Mockingbird pinned down by the debris. Captain America finds Osborn amid the wreckage, pulls him out and places him under arrest. Before anyone can react further, Osborn's armor literally explodes off his body, revealing his face, which is painted in the image of the Green Goblin. This is witnessed across the country on live television by the entire nation with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four among those watching. Osborn begins raving that the heroes don't know what they've done, only to be punched out by Spider-Man. Thor demands to know the whereabouts of Loki, but Osborn tells him none of that matters and that he was the only one who could save them from what is about to happen. Osborn points overhead and hovering above them all is the Sentry, now fully possessed by the Void. Meanwhile, Hela calls upon Danielle Moonstar to gather the spirits of the Asgardians that fell in battle with Norman Osborn's forces. She ends up confronting the Disir, valkyries of Bor who are now under the service of Loki.

Urich and Stern split up and Ben ends up on a plane full of embedded journalists heading for Asgard. Venom crashes through the hull of the plane killing the pilots and kills the H.A.M.M.E.R. Agent Abrams. Before he can kill more innocents, the plane crashes. Todd convinces all of the survivors to somehow get him back on the air, but in the middle of it Asgard's destruction by Sentry cuts him off. Stern sees the destruction from a distance.

In Broxton, Kelda goes to leave, but H.A.M.M.E.R. Agents open fire on her, taking her down. Meanwhile, at Asgard, Volstagg digs himself out of the rubble, shocked at the destruction. Elsewhere, Thunderball is about to kill an Asgardian, but is defeated by Tyr, who is very much alive. Balder helps dig Heimdall out of the rubble, when Loki arrives trying to manipulate the situation. Loki tells Balder that he knows Balder wanted the throne, otherwise he would have pardoned Thor instead of banishing him. Back in Broxton, Bill's mother holds Kelda while she laments her love of Bill. She feels that if she had never loved him, if he had never loved her, he would still be alive. His mother tells her that she knows he loved her very much, and he'd want her to live. She convinces Kelda to fight back, and she does so. Lashing out with her power, she takes down all the H.A.M.M.E.R. Agents, except for a couple, who Volstagg convinces to surrender when they back into him. Elsewhere, Tyr reports to Balder that the men are scattered and must be rallied or all will be lost. Balder climbs to the top of a pile of debris, and begins radiating so much light that it's almost blinding. The Hood (thinking him an easy target) opens fire on him. But Balder redirects the bullet with his sword, sending it right back at him. When he climbs back down, he exiles Loki from Asgard and then rallies the Asgardians to begin fighting back. To show their enemies why they are known as a warrior race.

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