Siege: Cabal #1: Review

Feb 2010
Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Lark

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Siege: Cabal #1 Review by (September 25, 2018)
This issue doesn't have anything to do with Siege apart from the opening and closing scenes.

The whole thing is obviously set before Siege itself. The main central section coincides with Dark Avengers #15. The opening pages with Norman Osborn conversing with the Green Goblin mask are obviously in the early days when Osborn hasn't made any firm decision about attacking Asgard. So this must precede the online Siege: Prologue where he is on the path but wavering, and Thunderbolts #140 and DAv#14 where he is actively pursuing his course.

It's unclear whether there's any time between the main section and the coda where the President forbids Osborn from attacking Asgard. But there is obviously some time between that and Siege itself while they set up the precipitating incident involving the Asgardian Volstagg and a big explosion.
But  Av: Initiative #31 says Taskmaster will be in hospital recovering from being blasted by the Doombot for about a week before he's well enough to take part in Siege, which he does.

Hood's magic these days is provided by the Norn Stones which were a gift from Loki in New Av #56-57 after Hood lost his previous demonic magic in NAv#54.

I'll discuss the Dark Avengers chronology in their #15.

I last documented Norman Osborn in DAv Annual #1. I put his opening scene here followed by Siege: Prologue then TBolts#138-140 and DAv#14 and the rest of this issue. Then there's a flashback in NAv#64 where Hood explains the Norn Stones to Norman, and then Osborn visits Taskmaster in hospital before the start of Siege proper.

I last saw Loki in Mighty Av #34. Since then he's had a few minor apps:- deciding Asgard needs destroying in the opening of Siege: Loki, sucking up to Balder at the end of Thor #606 and pitting Wolverine against Thor in the backup tale in Wolverine: Wendigo. Now he has the opening part of this issue, part mirrored in Siege: Loki, then Siege Prologue before the rest of this issue and Siege itself.

Dr Doom was heavily involved in Fall Of The Hulks and World War Hulks before (sort of) turning up for this Cabal meeting. He'll skip Siege and will next appear in X-Factor #201-202 when they invade his castle looking for the missing Invisible Woman.

I have dealt with Hood's apps in MAv#32 and Iron Man (2008) #20. He continued working for Osborn in Vengeance Of Moon Knight #2-3 but was possibly doing his own business in Amazing Spider-Man #626. But now he's here for his bit of the Cabal meeting. Then he'll have the flashback meet with Osborn in NAv#64 which continues with him rallying his troops for the Asgard job.

My last view of Taskmaster was in NAv#59 where the NAv attacked the Av: Initiative camp he runs for Osborn. Now it's straight into the Cabal meeting followed by Osborn's hospital visit. Then it will be his Siege duty beginning in Av:I#32.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Siege: Cabal #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue runs in parallel with Dark Avengers #15 with many shared scenes with different contents. There are also connections to the Siege: Loki 1-shot and Avengers: Initiative #31.

It opens with Norman Osborn sitting on his bed as his Green Goblin mask gives him advice about Asgard. (Siege: Loki will let us know it's really invisible Loki doing the talking.) Asgard the city is currently hovering a few feet above the ground outside Broxton, Oklahoma and the mask says it's obviously there flouting his authority. He must assert that authority and do something to get rid of it. Norman wants to consult Loki but the mask tells him not to trust the Trickster God. Osborn is persuaded.

The next scene is in Avengers Tower. Bullseye and Moonstone are asleep in their (separate after being reprimanded in DAv#14) beds. Osborn is in his Iron Patriot armour (sans helmet) in a meeting room with Loki, Hood and Taskmaster waiting for the only other remaining member of the Cabal to join them. Doctor Doom seems to arrive via Cosmic Cube, but it might be some other technology or magic.

As usual Doom impatiently asks what Osborn wants *this* time. And who is the extra member - Osborn introduces Taskmaster (inducted in Av:I#31 to swell the dwindling ranks). Doom immediately takes over the agenda and tells Osborn to stop making moves against his ally Sub-Mariner. (This would be the attack on the X-Men and especially Namor in Dark Reign: The List: X-Men.) Norman responds that Namor and Emma Frost need to be punished for betraying him and the Cabal (in the Utopia crossover). Doom accuses Osborn of turning on any 1 of them who displeases him. Norman counters that he helped Doom regain Latveria as promised (DAv#1-4) and now he wants to help Loki take over Asgard and take it away from Earth. Doom says he'll help but he wants Osborn to 'produce' Namor 1st. (But Osborn doesn't *have* Namor - he and the Atlanteans are living under the X-Men's new home on the artificial island Utopia.)

At this point Norman decides it's time to take back the initiative and bring Doom into line. He summons his secret weapon (which DAv#15 reveals is Sentry's dark half the Void in his nonhuman energy form) who blasts Doom against a wall. Iron Patriot dons his helmet as things heat up. Loki advises *his* ally (as seen in issues of New Avengers) Hood to leave, which he does by magic. Doom blasts back but hits Taskmaster (which puts him in hospital as seen in Av:I#31, which also has a Taskmaster's-eye view of this meeting). Void blasts Doom again and the armoured form falls.

But it's not Dr Doom it's a robot which emits a horde of flying robot bugs which invade the whole Tower. (Loki is unaffected, probably intangible.) Osborn contacts Victoria Hand and orders a complete evacuation. We see her telling the Dark Avengers present (Bullseye, Daken, Moonstone and Venom) to go to the quinjet on the roof despite Venom wanting to stand and fight.

Iron Patriot's armour AI can't find a way to combat Doom's (probably partly magic-based) attack. (At this point DAv#15 shows us Osborn ordering Void to switch to Sentry (and to Bob Reynolds who I believe doesn't know the Void interludes happen).) We then see Sentry bringing his wife Lindy Reynolds to join the others on the roof, and asking what's going on. He drops Lindy off at the quinjet and flies off to see if Norman is alright. IP is still trying to shut off the power to the bugs when Sentry arrives, rips the collapsed Doom robot in half and smashes the halves together. There's an explosion and all the bugs fall to the floor.

Patriot picks up 1 of the bugs which opens a communication channel to the real Dr Doom. They exchange threats and the bug self-destructs.

The final scene has Osborn talking to a hologram of the President who refuses permission for him to invade Asgard. When the conference is over Norman turns to Loki who has a plan. He reminds Norman how Civil War I was started (via the Superhuman Registration Act) by the Stamford incident. He says he can arrange such an incident to make the public demand a war on Asgard.

Michael Lark
Stefano Gaudiano
Matt Hollingsworth
David Finch (Cover Penciler)
David Finch (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

(Loki Laufeyson)

(Karla Sofen)

(Mac Gargan)

Plus: Lindy Reynolds, Victoria Hand.

> Siege: Cabal: Book info and issue index

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