“Avengers: Under Siege” is a Marvel Comics absolute masterpiece that showcases the true potential of the medium. Written by the legendary Roger Stern, with the fabulous John Buscema providing the art, this epic tale is a true tour-de-force that takes readers on a breath-taking rollercoaster ride of emotions. Even after all these years, it remains a personal favourite story arc of mine.

From the very first page, the stage is set for a battle that will have readers on the edge of their seats. The Avengers, already plagued by internal conflicts, suddenly face an insidious new threat in the form of Baron Zemo and his army of super-villains, the Masters of Evil. As the villains invade the Avengers Mansion, taking the beloved butler Jarvis hostage and ambushing Black Knight and Captain Marvel, it becomes clear that this is not a typical fight.

What sets “Avengers: Under Siege” apart is how it transforms the concept of the Masters of Evil, taking them from a simple disparate group of villains and turning them into a massive organization – with the hateful Zemo at its helm. This idea has since evolved into a rich and complex world that is explored in modern comics. The scale of the conflict and the stakes involved make for an epic and unforgettable reading experience.

Roger Stern also takes risks with the narrative, allowing the mighty Hercules to be seriously injured and exploring the psychological drama between Zemo and Captain America, which is both captivating and heart-wrenching. However, the most poignant moment, is the brutal beating of the faithful butler Jarvis, witnessed by a helpless Captain America. This scene is incredibly powerful, and lingers long after the story concludes. It still hurts me reading it even now.

Another impressive aspect of the story is the excellent character development. The Wasp, who was once timid and uncertain, takes on heavy hitters Absorbing Man and Titania almost single-handedly, and rallies the Avengers at their darkest hour. This showcases her tremendous growth and evolution as a character, and her triumph is a thrilling moment for fans.

Overall, for me, “Avengers: Under Siege” is a must-have volume for any fan of the series. It is a true masterpiece of storytelling that manages to be both action-packed and emotionally resonant. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of The Avengers franchise and a showcase of the best that comics have to offer.

The Avengers: Wasp, Captain America, Black Knight, Thor, Captain Marvel, Hercules, Doctor Druid, Ant Man, Paladin, Namor.

THE Masters Of Evil: Baron Zemo, Moonstone, Yellowjacket, Titania, The Absorbing Man, Mr Hyde, Grey Gargoyle, Screaming Mimi, The Fixer, The Wrecking Crew.

Writer: Roger Stern

Artist: John Buscema