Earlier this year, writer Kieron Gillen announced that he would be stepping away from his Marvel superhero work to commit himself to his creator-owned titles, and he’s using his Secret Wars tie-in miniseries Siege as his swan song to the characters he worked on during his runs on S.W.O.R.D., Journey Into Mystery, Uncanny X-Men, and Young Avengers. Heroes from those respective series have come together to protect The Shield, the giant wall that separates the northern part of Battleworld from the deadly southern domains, and the threats have just gotten bigger and badder with each new issue. Next week’s Siege #3 pits Shield Commander Abigail Brand and her troops against Nick the Fury, a combination of Nick Fury and Alan Moore’s deadly android The Fury. (That kind of tongue-in-cheek development is a great example of Gillen’s clever approach to Marvel lore.)
Gillen is joined by a stellar line-up of artists for his Marvel goodbye, with Felipe Andrade and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg tackling the main action while guest artists provide striking two-page splashes showing major moments in The Shield’s history. Andrade and Rosenberg’s art starts this preview of Siege #3 with intense energy, sending the reader rocketing toward a gorgeous painted splash by Julian Totino Tedesco showing Nick the Fury and an army of Ultrons facing off with Brand’s army. It’s an explosive opening, and the heat is only going to intensify as the miniseries nears its conclusion.