[Editor's Note: The full title of this comic is "The Sentry: Fallen Sun." For the sake of keeping spoilers out of the review title listings on the front page of the site, we've gone with the original spoiler-free title for now.]
As if the spoilers weren't obvious from the cover, the "Previously. . ." page is stamped with a red notification in all caps to the readership, "WARNING : READ 'SIEGE' #4 BEFORE THIS BOOK!" Flying in the face of authority (such as it is when it's red type set onto a comic book page) I chose to ignore this warning. After all, the cover of this issue pretty much reveals one tragic outcome of the battle contained in the pages of "Siege" #4.
A secret is dropped in this book, but Jenkins drops it on Reed Richards, who chooses not to share -- not with the other characters in this book and especially not with the readers. It doesn't affect the outcome of the story within, but it does offer a point of speculation for stories to come.
Even though the characters are gathered under a somber occasion, this is not without humor. Jenkins gives Scout a chance to try to heal through laughter about dog farts. Reflecting on that, I realize that at all of the funerals and wakes I've been to someone has always had to stifle a snicker, heck, some don't even bother stifling. Funerals bring out the human side of everyone, even the most stoic, and Jenkins humanizes these characters through their eulogizing their fallen comrade. Jenkins' treatment of Tony Stark had me ready to scream foul, but Jenkins aptly justified Tony's actions.
Tom Raney, Scott Hanna, and Val Staples deliver a visual story that is strong enough to be understood without words. They flesh out Jenkins story and deliver characters that are clearly grieving, but glad to have known their departed friend. There are some costumes in this story, but very little fighting. The lack of action does not affect the story in any manner, as Raney does a great job with each and every character in this story. I am especially fond of Raney's rendition of Ben Grimm, which is both classic and modern. From here, I'd like to see Raney get a chance to draw the Fantastic Four's regular adventures.
Was it necessary to read "Siege" #4 before this? I don't think so. This book is independent enough to be understood and enjoyed regardless of the event it is tied to. Mention is made of the events in "Siege," and closure is given to a great deal of the outstanding elements therein, but this issue seems as though it will stand the test of time. I would hazard a guess a re-read of this comic will be just as poignant six months from now as today when it hit the stands.