I was recently asked if I thought the coming return of the "white hat/black hat" way of telling stories is due to recent purchase of Marvel Comics by Disney. My answer to this question is no. I think the Heroic Age is a logical step in the progression of Marvel continuity, not a corporate mandate from the new owners.
I came to this conclusion by thinking "how would this work in wrestling?". If it were building towards Wrestlemania, the heel (bad guy grrr) would be champion. The heel would be messing with the face (good guy yay!), keeping him from the championship he desires. The heel would accomplish this by hook or crook, and would manage to keep the belt for some time. Naturally the crowd hates this, as they do not like the heel being their champion. Eventually, the face would overcome the odds and earn a match at Wrestlemania for the championship. The face would then go on to capture the title at the biggest event the promotion holds, in front of millions of viewers. It's a huge payoff for the face and the fans.
The way I look at Marvel comics is that we have been on the road to Wrestlemania throughout House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion and Dark Reign. The heroes have been beaten down left and right by the villains. To add extra salt to the wound, the government even placed Norman Osborn (The Green Goblin) in charge of America's safety. This backwards logic leaves you feeling angry, you want to see some comeuppance! The championship is firmly in the hands of the heel.
Now we're at Siege, a story I dare compare to the multimedia spectacle that is Wrestlemania. If you think I'm wrong then please think about this. How big does it get when a power mad super villain gathers up the rest of the worlds villains, and sets out to destroy the ancient city of Asgard. That's pretty huge! On top of this, the reader knows that he lied about his reasoning for attacking th Asgardians. Normsn is a poor excuse of a leader, a horrible champion. The siege of Asgard is being broadcast to everyone around the world. Millions of people are watching this titanic confrontation.
In issue #2 of Siege, Captain America (Steve Rogers) gathers several groups of heroes to attack Osborn. He realizes that this is the time to strike back and take back what is theirs. The right to protect the people. Each one of these heroes has an axe to grind and is looking for plenty of payback. They have been beaten down and forced into hiding for years, and now it's time to come back into the light. The face wants their championship back, and the stage is finally set to do it.
If you were like me, the last page of Siege #2 left you thinking "finally!". The moment we've all been waiting for is upon us, the triumphant victory of the heroes. The heel will be pinned by the face, and the belt will change hands. It's the conclusion we all knew would come, but could not wait to see.
That's my reasoning as to why I don't feel it is a corporate mandate for the good guys to regain control of the Marvel Universe. It only seems logical at this point to move ahead toward something positive, in my opinion. Keep in mind, that I'm not saying it's impossible for this to be the case. It certainly could be. However, without a credible source I will continue to have my doubts.
Besides, if these pages from Captain America: Reborn #6 are any indication of what the Heroic Age has waiting for it, the party does not look like it's going to be lasting very long..
As wrestling commentator Jim Ross would say, looks like business is about to pick up.