I spend so much time
Believing all the lies
To keep the dream alive
Now it makes me sad
It makes me mad at truth
For loving what was you
– “Eyes without a face” – Billy Idol
I intended to try my best to explain the entire storyline to the latest Marvel event Original Sin on our latest podcast, currently released on the internets, but managed to stumble my way through it immediately out of the gate. I probably should have let my cohosts in on my grand idea beforehand of really getting in-depth and dissecting the main book considering we were just discussing in the offices how we could trim down the podcast to a decent timeframe. So I fumbled, tumbled and tried my best to cut down my notes on the fly to 15 minutes or so of me making very little sense. I suck. Ready for some more? Here we go!
Original Sin in a several bulleted points:
- Z-list characters wants stuff to do bad things so they rob and kill The Watcher Uatu, an immortal alien, who lives on the Moon orbiting Earth and is apparently a hoarder of dangerous things. They cut out one of his eyeballs as well for its powers
- Avengers try and play detective to solve the crime
- Nick Fury, once again, has been lying to everyone and living a double-life as supa-secretive protector of the planet Earth but now needs a successor because his cosmic fountain of youth is running out. He also needs to solve this cosmic burglary crime as well, even at the expense of even stepping over the line of goodguy/badguy, as a last hurrah so why not kill two birds with one stone
- Lots of “secrets” are revealed by one of the Z-list characters, The Orb, during a fight by somehow “unlocking” the powers of Uatu eyeball. His eyeballs are apparently a cosmic video recorder (who knew!)
That’s it without all the nasty details.
Plenty of people have read this and walked away pretty upset or annoyed; event fatigue as it’s called in the circles. I’ll admit even I looked back on it after all was said and done and scratched my head in confusion at a few things that kind of did not make sense. Why did this play out like this? Why didn’t this character just do this or that to save time? Did this event series really need a second event series and an annual? I thought annual books were for continuing series that ran for at least a year? Questions!
After much meditation, fresh air and a great chicken club panini from down the road I had an epiphany. It all made sense to me. Not only was I satisfied with what I read, but I also walked away with a new perspective of the Marvel universe from this point forward.
This event wasn’t so much a self-contained event series like I was treating it but more a vehicle for introducing new stories and ideas currently happening throughout the Marvel line. Granted a talented writer doesn’t need something like an event book, birthed during a once a year corporate retreat, to help them put a great idea down on paper. But why not create a story that ties everything together somehow in a cool way? And also in a way where someone who has been reading THOR discovering that he has a sister he never knew about returning from a NEW secret TENTH REALM can also discover that there is another Spider-powered character who loves to wrap herself up in her own webbing and is apparently better at being a spider-powered person than Peter Parker (but who isn’t nowadays AMIRITE!?)? Or hey did you know that a group called the Illuminati mind-wiped Captain America because they were tired of his preachy-preach old man attitude? (Yup. Happened. He’s been pounding down Ensures preparing himself to give an ass-whooping! Check out Avengers!) Tony Starks a drunk (duh). But did you also know he caused Bruce Banner to turn into the Hulk but also saved his life by doing that? All there in Hulk and Ironman (just say no to drunk gamma irradiating friends!) The Fantastic Four spend all their time fighting with each other now but whoa here’s a doozy: Johnny ruined an opportunity for Ben Grimm to be cured of physical rock mutation! (Don’t expect a Christmas present this year Johnny).
Synergy. Got to love it. I know I’m all about that over in the ol’ Graphic Novice office. In fact I need to put in a reminder in the next office newsletter.
There were other secrets that were revealed to a variety of characters but you get the idea. Some fairly game changing things occurred and some to a lesser extent. But guess what? It sounds like it’s going to be a fun read going forward. Yes a few things seriously changed the history of characters and I’ll be honest and have said in the past, to everyone who would listen, about how I was dead set against changes such as this. Yes. I’m guilty. I helped preach the status quo with the Marvel Universe for a long time with my pitchfork and torch raised high ready to burn any writer or editor who dared try something different. Yet now I sit here in a zen-like state and say “Ok. My body is ready.” Maybe it’s my age. Maybe I’ve seen it all at this point. Maybe it’s the low T. Regardless I’m ready for some major changes in the name of great stories.
Of course not all of these events really occurred in the 10-issue Original Sin event book. You would have to read all the tie-ins with the other books to get all those juicy details. Hell, they might as well have subtitled the main limited series event book I concentrated on: “Original Sin: The untold Nickolas J Fury Story or How He Stopped Worrying and Embraced his Inner Buzz Lightyear”. It was in this run where they set up, explained and concluded Fury’s journey from supa-secret badass protector of the planet Earth to creepy shackled up immortal guy squatting on the Moon secretly complaining about the stench coming from the dead alien without eyeballs.
As much as I seem to be poking fun at Original Sin, it honestly is a fun story and reads very well once you start from the beginning straight to the end in one sitting; regardless of the questions you might and will probably have. Questions such as z-list villians being able to successfully rob a Watcher who has in past repeatedly broken the rules in place of one being a “Watcher”, or why would Fury hide his alter ego as supa-secret protector of the planet Earth once the age of heroes came around (It was somewhat addressed in the book but wasn’t satisfying enough for me). Or why take his short list of candidates on such a wild goose chase around the planet and dimensions when he apparently already knew who he was going to choose as his successor as supa-secret badass protector of the planet Earth; because let’s be honest who other than Bucky in that group fits the bill? But I get it. They wanted to take the reader on a journey through the various assassinations Fury Lightyear had to execute in the name of being a supa-secret protector of the planet Earth. I imagine a few pages of Fury sitting Bucky down for tea and biscuits and laying all that down on him might be less interesting…well…maybe if you spend a few of those issues as sort of a flashback of him doing these things thing that might have been cool. Actually that does sound kind of cool: “Original Sin: My Interview with Nickolas J Fury by Bucky Barnes”. But I digress. It’s a good read regardless. Stop the nitpicking and enjoy the ride.
If anything just sit back in awe of the work that artist Mike Deodoto put into each page of that book. You can visually see the blood, sweat and tears that guy put into each page and I’m sure he is very proud to see his name as both penciller and inker on that book. I know I would add that one to the portfolio. I hope he does. It would really tie it together nicely I’m sure and you can take out that last piece you did back in college finally.
Wait what was the point of this article again? Oh yeah! I can’t stand those ULTIMATE comics! Where’s my pitchfork!