Welcome back to Confession Booth, Multiversity’s ongoing analysis of Marvel’s “Original Sin” event. In order to better articulate our thoughts on the series we’re shaking up the column’s format by starting off with a spoiler-free review before getting into a recap of the issue itself, followed by our usual guesstimating at who killed Uatu.
Check out the spoiler-free review below! We’ll let you know when we start discussing spoilers. Enjoy!
Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Mike Deodato
WHAT DID HE SEE?
If there’s one thing you can’t fault Jason Aaron or Mike Deodato for, it’s their love of the epic. Even with a story set around a murder mystery (which could be a very inclusive type of adventure) “Original Sin” takes practically all of the Marvel Universe on a dimension-trotting journey full of action, intrigue, and gored out body parts.
It’s also, quite possibly, the most insane comic that came out this week. And I reviewed “Axe Cop” yesterday.
Last time, I discussed how effective Deodato was at delivering a noir tone to the first issue of “Original Sin” but this issue escalates that mystery into a sequence of exciting action scenes (the most notable of which involves Nick Fury, a giant monster, and a high-speed car chase through Manhattan airspace) as well as some exotic locations that still retain that noir tone. Deodato excels with these large pages that show off the wild crime scenes, vast spaces filled with a ton of detail that really lend a sense of dread wonder to the locales. There’s also a ton of play with the panels and framing of the story, especially the scene in the dark dimension: a gigantic splash page broken up by smaller panels that focus in on the characters.
Combined with the frantic disorganization of the panels revolving around The Watcher’s alleged killers and it’s clear that “Original Sin” isn’t satisfied with being like other events. Instead, it’s a manic thrill ride that refuses to let up.
In fact, it’s that refusal to let up which leads to “Original Sin” being just a bit crazy. Plot points that were seemingly clear last issue gain an added layer of complexity. Characters who have no right being in a modern comic book show up with little to no foreshadowing and the intro of a Z-list character is meant to be a defining moment. I’m sure it’s a satisfying moment for some diehard fans but for anyone else it’s just a bit underwhelming. I will admit that there is some incredibly clever piece of foreshadowing (the type that makes you feel like an idiot for missing it the first time with how explicit it is) but it still feels like it came out of nowhere in relation to the mystery at large.
Really, I’d say most, if not all, of this comic is crazy. The set pieces, wild characters, and layers of deception would make for an unwieldy comic under another writer but Aaron manages to keep the plot focused enough to still be incredibly entertaining, and really, that’s what seems to be the most important here. I have no idea what’s going on with “Original Sin”, I haven’t got the faintest clue on who the killer is, and I can’t possibly see where this series is going from here. But I am all in for this crazy roller coaster.
Final Verdict: 8.2 – Buy! This is one of the funnest event comics Marvel has done in a while.
Before we get into the more spoilerific analysis, let’s recap “Original Sin” #1 with a quick haiku.
- The Watcher is Dead
- Welcome back, Classic Fury
- Oh shit, Mindless Ones!
“Original Sin” #2 opens with Emma Frost, Black Panther, Scott Lang (AKA Team Black Ant White) investigating the corpses of giant monsters underneath the surface of the Earth. Apparently their boss is meant to be a mystery even though I thought it was made abundantly clear last issue that it was Fury giving orders but maybe “Original Sin”‘s abundance of sketchy people with eye problems just made some events blur together. Anyway, before we can understand exactly why this scene is happening, we’re swept off to Manhattan where Captain America and Wolverine are chasing a Mindless One through an incredibly upset office, out the window, and onto Nick Fury’s flying car that ABC lent him since Agents of SHIELD is off-season. Unfortunately for them, Nick ruins the warranty by shooting The Mindless One in the face(?) a couple times, firing his jetpack/carseat out of the vehicle, and then exploding it in mid-air with the Mindless One still inside. He also apparently drags said Mindless One out of the East River and into an interrogation cell.Continued below
Okay, quick editorial: I am all for the recently introduced Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury. I think he’s great in “Secret Avengers.”But you do not get moments like this without the good old Vanilla Fury. Welcome back, Nick.
Speaking of things you can only expect from weird white guys, Iron Man joins Spider-Man, Black Cat, and All-Star Batman in the club of characters who always “Keep the Mask On”.
Also, thanks to Bruce being present for this scene, as I am 900% certain this was written exclusively for the Tumblr notes. #sciencebros
Yum. Over in another dimension entirely, Doctor Strange and The Punisher (Team #truedetectiveseason2) are investigating even more dead monsters floating around like littering isn’t a real concern. Of course, the more pressing concern might just be the ridiculously gigantic, seemingly golden bullet The Punisher finds in one deceased demon. Combined with the golden ship the Science Bros found, the clues of who might be behind The Watcher’s killers begin to surface. Really, this could be the start of some interesting theories and analy- oh we’re just going to cut to who the killers are right now? Cool, why not!
Back in Manhattan, at a penthouse that’s not even trying to be low-profile, the two conspirators from last issue are discussing the effects The Watcher’s eyes (which were cut out for the lulz) are having on their physiology. Both of them don’t seem to be suffering but the female conspirator’s father, chilling on a table in the back, is changing for the worse. Before FemCon can threaten ManCon when he threatens to leave her father behind, The Avengers show up because it turns out keeping a dozen lumbering Mindless Ones that produce a lot of energy hidden in your penthouse isn’t exactly “smart”.
Outside, The Avengers and others are gathered around when Iron Man, chilling with Thor, says the most badass line of the week: “YOU HAVE UNTIL THE SOUND OF THUNDER TO COMPLY!” It’s completely ridiculous and I wish that there were more comics where Iron Man just tries really really hard to sound threatening like he did here. The female conspirator complies, and jumps out the window revealing herself to be, of all people, Oubilette Midas AKA The Exterminatrix, last seen as an illusion in Gillen and McKelvie’s “Young Avengers”. Also, her dad is Doctor Midas from the 2000 “Marvel Boy” limited series.
After a couple of explosively awesome pages fighting the Avengers with Mindless Ones (most of which happens off-panel), Oubilette is captured by The Avengers, which leads to the final masked conspirator carrying Doctor Midas outside the building while monologuing about how The Watcher’s eye is watching him or something and how he’s not the real killer so there’s no chance of cutting down these eight issues. In one final act, the alleged murderer rips off his white supremacist hood and reveals himself to be Ghost Rider enemy and Jason Aaron favorite, The Orb.
I don’t know either.
In light of the facts that Uatu’s watchers have seemingly been revealed (The Orb says “We’re not the murderers you’re looking for” which is a rather unconvincing Jedi mind trick if I’ve ever heard one) we’ve replaced this Confession Booth’s “Who Killed The Watcher?” segment with the following:
Wait, Who The $%#@ Were Those People Who Killed The Watcher?
The Orb: The Orb is, as described by the last page of this comic, a Z-list super villain with an eyeball for a head. After a motorcycle accident left the first Orb horribly disfigured, he was given the eyeball helmet by demons that let him fire lasers, cast illusions, and hypnotize people. He immediately used it to get his ass kicked for forty straight years. The second Orb (who’s shown up within a bunch of Jason Aaron’s comics within the past year, notably “Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine”) seems to be the one present in “Original Sin” and almost nothing is known about him besides his inability to shut up. Aside from the whole obsession with eyes, I have no idea why he would want to kill The Watcher.
Doctor Midas: Midas first showed up with his daughter Oubilette in the pages of Grant Morrison and JG Jones’s 2000 miniseries “Marvel Boy” (also the debut of heartthrob badboy Noh-Varr). In that series, he was a collector obsessed with superheroes who owned the original golden Iron Man suit from the 60’s, dragged Noh-Varr’s ship in from another dimension and killed his loved ones, and then exposed himself to Cosmic Rays and gained all of the Fantastic Four’s powers at once, achieving total cosmic awareness. In short, he is an utter baller.Continued below
At the end of “Marvel Boy”, Noh-Varr and Oubilette banished him to The Mindless Ones’ dimension where his new immortal body (that looked like The Thing’s) would be hunted by said monsters, seemingly forever. Though I have no idea why he would kill The Watcher either, his return does explain all the Mindless Ones, golden equipment, and dead bodies Strange and Punisher found in the dark dimension.
Oubilette the Exterminatrix: Midas’s daughter, former companion of Marvel Boy, and kind of a nut job, Oubilette is easily one of the most lethal people in the Marvel Universe (or at least she is when not stacked up against literally every other Marvel hero like she was here). She and Noh-Varr traveled together after she fell in love with him during his titular miniseries, even burning down DisneyWorld for him after Noh-Varr was arrested by Earth forces. Even though she and her dad had a falling out (banishing your dad to another dimension can do that to families) they’re apparently working together again. Oubilette’s always been a character I’ve wanted to like but since she’s been defined by her relationships to other people she hasn’t been given that much depth. Hopefully she’ll see some development here.
Be sure to check out Multiversity Comics for more coverage of “Original Sin” over the next few weeks!