Original Sin #1: The Death of the Watcher
Original Sin #1- Comicshistoryguy Review
Who killed the Watcher? That is the question as some of the Marvel Universe's most powerful heroes gather to try to solve this noir-ish murder mystery. And the feel of this comic is like a pulp fiction (the genre, not the movie), film-noir type story. The art (by Mike Deodato) is dark and moody. Lots of shadows, and lots of mysterious unseen or partially-seen characters manipulating events in the background.
This first comic in this company-wide crossover event has a decidedly murder-mystery atmosphere. The comic opens with the Watcher in the Moon's Blue Area and shows him in his home, where he has a murderous visitor whom we do not see. The scene then turns to a diner (notice what is in the parking lot--good include!) where several of our favorite Marvel heroes are enjoying steak and are reminiscing about old times. This piece impressed me, as it shows the writer's (Jason Aaron's) willingness to build character and give some background to these characters' histories and personalities, as well as hinting at their past relationships.
Original Sin Cover
The story progresses as our heroes learn of the Watcher's death; determine that it is a murder, and proceed to try to figure out what happened. Other heroes are shown, in groups and singly, as "Team-Ups" occur. This part is interesting, and I assume that Jason Aaron picked these groupings purposely and intentionally to develop the story. For example, Dr. Strange and the Punisher? Not your typical team-up. Also, we see a mystery person (hero, villain, other?) manipulating events and bringing some of these groups together. Looking forward to seeing how this aspect develops.
Original-Sin #1: The Watcher on the Moon
In one of the last scenes, we find the Thing and Spider-Man battling a Mindless One in New York City. Spidey comments that he has fought these creatures before, and therefore is noticing this individual monster acting differently than your typical Mindless One. I like that the writer is including info from Spidey's continuity here, but I do miss the old days of Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and writers and editors like them, who would include a little reference informing the reader of when the prior meeting took place. For example, I had to Google "Spider-Man and Mindless Ones" to see that Spidey first met and fought these things back in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #57 from October, 2003. I truly wish Marvel would go back to this type of citation for their readers, in part to keep the sense of Marvel history alive and to spark newer readers' interest in past storylines.
Overall, this first issue was a good start to this crossover. For a first issue, it is a typical set-up storyline. Something big happens, heroes gather, and they team-up to investigate, fight the good fight, etc. The teaming aspect reminds me of the old DC Comics JLA/JSA team-ups where the two groups initially split into mixed teams of two or three to deal with the menace in different parts of the globe, space, etc. I would like to find out if Jason Aaron (@jasonaaron) had this old traditional team-up setting in mind when he wrote this part.
The art by Mike Deodato is good, and the ambiance of his work fits in well with the storyline.
A couple of odd phrases and points to mention here though. When Thor calls Captain America on Cap's cell (which I assume is a cleverly-disguised Avengers communicator), and Cap has to tell Thor to calm down just seemed...well, odd. My mental image of Thor making any type of cell phone call is actually kind of funny, and Cap having to tell him to calm down...LOL.
Original Sin #1: Dr. Strange and the Punisher
And, in that same scene, Cap uses the phrase "murder police," as in saying that the assembled heroes are not murder police. Sounds odd. Wouldn't he say something like, "We are not 'homicide detectives' or some such? That phrase struck me as unusual. Perhaps it is an old saying from Cap's youth in the 30s and 40s? Don't know. After thinking about that, it made me wonder if this is really Cap, or someone impersonating him who is not familiar with American idioms? If so, that would also explain Nick Fury's nostalgic comments about a World War Two event involving Fury, Cap, and Bucky. Was Nick verbally drawing out Cap to see if this guy's memories jived with what Fury was talking about? We shall see (or not, if I am barking up the wrong tree here).
Either way, this is a very well-done book, both in terms of the writing and in terms of the art. Looking forward to reading and reviewing issue #2.
Original Sin #1: The Death of the Watcher