The Watcher has no eyes. Original Sin has no heart.
Perhaps the more accurate word is core. Writer Jason Aaron is clearly in touch with the various Marvel Universe characters that populate the pages of Original Sin #6. He takes special care with Nick Fury Sr., the book’s de facto star, peppering his dialogue with references and asides that mine the character’s rich history. So there’s some heart. What’s missing is the electric pulse that makes event comics so fun.
After kicking off with two tantalizing issues and delivering a big shock moment at the end of issue three, Original Sin has substantially bogged down. The slowly unfolding plot just doesn’t have enough gas left in the tank to make issue six much of a compelling read. Things sputter along. Nick Fury’s deconstruction continues. The Avengers assemble without so much as an exclamation point. It’s that kind of issue.
For a book stacked with nearly every top-tier hero in the Marvel canon, Original Sin feels noticeably deflated and restrained. There’s not a lot to cheer for in this dreary noir story. While we see Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, and more, their presence feels absent of any real involvement to the ethereal central story. Six issues into this eight-issue series and the pot has yet to really boil.
The pages look nice enough. What can be said about Mike Deodato that most comic readers don’t already know? He’s one of Marvel’s modern masters and his penchant for dynamic poses and fluid action remains in place. The heavily shadowed look of the preceding issues also returns here, with Deodato delivering his most striking images in the form of close-ups on character faces. As with script, the grizzled Nick Fury stands out.
Original Sin’s gory hallmarks continue to be found this issue. Eyeballs. Severed heads. More eyeballs. A bunch of guns. The props make for an odd contrast with the procedural group detective scenes and ink-heavy pages.
The weird blend and tone of the series gets some points for originality, but at times treads dangerously close to self-parody. The book’s chief “villains”, Dr. Midas and the Orb, are D-listers through and through. Aaron is maybe attempting to lighten things up with the strange morts, but their goofy charm and old school supervillain melodrama is mostly lost under the weight of the plot’s dour seriousness.
That’s the gist of Original Sin’s disappointing execution. There are too many fragments of good ideas floating around without a clear and driving center for readers to latch on to. Granted, a little obfuscation in a mystery story is to be expected, but issue after issue of sidesteps and ominous buildups have not added up to much of anything. The story began with an exciting premise – a murder-mystery in which the Watcher’s been shot and it’s up to Marvel’s heroes to find the killer. As of issue six, we feel nowhere closer to answers.
The last several issues of Original Sin have felt more functional than entertaining, with the storytelling focus seemingly placed on ushering out legacy elements of the Marvel Universe while setting the stage for what’s next. The post-Original Sin future may indeed be an exciting one, but watching this drab clean-up process has become tedious. Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato are both creators who inject a lot of heart into their work, but Original Sin is starting to feel like it has flat-lined.