What’s your Original Sin? Mine may be spending too much money on bad comics. Have I sinned yet again by purchasing Original Sin #3? Read the review to find out!
Previously in Original Sin: Someone shot the Watcher and took his eyeballs. A secret team has been put together by a mysterious figure to find out who, while Nick Fury and pals found the Orb with one of the eyes. It proceeds to explode revealing secrets thought lost.
NOT THE TONE EXPECTED FOR AN EVENT BOOK
I haven’t purchased a Marvel event book since Secret Invasion. The continuing motif of telling a story that has no conclusion has made me avoid them. I thought the concept of Original Sin was interesting and after enjoying the zero issue, I caved and started picking it up. So far, I haven’t been that disappointed and find the story’s tone to be fresh and unexpected. Jason Aaron is crafting a full on dark murder mystery. And I mean dark. When the heroes discovered the Watcher’s eyes had been removed, I knew this was going to be different.
This issue continues to make the Orb, a villain with an eyeball as a head, more creepy and frightening than a character like him deserves. In fact, Aaron is doing a great job of using “Z-list” villains (I only use the term because it has been used in the story) as a credible threat. That’s an attribute I enjoy as it gets tiring to see Thanos wreaking havoc yet again. Almost everything about Original Sin has been going against the grain in terms of “event” comics. This is more mystery than action and there is a feel of dread and fear running throughout. It’s pretty dark stuff, with Black Panther’s team investigating one gruesome murder after the other. This issue has (literally) the largest murder yet: an entire planet shot to death. While the story is good, the book has so much happening that it tends to jump around. We get a few pages with one scene and are taken to another before the current one has had a chance to open up. With it being eight issues, I’m surprised Aaron didn’t take more time.
Each issue has provided decent cliffhangers but boy is this one a doozy! I thought long and hard about how much I should spoil and realized the shock is better without knowing. I will say this: a major character kills another major character in an unsettling, violent way. I don’t know if LMD’s have blood, but some readers may hope so. Props to Marvel for having the gonads to go through with it, regardless of whether or not it will stick. It’s another example of the story pulling no punches and setting itself apart from other summer stories.
NO GAME OF “HEY, IT’S THAT GUY!”
Mike Deodato has been an artist that uses real life persons as models for characters, the most famous of his being Tommy Lee Jones as Norman Osborn. It’s something that can be frustratingly distracting. Deodato has been hit or miss for me but as far as I can tell, Original Sin not only sees that habit squashed* but an incredible improvement as well. I would go so far as to say it’s Mr. Deodato’s best work to date. Detail is fantastic and every page looks like it took a month to complete. The story’s tone is reflected perfectly with moody lighting throughout. The panel layouts have to be my favorite, with pages broken into rectangular sections of varying sizes, some left blank. It adds to the sense that the reader isn’t getting the full story. While the art looks pretty, there is a noticeable lack of motion in it all. Every character looks posed and what action there is lacks a flow that is necessary for comics. It’s a significant drawback to work that, otherwise, looks quite good.
*If I’m wrong and there are “celebrity appearances,” please don’t point them out in the comments. Once someone tells me, I become obsessed.
BOTTOM LINE: ENJOYING THE RIDE BEFORE THE PRESUMED CRASH
So far Original Sin has impressed me more than I thought. I’ve loved the story’s dark tone and serious murder mystery which has made it stand out from previous events. This issue’s ending is a hum-dinger and alone makes it worth reading. The art is impressive but lacking in flow. While I’ve become jaded enough that I still don’t expect an ending, I will continue to go to whatever dark places Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato intend to take me. If I get suckered yet again, I have no one to blame but myself. Maybe that’s my original sin?