Uatu is dead, and so is Nick Fury, and the mastermind behind it all has been revealed as … Nick Fury? Clearly there’s something we don’t know going on here. Your Major Spoilers review of Original Sin #6 awaits!
Previously in Original Sin: The murder of Uatu the Watcher has led to multiple heroes investigating what really happened to end the mysterious creature’s life, with three separate investigations, which led to the discovery of a series of murder throughout the cosmos, all of which led back to one man: Nick Fury. The Winter Soldier murdered Nick Fury, but soon the heroes regrouped and discovered that the REAL Nick is still alive, but that his Infinity Formula is failing him, and he is rapidly aging to a state more in keeping with his actual age. But the question still remains: What is inside the Watcher’s eyes?
DARK AND FORBODING
As this issue opens, I’m confused by the latest evolution of the often-changing style of Mike Deodato, bringing back the scratchy outlines of his work on Wonder Woman in the 90s, but combining it with very jarring post-production lighting effects. On the one hand, it gives the whole issue a feeling of foreboding that reminds me of watching ‘Alien,’ but on the other, it’s a difficult visual vocabulary to parse. As for the story, after a quick vignette featuring Doctor Midas and his daughter Oubliette (of Grant Morrison’s exception and bizarre ‘Marvel Boy’ miniseries from 2000 or so), we get a wizened Nick Fury explaining where he’s been, and by extension, why he’s been MIA for so long. The string of murders throughout the universe is his doing, and he has assembled the heroes present (The Winter Soldier, The Punisher, Emma Frost, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Gamora, and Moon Knight, with hanger-on Rocket Raccoon) in order to choose his successor as cosmic hitman. Back on Earth, Iron man and Captain America discover that the murdered Nick Fury is false, and an angry Cap calls his team to action to track down Fury and get some answers once and for all. The use of Nick Fury as unstoppable deus ex machina at Marvel has been a problem for more than a decade now, and this issue intensifies that, with the former director of SHIELD actually managing to create a magic barrier than would hold back Doctor Strange long enough for him to torture The Orb and find out the secret of the Watcher’s eyes.
AND THINGS GET WORSE
I’m normally a fan of Jason Aaron’s writing, but something about this issue just feels wrong, and what’s more, the plot developments (and Doctor Midas new character design) are evocative of the not-that-long-ago ‘Fear Itself’ crossover. Indeed, the constant skipping from one massive crisis to another has left this series hobbling from day one for me, as we’ve barely finished the last massive multiplayer crossover madness, and the next one has actually begun DURING the final issues of this one. That said, this issue also doesn’t really hold up as a single issue reading experience, as much of what occurs in the issue (not that much does, thanks to it being mostly conversational exposition with some posturing thrown in) only makes sense when you read is as a chapter of the bigger story. There’s a dourness at the heart of the story, and Nick Fury’s modern position as ice-cold chess master is bothersome to me, as someone who read stories about him before that all fully took hold. As the issue ends, we see a character ready to make a decision that will change his entire life, which should feel monumental, but comes across as a temporary alteration already…
THE BOTTOM LINE: NOT FEELING IT
I actually have no interest in finding out how this whole story wraps up, even having read the first six issues plus number zero, and while I enjoy the fact that Ant-Man and others are getting metaphorical airtime, the lineup being heavy on movie-style Marvel characters feels unusually mercenary, even by Marvel standards. All in all, Original Sin #6 isn’t successful for me on either a visual or a story level, and the ferris wheel of massive changes makes even the heavy-duty events in this issue feel mundane, leaving me disappointed and a bit annoyed at it all, leaving the issue with 2 out of 5 stars overall. There’s still a chance that the wrap-up of this will be a big, spectacular moment of fireworks, but all in all, I don’t suspect that Original Sin is going to be referenced even a few months down the line which, given the circumstances and the story in place, is really a shame…