In our review of last issue we all agreed that Original Sin slowed down significantly from its thoroughly satisfying pace. The story went from switching perspectives and locales rapidly to just kind of settling down on a creepy satellite as a really old Nick Fury explained to a group of second-tier heroes his hidden role as the preemptive striker of the Marvel Universe.
I’m unhappy to report that this newest installment follows the same pattern. Nick talks some more, our main protagonists still meander on the Satellite of Sin and the issue fails to recreate the abundant pizazz of the first half of this series. Forreal though, this comic and the last could have easily been combined.
It’s not all bad, though. We do get some movement outside of the main action: Dr. Midas and his daughter trudge forward with their own agenda and the Avengers reconvene to put an end to Fury’s lies and manipulation once and for all.
The biggest crime, however, is that the issue’s big reveal, that the B-list heroes weren’t recruited to stop Fury but rather to replace him as “The Man at the Wall” (or is it The Unseen?), is rendered inert by this week’s news that one of them is getting a new ongoing. The description that the new series will take the character to every corner of the MU pretty obviously points to the information disclosed in Original Sin #6.
I didn’t know about that newsbreak, but I agree this issue loses some of the momentum of what went before. Rather than go somewhere strange we’ve gone somewhere fairly predictable, in that an evil nefarious father figure is secretly behind it all. While Aaron continues to get mileage out of the silliness of the LMDs and their near-indistinguishability even to their master (and his explanation that Nick’s version of the super-soldier serum is finally fading does at least answer Ant-Man’s repeated queries about his sudden advance age), it turns out all the bizarre nether-world and mysterious realms we were teased with were just more examples of threats that Fury struck out against. I’m sorry, Nick Fury: Alien Assassin isn’t much of a story in itself. It’s a high concept retcon, but does it really add much to the Marvelverse? It makes everyone else look idiotic for never looking for the space sniper before. Or, to put it in Gamora’s dismissive words, “you all strike me as thoroughly incompetent!”
You guys have pretty much nailed it. As much as I understand Marvel’s business reasons to drag this thing out to eight issues, I find that stuff like this makes me wander away, and check out other stuff. It’s not good.
I honestly don’t know what to make of this issue. Fury brought everyone together to figure out who is going to replace him? His super serum is running low? The more Fury explains his situation and how he got there, the more confusing the situation becomes.
One last sidenote: pretty shameless work from Mike Deodato on Black Widow’s silhouette following the Fury LMD autopsy. It’s all in the ridiculous, sexualized pose: Natasha, I guess, is only identifiable by her breasts or her hips. It’s crude bodywork like this that is driving me away from this hobby.
Jamil: I’ll agree that Deodato’s contribution to this issue is not up to snuff with the previous one but I don’t really see the problem with the way Widow is drawn in the background of that single panel. I really fail to see how one curvy outline is that as gratuitous as you say. Deodato kind of draws everyone ultra-athletic.
Whatever the case I hope you can keep yourself interested as we’re now hitting the final stretch of Original Sin. We have a hiatus until the next issue drops in August and I’m hoping that these last couple issues are merely the calm before the Fury.
TIE-IN TIE UP!
Fantastic Four #7
(James Robinson / Leonard Kirk / Karl Kesel / Dean Haspiel)
Last issue’s most fun aspect, the modern world in the first part contrasting with a retro-flashback in the second half, is reversed this month. We begin in the middle of Ben, Johnny and Reed’s final attempt to make Ben human again. It fails horribly, and it seems like Johnny averts further disaster, though Ben is devastated. In fact, after Ben slinks away, he admits he may have (according to Reed, definitely likely did) caused the disaster by fooling with the pre-calibrated equipment before the attempt. Aside from how stupid this makes Johnny seem, Robinson compounds the problem by having Reed agree to keep quiet, since Ben is now stuck this way.
There’s no humor this month, despite Haspiel’s upbeat art. Then Kirk and Kesel return us to a very angry Ben, unwilling to forgive Johnny. The cover shows Sue in fated battle against the Avengers (trying to prevent her from entering the Baxter Building), which must have happened in some other book because all we hear this issue is that she’s “recovering.” That’s insult to injury, basically, for the FF fan this month.
And it gets worse, as Ben, still reeling from the Original Sin revelation, finds himself in even deeper water by coming to Alicia’s aid. He insists Alicia is the main reason he can’t forgive Johnny, because they could have been human and happy together all these years. Which makes little sense, as Alicia has always been perfectly happy with him whether human or not, sensing the kind man underneath the rocky hide. If Robinson is trying to make allusions to sexual performance and intimacy that Ben regrets, it’s just more muck-racking for Marvel’s first family. Anybody who read the first 100 issues of the FF in the 1960s (which, let’s face it, are all that matters; the greatest eras since — by Wolfman, Byrne, Simonson, etc. — are all restatements of that run) knows Ben got over himself a long time ago. The predicament he finds himself in at the issue’s end is rote storytelling 101. Also, I still hate the red suits.
Mighty Avengers #10
(Al Ewing / Greg Land)
When I first heard about the line up of the Mighty Avengers, saw the creative team and readl the controversy surrounding the debacle that was Monica Rambeu’s hair straightening, I was really reluctant to to buy this series.
I started with issue 10, a look into Adam the Blue Marvel’s reaction to the death of his best friend Uatu the Watcher. Adam feels all the anger and sadness of the event and the revenge he desires on those responsible. After a visit from the Watcher’s bride Ulana we learn of a different responsibility that Adam is tasked with. We also learn the fate of Blade, who was kidnapped by the deathwalkers last issue and is now is dire straits.
I generally enjoyed this issue and its tie-in to Original Sin. I enjoyed seeing the scope of Uatu and Adam’s friendship as demonstrated by what I believe is the ultimate homage to a dead friend. This issue was a great piece of storytelling and completely unexpected. Adam, for those who don’t know, is a superhero with anti-matter fueled powers, and as it turns out the babies in Ulana and Uatu’s race must be cultivated by the father using anti-matter. Blue Marvel is then made the godfather of his best friend’s child. The seeds leading up to the actual original sin in the Mighty Avengers aren’t as strong as those in the mainstay Avengers title but this more than made up for it.
Uncanny X-Men #23
(Brian Michael Bendis / Kris Anka)
Don’t believe the cover about Xavier’s last testament. The will is not even opened this issue. It’s fine as far as ongoing plots unfold from what I can tell (time for Dark Dazzler again I guess?), but as an Original Sin tie-in it’s a complete bait-and-switch. Wait for next month.