Team-Up Review: 'Original Sin' #7: The weirdness is back
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Jamil Scalese: 2.5 stars

Shawn Hill: 3 stars

Kevin Reilly: 3.5 stars

Shawn Hill: Well, the weirdness is back, so I guess that’s a good thing? Whenever The Orb is talking, Aaron is delivering us straight to the creepy asylum. The poor Mindless Ones are still begging for mindlessness, and Midas and Exterminatrix are still up to trouble. But why is that bunch of misfits so much more compelling than our divided groups of heroes? Their bickering is growing tiresome.

Jamil Scalese: The series remains weird, but it’s a stale kind of weird.

Even with copious amounts of action issue #7 pretty much meanders as the concentration turns to the A-listers fighting off the renegade and even more curmudgeon-y Nick Fury as those glorious B-listers are relegated to a few measy pages. It’s disappointing that the best part of the event have stood around for three issues in distrustful angst. We even get a flashback to the attack on Watcher’s home and it still feels like we’re spinning wheels in zero gravity. There are neat little moments and exchanges embedded in this issue, but it’s a head scratcher as a whole.

Kevin Reilly:  Things are slowly but surely beginning to fall into place as Jason Aaron continues to spin the wheels of the narrative. I’m completely with you guys on almost everything, but it was kind of nice to see the night of the murder get some sort of clarification, and I’ve missed Spidey actually cracking funny jokes. Also cool was having Fury tell Thor (I’m assuming) that he was no longer worthy to wield the hammer; enter Lady Thor in September.

But again, here we are, still in the second act of this event (though there’s only one ‘main-line’ issue to go) and there’s no real momentum to the story. It makes it hard to write about, and even more difficult to care about. It recalls another super-long crossover, Avengers vs. X-Men (though that was an extreme), one which had very little aim and even less structure. Yeah, I suppose that we’re learning piece by piece of the last night of the Watcher’s life, and the action scenes are great. But it isn’t going anywhere. That lack of momentum creates fatigue and simply put, I am exhausted of Original Sin.

Jamil: What’s tough for me is this idea that Fury has done something so irredeemable he needs to fight the entire Marvel catalogue to justify it. Given what we’ve seen so far I’m not sure what the big hoopla is about. There are three or four different yet-to-be answered questions  that will would help clear things up tremendously. First, WTF is the Unseen? Second, what exactly happened to the Watcher? Third, what’s Fury’s true crime, that is, why is he so desolate and without hope that the heroes, some of which he’s worked with for decades, won’t understand his duties as “The Man at the Wall”? Fourth, how are things going to shake out for Midas, his daughter and the breakout star of Original Sin, The Orb.

I have good amount of faith Jason Aaron will answer these questions, at least in part, but the problem is I’m having a real hard time judging the quality of the last few issues because they’ve been so goddamn coy about the central questions and ideas that serve as the impetus for the series. What happened to the Watcher?!! That’s all I want to know.

Art-wise, it was an OK issue. It’s heavy on the action, and that action takes place in Earth’s orbit, so the fighting is crazy impractical looking. There are a few a places where I had to really squint to get the full picture.


Fantastic Four #8

(Robinson / Kirk / Hanna)

2.5 stars

Well, at least we finally see the epic battle Robinson avoided in the last two issues, between Sue and all of the Avengers on the doorstep of the Baxter Building. It’s somewhat abortive (and characterized as Sue going mental because of “the children,” which is annoying), but she gets in a few good licks on Thor, Cage, Spider-Woman and Clint, giving a hint of how she’s sort of a Jean Grey/Green Lantern hybrid of invisible force, before calming down. Which she does due to the interesting intervention of the Original Human Torch, who promises her he will personally protect her Future Foundation charges.

Then Robinson reveals the new status quo for the title, which is a divisive period on three not very original fronts: evil rich mad scientist, super-prison, and American idol wannabees. While it’s nice that there’s such a clear plan, Reed and Sue at least seem to accept their reduced status with too much aplomb.

- Shawn Hill

Uncanny X-Men #24

(Bendis / Anka)

3 stars

The crossover isn’t derailing Bendis’ plans, as he’s keeping the focus on the tensions between Team Slim and Team Logan. She-Hulk seems ridiculously out of the loop, but she’s all business as she reveals some (ahem) secrets about Charles’ will. Everyone suspects he’s left the Jean Grey School to Scott, even Scott, who doesn’t want it. But it’s not that simple. Because it may actually be owned by his WIFE, whose name is MYSTIQUE? Why the face? I bet CYKE didn’t see that PSYCHE coming!

Anka’s art is perfectly charming, especially in efficient page composition and panel placement, but elsewhere Bendis is continuing his ‘mutants as accidental evils’ kick, which I had enough of in the Ultimate reality.  Bendis gets in a modicum of witty repartee (especially from Kitty and Illyana), but apparently holo-Xavier has even worse secrets to tell next month. Yeah, like you can top Mrs. Raven Xavier?

- Shawn Hill

Deadpool  #29-33

(Duggan / Posehn / Lucas / Staples)

2.5 stars

I reviewed the first issue of this tie-in back in the Original Sin #3 review and I was pretty unimpressed.

Not much has changed. Even though most have really enjoyed this current run on Deadpool I'm still not totally satisfied with what writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn are doing. The attempt to legitimize Deadpool with more serious, dramatic storylines is commendable but also a well-meaning misstep.

I can get drama from any number of other Marvel titles, I read Deadpool for the humor and eccentrism. The Original Sin tie-in issues have concentrated on Deadpool's marriage and young daughter (separate subplots, as the wife is not related to the kid) and it’s resulted in a burdensome slog that's detached me from the reading experience.

The half of the plot dealing with Shiklah’s war with Dracula is already stale, partly because Deadpool has the done the vampire thing ,not on in the recent digital-first series Dracula's Gauntlet but also in Daniel Way's run during the “Curse of the Mutants” crossover. Inserting the '80s version of Dazzler into the mix is kind of clever on some level but it never manages to shake the hokey undertone. Shiklah is merely background noise in this story, and I'm wondering why the Deadpool marriage even happened if this is the follow-up.

The other side of this arc centers on Ellie, the daughter Wade raised by the brother of one of a recently revealed antagonist . I'm having trouble caring about Ellie, which is probably a result of my cold, blackened heart, but I also I have difficulty understanding what fatherhood adds to Deadpool's character/mythology and how exactly the narrative is strengthened by this development.

The art is the real fallacy on this book. After a string of top-notch talent, some of the best art teams Deadpool has ever seen, the pencils by John Lucas are just merely adequate. His style is reminiscent of the hectic and overly animated look the book had during the Way run, a platter of wild linework. Lucas does very well in the areas where this series requires bloody and fervent action but in the moments where it slows down, and the quality hinges on emotional storytelling, it is off putting and unsuccessful.

Issue #33 is the best of the bunch as it’s stocked with neat guest stars and fantastic violence (the climax involving a fight between Deadpool and Flag-Smasher that is appropriately anti-climatic). It's a redeemer of sorts, although I'll admit I'm starting to get a tad annoyed with the supporting cast, especially SHIELD Agents Preston and Adsit, who are as thin as the paper they're printed on.

Since the finale to this arc, a '90s throwback issue drawn by Scott Koblish, doesn't come out until the September 10th Wade's "original sin" hasn't even been addressed yet. I'm eager to read it as it's the only true thread from Marvel's summer event to this title.

- Jamil Scalese