Review: Original Sin #2 by Jason Aaron & Mike Deodato

Original Sin #2
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Mike Deodato
Colored by: Frank Martin
Lettered by: VC’s Chris Eliopoulos
Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

I actually wasn’t planning on reviewing this book this week.  Our EIC Grey was going to do this book, until I stumbled across this message in his Facebook feed:

Graham Scherl: Original Sin…..I’m seriously debating just walking away from the event now. That was…dumb? I want to say dumb. There are harsher words, but this is too public of a forum for them.

Mike Maillaro: Really?? I thought it was pretty cool…

Graham Scherl: Nothing happened and then the last page reveal made me face palm, you do the review!

Mike Maillaro: LOL! Okay, I can do it I am a **Spoiler** fan going way back, so I am just glad to see someone using him

Graham Scherl: I had literally never heard of **Spoiler** until after I pulled my face out of my hand.

So, while it might be more fun to have seen what damage Grey could have done, you guys are stuck with me on this one.

Summary (contains spoilers): Last issue, Uatu the Watcher was found dead on the moon. He was shot in the head, and someone seemed to have stolen his eyes. A varied group of heroes was brought together to investigate, including Ant Man (Scott Lang), Emma Frost, Black Panther, Gamora, Doctor Strange, Punisher.

Ant Man, Black Panther, and Emma’s investigations have led them to an underground cave full of Moloids. Every few months, someone drops a monster body down here and this has been going on for a long time.

Meanwhile, Nick Fury is working his own angle on the case with Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Man. Last issue, a Mindless One was rampaging in New York. It seemed to have some intelligence, until it finally killed itself using the Ultimate Nullifer, seemingly stolen when the Watcher was killed. The team is in hot pursuit of another Mindless One seeming to also have some intelligence.

Fury manages to subdue it by exploding his beloved flying car (which sadly was not named Lola). He is arranging to bring it to a vibranium cell back in Avengers Towers.

Punisher and Dr Strange are traveling through the “Realm of Man-Eating Shadows.” They find more dead monsters. Punisher fishes a massive green bullet out of it’s skull.

Back on Earth, it seems like the Mindless Ones are working for a mysterious villain who has one of the Watcher’s eyes. The presence of the eye is causing the Mindless Ones to “evolve” which is also happening to our mysterious villain and his allies.

The Avengers arrive at this villain’s base. We find out that the villains here are Exterminatrix (from Morrison’s Marvel Boy series), some other villains I didn’t recognize, and an old Ghost Rider villain from the 70’s named “The Orb.” The Orb is the one who stole the Watcher’s eye, and he has turned it into a bomb.

Review: Full disclosure: I love the quirky Ghost Rider stories from the 70’s, so seeing The Orb really brightened my day. That said, I can imagine if you don’t know the character (like my buddy Grey) the end of this issue might be kind of lackluster for you. It sort of reminds when Krona was revealed to be the big bad a few years ago in Green Lantern..a character who hasn’t shown up in decades and wasn’t all that relevant even when he was around.

Also, they seemed to have made a weird timing mistake here. In the “Marvel Infinite” story that came with Original Sin 2, we find out that “the eye exploded, imparting secrets of the Marvel Universe onto anyone within the blast range.”  The issue just ends with The Orb revealing he had the Eye and it was weaponized.  Not sure why they didn’t just have this happen in the main story itself. It seemed to happen between panels, which is damn anti-climatic.

I also think Original Sin suffers from NOT having a lot of crossover issues (that may be the only time you will ever read a review with that complaint). There were just a lot of characters doing a lot of things here, and some strong tie-in issues could have given them much more time to flesh out those scenes.

I love the idea of these quirky team-ups like Doctor Strange and the Punisher, but they basically got a page while the rest of the issue was taken up with a lengthy fight between Fury and a Mindless One…which basically felt like deja vu from the first issue with a different Mindless One.

You might think from these comments that I didn’t like this issue, but that actually wouldn’t be true. I thought the investigation of the murder was pretty interesting, and the issue had some great character moments like Banner commenting on Iron Man sitting around in his armor without pants. I also loved when Iron Man warned the villains:

I also loved seeing some more obscure and underused villains in a major role. I am a sucker for those types of stories.

Mike Deodato’s art is a perfect fit for this book. He created a real dark, gritty tone here, and I loved the details on the many dead “monsters” who showed up throughout this issue. The heroes all looked distinctive, even in the big action and crowd scenes.

Also, even if you don’t know or like the character, I thought that last panel with The Orb  just looked awesome.  Which isn’t easy to do when your main villain is wearing a fishbowl that looks like a huge eyeball.   Typically I prefer my superhero stories a little “cleaner” looking, but I don’t mind changing it up every now and then when it fits the tone of the story.

Even though I really enjoyed this issue, I totally can understand why it won’t appeal to everyone. The description of “not much happens” is not completely unfair, but for a noirish murder mystery story, the characters and tone are more important than outright action and moving the plot forward. I do think this issue could have been better if it was longer and had more time to tell all the different angles going on, but I still enjoyed what we got here.

Final Score: 8.0: Original Sin is not going to appeal to everyone, but I have been getting out of this series pretty much exactly what I expected. Aaron tells a compelling murder mystery, and Deodato’s art sets the tone perfectly.

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