by Jason Aaron (Writer), Mike Deodato (Penciler), Frank Martin (Color Artist).
The Story: Nick Fury comes out of retirement to solve the case of the Watcher’s murder.
The Review: Opening issues to event stories always seem quite difficult to pull off, there is always a hefty amount of set up to achieve and pieces put into play whilst still telling an entertaining story on a larger than normal canvas. Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato manage to achieve all of this and more in the first issue of Original Sin which has been marketed as a cosmic murder mystery, the issue feels very different to either the politics of Civil War or the paranoia of Secret Invasion which helps make the event feel fresh.
The writing in this issue feels a lot more character focused than in a lot of event books, with Nick Fury taking something of a starring role, cast as the ‘retired and tired gumshoe being dragged back for the case of the century’. The diner sequence in this issue is a great way to introduce readers to our protagonist as Nick Fury along with other old soldiers of the Marvel Universe attend their regular ‘meat night’. It’s a great way to show how the history between these characters continues to inform their interactions in the present and feels like a very natural conversation between a very natural grouping of characters.
The opening sequence is also incredibly cinematic, ably rendered by Mike Deodato who could not be more of a perfect fit for this Noir murder mystery tale, the book is appropriately dark and shadowy which helps to really sell the tone and mystery of the story. Deodato frames certain panels with such a striking use of shadow that it can’t help but leave an impression upon the reader; the panel revealing Stephen Strange and also the panel showing the Mindless Ones writing in a warehouse immediately come to mind as some of the best examples of the artist’s use of dramatic lighting to great effect in the issue.
Aside from the mystery of the Watcher’s killer there are multiple other mysteries at play in the issue, the most obvious is Fury’s investigation of ‘the unseen’, its unknown at this point who or what exactly the unseen is but this issue succeeds in building mystery and suspense around the answer. The second mystery at play is somewhat more subtle, on first reading it appears that Fury himself is responsible for recruiting the investigation team consisting of some delightfully oddball groupings, however the way the characters refer to their boss is curiously vague. The only time we see the person directing the teams efforts on panel he is of course draped in shadow, also he is shown to be holding a glowing green object much like the growing shrapnel that is later retrieved from the Watcher’s skull. At this point it’s too early to tell if it’s Fury, someone else or a red herring but it’s a very enjoyable feeling knowing that the creators are confident in the mystery of their story enough to play with the readers, even in the first issue.
This is a great first issue with artwork that not only serves to tell the story but accentuates it, this may feel like it could be Nick Fury senior’s last hurrah but if it is then I have every confidence that it’s going to be a good story for the character to go out on.
Stray Thoughts: As mentioned it is great to see more of a diverse group of characters being represented in this event as opposed to just the Avengers in general and the trio of Cap, Iron Man and Thor in particular. Hopefully this will be the trend moving forward.