by David Nieves
Original Sin #5
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colors: Frank Martin
Cover; Julian Totino Tedesco
Universe spanning events for the big two publishers have always started with the same crutch. They’ll always be compared to what came before them, so far Marvel’s latest extravaganza, Original Sin, has managed to be better than some of the more recent event books in their line. Where Hickman’s Infinity was over complex and hard to follow at times, Aaron’s Original Sin has favored a lean well-paced whodunitmurder mystery that keeps the audience engaged with conspiracy theory. This week’s fifth chapter slows down the event to take a look the Marvel Universe timeline through the lens of the real Nick Fury.
After the twist and turns of issues 3&4, number five steps out of the event’s trajectory to examine just where the real Nick Fury has been in the Marvel U and his true importance to some of its characters. Aaron tells the details of Fury’s secret history; the audience gets to finally know how he came to be Earth’s secret protector and where his true funding comes from. Original Sin 5 polarizes his character from taking on terrestrial Hydra nuisances as S.H.I.E.L.D director to his galactic wetwork obliterating potential planetary threats. One latent effect of the issue and potentially the series is Howard Stark. Whether or not the end of this series “changes everything we know”, the Marvel Universe can further explore Howard Stark’s importance because like a Stan Lee cameo, apparently he’s been in just about everything.
As I said, issue five slows down the narrative of Original Sin. In fact, the issue all but acts as an interlude to the overall murder mystery of the series. Jason Aaron puts real emotional weight on the burden Fury has had to bear all these years, it’s so well executed you may not even care that the overarching story doesn’t move forward at all. He delivers handfuls of grizzled moments, like assassinating aliens from a nearby asteroid, to making the gut instinct decisions that have made Fury the ultimate military strategist all these years. There’s a moment where one of Fury’s decisions could have altered the course of the entire Marvel U that would make a killer “What If” issue down the line.
Mike Deodato and Frank Martin have had a roller coaster ride on the art duties for the series. Their strengths have shinned when the action ramps up. Space fights, battles among characters like the Punisher & Doctor Strange against Hulk & Wolverine have been mesmerizing to look at. Where the art has stumbled, at times, is during the heavy dialogue scenes. Issue five remedies that in a smart way. Having a chapter of your story that relies heavily on characters talking to one another for long periods of time is probably an artist worst nightmare. Here the shadows and low angles between Stark and Fury capture the feel of shadow ops espionage. These subtle touches work well to keep a reader’s interest for longer periods of time. Deodato brings us out of any lulls just before we reach our limit with eye-popping assassination accounts narrated by Nick Fury. Martin’s contrasting color pallet choices can be a bit distracting at times. For a sequence that’s suppose to have taken place a long time ago, the cool tones are a bit too vibrant; but it does nothing to hinder the enjoyment of the action.
Objectively, Original Sin 5 could easily be skipped, because it doesn’t answer questions or impose new ones in the mystery. A reader trying to save a few bucks could simply jump into issue six and not have missed a beat from this chapter. However, completionists and those who enjoy their Marvel history will be rewarded by all the conspiracy to be found in this issue; if that’s you then by all means pick this one up. I for one can’t wait to get back to The Punisher and Rocket Raccoon comparing guns.
Find David on twitter where he complains about things between naps.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.