By Jorge Solis
A spell-binding murder mystery, “Original Sin” #1 delivers a knockout first installment filled with suspense, action, and thrills. For months, readers have been teased about the murder of The Watcher and now it’s finally here. Dark in tone and with a cool title to boot, “Original Sin” is a clever concept of throwing superheroes into a suspenseful thriller.
The Watcher’s cosmic duty is to bear witness to earth’s evolution and never get involved at all. As he gazes upon the stars and planets, The Watcher has seen everything, including his own death. He accepts his death with a sigh and awaits his doom. When the superheroes of the Marvel Universe arrive at the crime site, they all see The Watcher lying dead, with his eyes gouged out. Someone wanted The Watcher to die in a painful and brutal way. While everyone is playing detective, there is a killer on the loose across the universe.
Writer Jason Aaron has captured a gritty and moody murder mystery filled with memorable characters and exciting moments. Aaron keeps the conversation running smoothly amongst a group of characters. Though difficult in the hands of a lesser writer, Aaron knows how to give each character their own voice and allow their personality to shine. My favorite amongst the team-ups is The Punisher and Doctor Strange. This odd couple brings in the dark humor as the Punisher and Strange play good/bad cop as they interrogate a suspect.
Aaron keeps a serious tone in the dark narrative as the Marvel superheroes find themselves starring in an Agatha Christie-like mystery. Everyone wants to play the role of detective but no one really has the stomach to ask the tough questions. Nick Fury even reminds Captain America that their investigation will lead to dark places. The Watcher saw and knew everything, including everybody’s dirty little secrets.
Artist Mike Deodato delivers the tragic death of The Watcher with a heart-breaking blow. In the opening pages, the Watcher is staring at the stars in awe of its beauty. Deodato keeps the camera tight on the Watcher’s face as he grimaces, knowing that beauty is just a fleeting moment. In an epic two-pager, we see the eyeless Watcher lying dead, with his arms stretched out and legs bent.
I particularly loved the way how Deodato placed the camera on the crime scene as the superheroes gathered round the dead body. We have seen this shot many times in cop movies and Deodato’s illustrations imitate that police procedural aspect. With the camera kept at a low angle, Captain America and Wolverine seem larger than life as they analyze the crime scene, searching for clues like real detectives.
Kicking off to a great start, “Original Sin” #1 sets the stage for a riveting thriller. There’s just something cool about The Punisher, Wolverine, and Captain America playing detectives in a murder myserty.