Thursday, May 8, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Original Sin #1
I was never a big Sherlock Holmes fan. If I wanted to read a story about a coked out eccentric genius, I watch old stand-up from Robin Williams. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a good mystery. I’m just not a fan of having to think too damn much whenever I read a story. That means having to read parts of it sober and that’s a big problem for me. That said, if the story is intriguing enough, I’m willing to sober up to a point. So when I heard about the premise for Original Sin, which Marvel is billing as their big summer blockbuster, I was actually interested without having to be too drunk. That alone says a lot. The idea of everybody’s dirty secrets being exposed gives me a feeling I haven’t felt since Jerry Springer was still on the air. We already know that many heroes of the Marvel universe tend to be assholes. But that’s just the shit they got caught with. What kind of shit have they done behind closed doors when they’re not jerking off to internet porn? I am completely interested in that so I’m ready to give Original Sin #1 a chance. But if these deep dark secrets just involve Iron Man building big fucking guns to solve his problems, I’m done.
Nobody who has a standard internet connection should be shocked by the first big bang of this event. We see Uatu the Watcher doing what he does best, watching and trying to ignore the deranged porn habits of certain individuals. Then he takes a quick peak into all the alternate timelines that lead to so many fucked up What If issues, most of which have sucked lately. But he finds out that he’s no longer in any of these timelines. That means he knows what was already spoiled when this event was announced. His watching days are over. I imagine at least part of him is relieved he won’t have to watch any more Japanese anime porn. This alone would have been a pretty unspectacular beginning, but those who read Original Sin #0 will get a bit more out of it. So while this is the actual beginning of the issue, it’s Original Sin #0 that gives readers a reason to give a damn that the Watcher is dead.
Things get a little less morbid, except for PETA fans, when we catch up with some of the Avengers. Wolverine, Captain America, Black Widow, and Nick Fury (the David Hasselhoff version, not the Samuel L. Jackson version) are enjoying a nice steak dinner at a diner. It seems innocuous and it is, but only for those who don’t appreciate a damn good steak, which include mostly hippies and communists. It then turns into a discussion about the best steak they ever had and Nick “Hallselhoff” Fury, reminds Cap of his best steak when he couldn’t recall. Naturally, it was during World War II and involved stealing a cow from the Nazis and then gorging on every part of it they could. Because everything tastes better when it’s stolen from Nazis.
It seems like a pointless extra that only keeps them from finding out about the Watcher. I honestly don’t see much meaning in it either, aside from making me hungry as hell for a good steak. But I can see some merit to the story. Like Original Sin #0, it’s one of those stories meant to add a little emotional weight to certain characters. It provides insight into who they are so that it’s harder not to give a shit about them. And for an event built on secret sins, that’s kind of a big fucking deal.
Sadly, they don’t get to stick around for desert. They get a call from Thor, who urges them to get to the Moon as soon as possible. That’s actually not too unreasonable a request because apparently Fury has an awesome flying car that can get to the Moon. I imagine Buzz Aldren is banging his head against the wall somewhere. But when they get to the Moon, the see what readers have already seen from endless teasers and spoilers. The Watcher is dead and his eyes have been gouged out. I imagine it couldn’t be more disturbing without checking to see if someone skull fucked him.
Again, this is a scene that works best for those who read Original Sin #0. It was already spoiled that someone was going to kill the Watcher. That’s not the appeal of the story here. It’s like the opening scene of CSI: SVU. Everybody knows some horrible, bloody shit is about to happen. The story is finding out who and what caused said horrible, bloody shit. And for someone to catch the fucking Watcher off-guard long enough to kill him and gouge his eyes out, they must be more well-equipped than a transvestite hooker at a Lady Gaga concert. The Avengers understand this and Captain America convinces Hasselhoff Fury to stick around and lead the investigation. He warns them that it may take them to the kind of disturbing places that even transvestite hookers dare not venture, but he accepts the challenge.
With a messy crime scene and plenty of detective work ahead of them, the news of the crime spreads and other Avengers get involved. One of them is Black Panther, who is talking to someone who has a very fucked up way of complimenting him and I don’t mean in the Donald Sterling sort of way. He’s told he can go places that the Avengers would rather not go and it’s not just Wolverine’s underwear drawer or Thor’s bathroom. He’s now supposed to put together a team that can go to these places and hopefully uncover more information about who could have killed the Watcher. I’m all for Black Panther becoming involved in a way that doesn’t result in a badly contrived marriage to Storm. But whoever he’s talking to, and it’s not clear who it is, gives the impression he’s going to find something that’s really going to piss him off. Since he’s the king of a country that got ransacked by Namor not long ago, he’s got a pretty short fuse and that might be the point.
That team of his quickly comes together and involves characters who have had as much interaction as I’ve had with the Prime Minister of Australia. This includes Ant Man, aka the asshole who is somehow getting his own movie before Wonder Woman, and Emma Frost, who is supposed to be a fugitive with broken mutant powers. That fugitive status isn’t glossed over. Emma Frost does make it clear that she doesn’t care to give too many details about the location of the New Xavier School. Never-the-less, she’s somehow okay with being on a team that will have to travel to the center of the Earth in a ship that looks like a giant dildo. I guess in that context, I can see why Emma would be okay with it.
Other major characters who don’t usually rub shoulders with the Avengers get involved as well, albeit not as directly as Black Panther. This includes Dr. Strange and the Punisher, who seem about as likely a partnership between Vladimir Putin and the Dali Lama. But unlike Black Panther, they don’t seem to get the memo that somebody just killed the Watcher. They’re just busy interrogating some faceless asshole about something that might involve an assassination attempt on David Copperfield. That’s the only reason I could think of as to why these two would team up. They don’t really get along and not much comes of it. I want to assume there’s a reason they’re shown here, but the last time I made an assumption that blatant I ended up paying the wrong bar tab. And I’m not reliving that awkwardness again.
The appearance of other characters like Moon Knight, Winter Soldier, and Gamora make much more sense. These are characters that are in the loop with the Avengers. Gamora is a bit of a newcomer who doesn’t usually help out the Avengers, but at least her appearance makes more sense. If they’re going to figure out how somebody could kill the fucking Watcher, they might as well enlist the help of a woman who is the Peyton Manning of tough kills in the Marvel Universe. That and I can’t see how adding a hot green skinned alien woman can’t make any story more awesome.
As these characters are getting involved in a reasonably coherent manner that most stoners can follow, the investigation continues on the Moon. More CSI style detective work follows. Black Widow manages to dig some bullet fragments out of Uatu’s head. How she managed that without throwing up defies human biology, but then again I imagine that Russian super-spies have strong stomachs. They also happen to be glowing green. And usually when shit glows green in the Marvel universe, Hulk is either smashing it or is planning to smash it. So that’s a telling clue and a bad sign for anything that’s smashable.
While the investigation is light on action, it is nicely detailed. Hasselhoff Fury and the Avengers don’t just go running around, looking for the killer. They actually do some real fucking detective work. They consider the relatively short list of people who knew the Watcher even existed and who had the means to put a glowing green bullet in his head. That definitely narrows it down. There’s really nothing they do that Batman himself wouldn’t do and while it might not be as destructive as the Avengers fighting the X-men, it does help add depth to the story.
That’s not to say there isn’t some heavy action involved. In fact, there’s action that involves the fucking Ultimate Nullifier, which is right up there with the Phoenix Force in terms of destructive potential. As this murder mystery is unfolding, the Not-So-Superior Spider-Man teams up with the Everloving Thing to take on a renegade Mindless One. It’s a pretty typical battle. The Mindless Ones are usually only a few levels below a Sentinel or a Doombot. But this time, it’s not as easy as just throwing the Hulk at it.
During the battle with Spider-Man and Thing, the Mindless One starts rambling incoherently. This wouldn’t be a big deal for most underrated minions, but the Mindless Ones are supposed to be fucking mindless. That means it shouldn’t talk. Yet when it talks here, it’s more deranged than a 13-year-old boy that just saw his grandmother in a gangbang porno. It claims it now knows something and knowing is pain. Makes me wonder if this is what creationists feel every time they go to a museum.
Apparently, knowing is so painful that this thing is willing to use the Ultimate Nullfier to make it so it doesn’t have to know. Now I have no idea how the fuck the Ultimate Nullifer could end up in the hands of the Mindless One. That’s like a brain damaged orangutan getting their hands on a thermonuclear bomb. It’s the first part of this issue that feels like one of those fucked up details that was just added in to prop up the destruction. It still works. The Ultimate Nullifer blows up the Mindless One before it can reveal what it knows. Cap and Fury arrive too late to talk it down too. So whatever it knew it can’t reveal. Guess that means their first suspect is a bust.
So the Avengers have hit their first dead end. They’ve done as much as Batman can do without banging Catwoman, analyzing the crime scene and investigating possible suspects. So far, they’ve already had a setback. Batman probably would have found a way around such a setback, but that’s because he’s the goddamn Batman. That’s not to say the Avengers still aren’t every bit as equipped. There’s a nice little montage of all the various teams getting to work, exploring the mystery. Some of their roles still aren’t clear, namely Dr. Strange and the Punisher. But these are some pretty big pieces and some pretty heavy hitters. So whoever killed the Watcher better have a pretty heavy set of balls.
Speaking of the killer, we do get a shadowy glimpse of him. It’s hard to tell who it is, but they’re definitely feeling pretty good about themselves. They just killed the fucking Watcher and took his eyes out. That’s the kind of shit that gives Dick Cheney a boner. Now having his eyes has somehow affected the Mindless Ones. The one that nullified itself was just the first and probably the luckiest. It’s not like a Scooby Doo rerun where we only see a guy in a monster costume. This is just someone in the shadows who could be either a Dr. Doom wannabe or something entirely fucked up. Right now, I’m going to guess it’s a combination of the two.
So the Watcher is dead and Marvel’s latest ball-busting, panty-soaking event is underway. Unlike previous events, this one didn’t hit the ground running. The Watcher got killed and the rest of the issue involved how everyone reacted to it. Aside from a war story about an awesome steak dinner, there wasn’t much else that happened. That said, someone killed the fucking Watcher. That in and of itself is a pretty big deal. The full consequences aren’t known and they sure as hell weren’t going to be revealed in the first issue. But like a CSI rerun, the investigation began. Some parts were a little choppy, but they were all relatively concise and offered plenty of incentive to read the next issue. Nobody is going to be on the edge of their seat without the aid of some really good blow when reading this issue, but plenty will be intrigued. That’s why I give Original Sin #1 a 7 out of 10. So now someone has access to every dirty secret in the Marvel universe, including the sounds Hulk makes on the toilet and Tony Stark’s porno stash. The potential horror cannot be understated. And unlike tabloids or special reports from Fox News, this shit could actually matter. Nuff said!