Original Sin #0
Writer: Mark Waid
Pencilers: Jim Cheung w/ Paco Medina
Inkers: Mark Morales w/ Guillermo Ortego, Dave Meikis, Juan Vlasco, & Jim Cheung
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Review by Joey Braccino
“WHO is the WATCHER?”
Indeed, who is that mystifying, be-robed fellow with the preternaturally rotund cranium—the one who often shows up during those events deemed just universe-shattering enough, who can only observe but, by some long-determined, incomprehensible vow, can never act to defend or influence the denizens of the Marvel Universe??? Who is the Uatu, the Watcher?
These questions are particularly pertinent given that Uatu the Watcher (and the expected conspiracy surrounding his demise) is at the center of this summer’s Marvel Event comic, Original Sin (by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato). In advance of that series, Marvel released Original Sin #0 this week as a refresher/introduction to Uatu as well as a bit of a revealing look into the Watcher mythos.
Nevertheless, Original Sin #0 is not a simple rehash of some old Avengers or Fantastic Four story; instead, writer Mark Waid tells a fresh, moving story of fathers and dreams featuring the new Nova (Sam Alexander) and a chillingly stoic Uatu. With this focus, Waid deftly converts what would otherwise be an exposition-heavy prologue story into a character-driven piece that connects two otherwise completely different figures in the Marvel Universe: Sam Alexander, one of the youngest, newest heroes on the block, and Uatu, a clouded figure steeped in legacy and thousands of years of history. The father-focus creates exactly the sort of intense drama that elevates and expands Sam’s background as well as grounds the otherwise distant and detached Uatu character. Waid also wisely chooses Nova as the reader-corollary here, whose first meeting with Uatu allows for all of the necessary introductions to occur naturally.
As I’ve written before, Jimmy Cheung is one of the best artists in the business. A longtime fan of his work on Young Avengers and other events like Avengers: Children’s Crusade and Infinity, I’ve always marveled at his intense realism and attention to detail. His action sequences are dynamic and seem to rocket off the page—the full-page spread of Sam battling Tomazooma is awesome. And yet, the real highlight of this issue is Sam’s tour of Uatu’s home. The quiet scenes are imbued with an eeriness, a serenity that anticipates the noirish concept of Aaron’s upcoming series. Uatu says but a couple of lines (and one is in flashback) in the entire issue, but each expression, each subtle facial tic is captured perfectly.
Buy. Mark Waid and Jimmy Cheung’s Original Sin #0 is no mere tie-in prologue. This is a brilliant Nova story, Watcher story, and father/son story done the classic Marvel way. And damn is it gorgeous. Check it!