By Steve Morris
Uatu, The Watcher, stands vigilant on the Moon, always ready in case something may happen hundreds of miles away on the Earth. At just the very instance of something terrible going on he’ll be there in a beam to, well, watch quietly and record the event for as-yet-unascertained reasons. Truly, a hero for the Instagram era.
Today things are different, however. Today he will be seeing only his own death, and as he sees it he turns and says “I see you” to his assailant. Then his moon base explodes. It’s so impressive it even makes a sound effect, which is physically impossible.
Over at Cebulski’s steak house, formerly a Teppanyaki restaurant with the same owner, Captain America, Wolverine, Black Widow and Nick Fury enjoy a steak together. Cap is struggling to finish his steak because he’s worried it’ll damage his figure, whilst Black Widow wishes she’s gone to help them hunt bears instead. Bear hunting is legal in America, but it still seems unfair for four Avengers to go up against one bear. Widow also then says some things which I’ll assume are a sex joke about Ursa Major.
They discuss the best steak they’ve ever had, and Fury says it was during the War, at Bastogne. Before we get to hear what’d likely be some horror story from Wolverine about gaining revenge on a cow which murdered a previously unknown love interest, Thor (Thor???) calls Cap to tell him about the explosion on the moon. Hopping into Nick Fury’s car, which flies in space, they drive on over to the closest floating celestial body. That’s a clever joke with a double-meaning what I just wrote.
Thor and Iron Man are already on the Moon. Thor worries that this may be the work of trolls, which immediately gets super-hacker Tony Stark on the defensive. He wants to hear both sides, because of course he does, his twitter account is probably unbearable. They stand around the dead body of Uatu, who has been shot in the head and his eyes torn out. This is absolutely the sort of thing Kirby and Lee were wanting to see depicted in their comics when they created him in the sixties.
Do you ever sit and picture the image of Stan Lee sadly typing the name of his various beloved characters into Wikipedia to see which one of them has been graphically murdered on-page next? Can you think of anything more upsetting?
The Avengers perform the most shambolic autopsy ever seen, perhaps wishing they’d brought Dr Strange on this mission. They eventually conclude that he’s dead, he’s been shot, and somebody has torn his eyes out. Give it five minutes and Captain America will exclaim “this must’ve happened on the Moon!” to nobody in particular. Iron Man eventually realises that the pressing danger is whatever was stolen from The Watcher’s vault, which they decide not to investigate at this time. Don’t want to do too much incisive investigating at once, I guess.
Fury says that the list of people who could’ve done this is very short, which sadly doesn’t lead to a reaction image from Logan. Fury is put in charge of the investigation, which seems the best idea they’ve had so far.
In Wakanda, somebody is recruiting Black Panther for a mission, which apparently leads to “the original sin”. T’Challa isn’t very interested in the mission until it’s describe as a “little mix” and T’Challa, I know that feeling. I’d do whatever I could to protect those four singers from being accused of celestial murders.
Also on the team are Scott Lang and Emma Frost, who have some surprisingly dull dialogue considering it’s near-impossible to write a boring Emma. The Punisher and Dr Strange are another team-up, which starts with Dr Strange not particularly condemning Castle straight-up torturing a guy because he “deserved it”. Strange teleports Punisher’s victim to a parallel world filled with giant beetles, so if in five years Beetleman shows up looking for revenge, now you know why. The final team are Winter Soldier, Moon Knight, and Gamora.
Fury and Cap discuss the murder scene again, having found – I say found, apparently Widow dug them out of Uatu’s head, ugh – some green bullet fragments. Brilliantly, Fury connects the dots as this being something to do with Hulk, so he decides they need to bring Bruce Banner in as an expert.
In New York, a Mindless One is in the middle of a fight with the Thing, but seems to be discovering sentience as it fights. Spider-Man swings in like Merriam Webster to explain what a Mindless One is, and the two heroes quickly realise that this monster is somehow telepathic and has an ultimate nullifer in their hand. It seems that he’s been to Uatu’s vault, stole something, and then got given accidental sentience just like those Russian chess computers in the 90s.
Depressed that it now knows the concept of sin, the Mindless One nullifies itself, taking out what seems to be half of New York at the same time. Luckily, that won’t be addressed again in the series, so you don’t have to feel too bad. Fury and Cap show up to declare this a crime scene – and here you were thinking they were done with acts of forensic genius for the day!
Black Panther, Emma Frost and Scott Lang journey to the centre of the Earth; Punisher and Strange teleport to a different dimension, and Gamora, Moon Knight and Winter Soldier… fly off. Meanwhile a bunch of Mindless Ones all seem to be developing sentience while two villains (one of whom blatantly appears to be Nitro) talk about the things they stole from Uatu. And as the issue ends, we find out that one of those things was one of Uatu’s eyes! Ugh.
To Be Continued!
Original Sin #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencilled by Mike Deodato Jr
Coloured by Frank Martin
Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos
Steve Morris runs this site! Having previously written for sites including The Beat, ComicsAlliance, CBR and The MNT, he can be found on Twitter here. He’s a bunny.