By Steve Morris
Punisher is angry with Dr Strange. Nothing new there, other than the reason for his anger – Dr Strange is suggesting that their mysterious boss is actually the one who committed all the murders they’ve been investigating so far. Punisher is so upset by the accusation that he points a gun at Strange’s head and seems ready to shoot him, even though he knows that’ll strand him in a hell dimension. Somebody really doesn’t like to be proven wrong!
Of course, they aren’t naming the boss, even though they both know who he is, because this is a mystery series. We still need to know who killed Uatu, who stole his other eye, why Bucky killed Nick Fury, and who this mysterious boss is: what’s the betting that all four of them might be the same answer? Hm. Strange convinces Frank that they need to go question their boss, so off they go stomp, clompetty clomp.
On the Moon, Bucky is wandering around without a breathing mask or anything, but apparently totally fine in the vaccuum of space. He’s still got Uatu’s eye and Fury’s head dangling off his utility belt, and apparently he’s using the head as some kind of bartering device. Nick’d be proud!
The underground team are heading back up to the Earth’s surface, and catch up on issues 1-3 of Original Sin while they’re killing time. Turns out Dr Midas has been up to something, oh no. Emma thinks Midas is the killer, because he’s rich and a man and she’s seen what rich men like to get up to. Black Panther, on the other hand, has actually already worked out what’s going on, and so he flies the ship off into space once they crack the surface.
Emma tries to read his mind, which doesn’t go well, duh. He’s happy to tell them what’s going on though – note to Emma, maybe just try asking next time – and what’s going on is that somebody just killed Nick Fury.
Not just killed him, but cut off his hand and his head. Wolverine is first on the scene, and immediately smells Bucky’s scent. Oh my. Of course, there’s a story in Wolverine’s past where Bucky killed one of Logan’s previously-unknown love interests, and Wolverine had to go out for revenge. That’s only a secret for the majority of people who read Wolverine: Origins though, so it probably wasn’t revealed when Uatu’s eye exploded.
Punisher and Strange show up and restrain – restrange? – Logan, before blowing Hulk out the building. Not cool. Punisher inspects the body and says they should take it with them wherever they go next, because he has a one track mind. Strange isn’t interested, for reasons most readers will have now guessed, and instead opens up his third eye. No not THAT third eye – his mind’s eye, where he sees that the Orb is sat in a jail cell just below them.
Orb babbles something random at them which implies he knows who the killer is and who their boss is. He also thinks he can track down the whereabouts of the eye using some kind of eye-sense he has. Look: just because you look like an eye doesn’t mean you have dominion over all the eyes, Orb. Looks like he’s joining the team, though.
Black Panther has also found out where they need to go – a space station floating round Earth, which is completely unregistered. They decide to pop on in to see what’s kicking off, where Emma is again unable to get any psychic readings. Not sure why you came along, really, Emma. She guesses that they’re being watched, and she’s right – Punisher and Strange are there. Punisher threatens to murder everyone, because that’s his thing.
The two groups quickly ascertain that they’ve been doing the same thing and working for the same person, as Orb steps in and introduces himself with “I talk to eyeballs”. Now there’s an icebreaker. Amongst a group of telepaths, magicians and trained assassins, Orb is the only one to notice that Bucky is also in the room, and clutching Nick Fury’s severed head.
Surprisingly, Punisher decides he wants to talk to the assassin wielding his mentor’s decapitated cranium, leading Bucky to say “I’m not afraid of a man who can’t protect his own children”. YIKES. That merited Punisher’s inclusion in the story just by itself! Bucky is about to explain himself when Gamora runs in and kicks him about, while Moon Knight runs in and… watches her kick Bucky about.
Rocket Raccoon is also there. It’s not that important that he is.
Emma takes out Gamora (!) so everyone can have a nice chat. Everybody responds by vaguely threatening one another, before Bucky sticks Fury’s head in the way of Gamora’s sword and reveals that – no shock – it’s an LMD. It’s always an LMD, people! That’s when we find out that Fury was the one who assembled these teams to begin with, and, you guessed it, this is all a Jeph Loeb story.
Nick Fury steps out to reveal that he’s still alive, and yes, he was the one who assembled them together to track down the murders through space and parallel worlds. Also, he’s about 90, resting on a walking stick, and flanked by a bunch of young-looking Nick Fury LMDs. Y’all got swerved by the best!
To Be Continued!
Original Sin #4
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.