Despite a bit of a slow start, Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato seem to have finally gotten into a good rhythm with their first event series together, and they’ve been bringing the goods for the last couple issues. As with any event story spanning so many characters and attitudes and egos and teams and situations, Original Sin has had a lot on its plate but the story has been moving forward pretty smoothly and with a bi-monthly schedule, it really seems to be moving its best foot forward. And of course there was that totally freaky cliffhanger ending to Original Sin #3.
Picking up from where the last issue left off, we see the mysteries behind the Watcher Uatu’s death deepen as many of the storylines finally converge together and we see what the fringe groups of heroes, those brought together by a mysterious patron, have discovered between themselves, and the conclusion sure isn’t pretty. Jason is definitely hitting his stride with this series and he proves in this issue that he can manage all these different characters quite well. Of course, it wouldn’t be the same without the contributions of the artists either, who all do a stellar job here once again.
First off, I have no idea what that central object is in the cover, but Julian Totino Tedesco sure seems have to have captured these four characters quite brilliantly. The entire composition is pretty much perfect, and having the seemingly traitorous Bucky Barnes and his shadow at the top really seems to be a thematic suggestion, and a hint as to what you can find inside the pages of Original Sin #4. Really well done, I must say.
With Bucky having killed and beheaded Nick Fury at the end of last issue, we see how that impacts the different shadow teams of superheroes, and the realisations that they come to with respect to the particular mysteries that they are investigating. For Black Panther, Ant-Man and Emma Frost, their search leads them from the bowels of the Earth to a mysterious satellite in space. For Dr. Strange and Punisher, their search leads from one of the many metaphysical planes to that self-same satellite. And before long we have Gamora and Moon Knight make their own entrance, even as Winter Soldier makes his.
We don’t get to see any of the “main” superheroes this time around, and that was certainly something that I missed, although not something that I dwelled on overmuch since I was far too engrossed in the unfolding web of lies and secrets that can be found within these pages. And in the middle of all of this is the clinically insane villain The Orb, who is pretty much spouting gibbering now and is totally freaky every panel and page that he is in. Honestly, he scares the crap out of me with his nonsense, because you can’t ever be sure just what the hell he is doing in the middle of all this and what he had to do with the murder of Uatu.
For all that the core story itself is excellent here, Jason’s character moments are also spectacular. Something like that would be easy to overlook in a book with a cast the size of this one, but Jason manages them all rather expertly and he lets them all shine, whether through their actions and reactions or their postures and body language. He definitely nails the voices for Dr. Strange and the Punisher especially, and seems to do the same for Emma Frost and Gamora and Black Panther as well, so that was great in itself.
Mike Deodato’s art has improved a fair bit since the first issue and it is pretty good here in the new issue as well. If there’s one stumbling block however, it is that sometimes the locales don’t seem to match the story of the panel per se, or some details are missing, or some of the action is unclear. But you look past that and you see just how well he works with colourist Frank Martin to deliver a fairly well put-together issue. And the colours here are excellent, just as the pencils and inks are.
If this is how Original Sin is going to continue on, then I think that it will definitely be a fair bit better than Infinity as well!