Review: ORIGINAL SIN #0

ORIGINAL SIN #0
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Jim Cheung, Paco Medina
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 23, 2014

ORIGSIN2014000_DC11_LRMark Waid and Jim Cheung team up for this issue of Nova…er…Original Sin warmup issue that does an adequate job of catching readers up on the events of Nova, but does it fire up readers for the upcoming event?

Maybe? Mark Waid writes young Nova well, as he did in the Avengers Vs. X-Men Infinite prequel comic, expanding the relationship young Sam and the Watcher have had, while providing some back story about who Uatu is. This is all well and good, and this story isn’t told poorly, but it does very little to fire readers up about picking up Original Sin #0. There is a mild reference to a coming threat, and it is obvious Uatu is powerful, but moreso than priming this major event in the Marvel Universe, this comic feels like closure for Nova and his relationship with the Watcher. For readers who haven’t read Nova, this may act as a nice gateway to that series, but for people who aren’t interested in Nova and are looking for Original Sin context, this comic offers very little. Some of the Watcher’s origin is told, and that information may be relevant down the line, but for the purposes of this comic, the telling of this origin feels very forced. Waid’s dialogue is fine, though the events of the issue are quite predictable and readers who don’t dig teen heroes will be driven a bit nuts by Sam. Based on the promotional material for Original Sin that has been released by Marvel thus far, the tone of this prequel seems off. Nova, by nature, is a light title with a lot of surface humour that does not fit the tone of the material we’ve seen for Original Sin so far. This causes the entire story to feel off, and makes me wonder why this wasn’t simply billed as an Original Sin tie-in issue of Nova rather than a comic that is meant to prime readers for the upcoming event. Readers looking for background on who the Watcher is are better served hitting the ‘net and saving themselves a few bucks, as this issue really does nothing more than scratch the surface of who this character is in the Marvel U. As a tie-in, it isn’t a bad story. As a primer for a major summer event, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Jim Cheung has become Marvel’s go-to heavyweight for starting off events with a bang, and while his style is fantastic and there really hasn’t been a bad Jim Cheung page in several years, this issue does not feature his best work to date. His issues of Infinity were jaw dropping and electric, but Original Sin #0 is missing the ‘wow’ factor. The artwork is not poor, don’t get me wrong, but the subject material seemingly hamstrings Cheung from really letting loose. His cast is small, with several giant dudes with bald heads, and that doesn’t make for the most dynamic issue. His work is consistent and high quality, but it doesn’t ever hit the mind blowing levels we see from Cheung so often. His work alone can’t save the issue as a whole and make it relevant to readers. The colour work from Justin Ponsor is solid and gives some talking head panels some life throughout the issue.

Original Sin #0 is a solid Nova comic, but I don’t feel it fills much of a purpose as a prequel to Original Sin #1. Nova readers will enjoy seeing Uatu and Sam hanging out again, but that’s about all this comic accomplishes. I’m not craving the first issue of Original Sin any more than when I started reading issue #0, and that is a big miss for Marvel as the door was wide open to get readers revved up for their big event of the summer.

The Verdict: 6.0/10

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