“Original Sin” #0, written by Mark Waid with art from Jim Cheung, Paco Medina and a quartet of inkers, opens up the heretofore-secret origin of Uatu, the Watcher. Waid uses Sam Alexander, the current Nova, as the point of view character to introduce readers to a handful of Marvel characters, including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Uatu and Tomazooma (who is really just cannon fodder to give Nova someone to punch, but leave it to Waid to reach back into Marvel’s history and to have fun doing it).
Waid provides readers with exactly enough information to bring them up to speed regarding Sam Alexander before turning “Original Sin” #0’s focus on the Watcher, his history and his secrets. The lead-up to this event has promised readers secrets aplenty, and this issue starts that train rolling by presenting the origin of Uatu’s vow of passivity, but also throws a splash-page-sized surprise at readers. Waid easily finds Nova’s voice and makes the character instantly relatable and thoroughly enjoyable.
Cheung’s art is standard-issue bedrock seasoned comic book readers have come to expect from the artist. While Paco Medina shares the penciling credit on “Original Sin” #0, it is worth noting that inkers Mark Morales, Guillermo Ortego, Dave Meikis and Juan Vlasco mask the variance between the two styles. Justin Ponsor’s colors add a magnificent sheen, rounding out the visual spectacle and setting the pages up nicely for Chris Eliopoulos’ crisp, clean and well-placed letters. “Original Sin” #0 has its fair share of jaw-dropping moments and the collective art crew delivers on the visual front. From the multiverse fissures to the Ultimate Nullifier to the look of amusement on Uatu’s face when he accepts Sam’s gift, this issue offers a solidly packed collection of wonderfully drawn images and top-notch storytelling.
While the focus on Uatu and his growing relationship with Nova might not be the most significant lead-in to a massive crossover event, “Original Sin” #0 is a wonderfully revealing story that throws open the history of the Marvel Universe for new readers. The issue has plenty for readers to study, interpret and, quite simply and most preferably, enjoy. Waid has crafted a fun story with legitimate ramifications, but it doesn’t forget to provide readers with fun and amusement along the way. Cheung and Medina pick up on that note and really do a great job making this a comic book I’ll be reading again, soon.