In 2014, Marvel Comics underwent an event titled Original Sin, which began with the murder of Uatu, The Watcher, and shook the very foundations of the Marvel Universe with revelations, betrayals and even interdimensional intrigue. Not only did the storyline change the landscape for the heroes within, it opened the door for countless exciting plot threads. In a similar vein, Original Sin could be brought to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to unite some heroes, retire others and establish plots for future phases.
The event was unique in that it initially brought together heroes from all corners of the Marvel Universe, seemingly mismatched and nonsensical in their groupings. However, by the culmination of the event, the reasons for this would be made clear and the villain of the proceedings was shocking, yet highly appropriate.
Given the current environment established by Disney for the Marvel Cinematic Universe following the D23 Expo, the stage is set for a potential reckoning in the future, an Original Sin arc for the silver screen. Would it be beneficial to the MCU? Could it be done with the current roster of characters on show? Let’s examine!
One of the most interesting aspects of the Original Sin story is the characters it brought together. A veritable patchwork of heroes from all walks of life found themselves in small groups, part of a larger plot. While some of these heroes may have met before, they weren’t necessarily acclimated to working with one another. The Punisher ended up investigating otherworldly monster slayings with Doctor Strange, Black Panther teamed with Ant-Man and Emma Frost to follow another thread deep below the Earth and, while these teams and others seemed odd, they all fit their missions perfectly.
The entire event, team composition and background workings, stunk of orchestration. On top of the mystery of who murdered Uatu, there was the mystery of who brought all these heroes together. It turned out that Nick Fury was the mastermind behind the whole thing, which explains how he was able to bring together the exact heroes he needed for each mission. With Fury’s extensive knowledge of the heroes, he became the mastermind and their greatest obstacle.
It would be revealed that Nick had seemingly lost his way while protecting the Earth from all manner of crises. He would come to deal with threats from other dimensions, outer space and from humanity itself. Fury took up the fabled title of “The Man on the Wall,” the sentinel in the shadows who was the line between order and chaos for humanity. He also revealed that the infinity formula that kept him young for all these years was depleted and wearing off, and that his gathering of heroes and complex plot was devised to test all the heroes present, to find the next “Man on the Wall.”
What does this mean for the MCU? Well, if adapted, Original Sin could be an all-encompassing crossover in which all characters from movies and series, genres and teams could be brought together. As in the comic version of the story, each of the characters would have purpose and a place within the plot. It would also serve to bring some characters' stories to an end.
END OF THE ROAD
Part of the reason Original Sin had such an impact on the Marvel Comics landscape is that it brought an end to several stories, characters and established ideas. After Uatu’s murder, it is revealed his eyes were some sort of biological memory devices, storing all of his knowledge of the events he’d observed during his life. When his eyes were stolen they were used to unleash his knowledge. Many secrets were revealed to heroes and villains alike. Secrets can sometimes be very destructive, so Original Sin began a cascade of consequence.
One of the secrets revealed was that Thor was, in fact, unworthy. Using the secrets gained from his plotting, Fury was able to remove Thor’s ability to lift Mjolnir. This took the title of Thor from Odinson, allowing Jane Foster to become Thor proper for a while afterwards. The MCU could use this particular plot thread to sunset both Fury in his degrading state and Odinson, as he becomes unworthy of Mjolnir.
On top of this, it was revealed to Bruce Banner that Tony Stark may have been partly responsible for him becoming The Hulk. This caused a rift between the heroes, as Banner felt that Stark was now responsible for all of his suffering. Obviously, this can’t play out the same in the MCU as Stark is gone, but it could be the inner conflict that sees Bruce retire.
WHAT MAY BE
So, what would Original Sin do for the MCU going forward? Well, first of all the climactic nature of the story and the ramifications it holds means it would be a great way to end a phase. It could retire older characters and help push newer characters or round out those who are yet to complete their arcs. For instance, in the comics, Bucky is the eventual successor to Fury’s “Man on the Wall” moniker. This might be the focus of a future Falcon and the Winter Soldier series.
It also allows for future team-ups between characters from all over the MCU, as this event could introduce them to one another, building familiarity. If fans like seeing characters like Doctor Strange and Punisher interact, they might want to see more of that. Not only is it a great, compelling event full of intrigue and twists, it can also serve as a tester for future character dynamics. Nick Fury's working with the Skrulls in the post-credits for Captain Marvel hints to his covert efforts to keep Earth safe from universal threats in his Man on the Wall role, far beyond his Avengers Initiative.
In short, Original Sin would be a devastating way to end a phase for our heroes, but it would help set up more for the phases to come. Pivotal events such as the Battle of New York and The Blip helped define the stories they preceded -- this would be no different. Not to mention, including Watchers in a more direct way would help escalate crossover narratives involving more of the universe and the universal concepts within.