Sporting a J.G. Jones cover that features very Silver Age-y looking Hulk and Iron Man, “Original Sin” #3.1 contains a story co-written by Kieron Gillen and Mark Waid with a script by Waid and art from penciler Mark Bagley, inker Andrew Hennessey, colorist Jason Kieth and letterer Cory Petit. The first of a multi-part arc that builds from the Orb’s detonating the Watcher’s eye, the issue promises a “Hulk Vs. Iron Man” story.
Readers can’t be disappointed then, when opening the cover to find a fight between Iron Man and Hulk already in progress. Iron Man gets in some good shots, but Gillen and Waid remind readers that Hulk is “the strongest there is.” With the cover furnishing a clue and the notion of dirty little secrets unleashed across the Marvel Universe following the eyeball explosion that rocked the world, it’s not too difficult to surmise what the fight could be about. Gillen and Waid provide the basic premise behind the story and also insert plenty of retconned relations between Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. The fight opens “Original Sin” #3.1, but history closes out the issue. Stark is inline with the Robert Downey, Jr. persona and Banner is a barely-contained explosion.
Jason Keith soaks the art in shades of green, as readers are shown some of the deepest secret moments leading to the fateful gamma bomb explosion. Bagley’s art has flashy moments, but never quite seals the deal. It is all very serviceable, but a story-between-stories that promises to impact and alter the Marvel Universe really should dazzle readers. The figures in “Original Sin” #3.1 don’t carry the story on their shoulders and they also don’t provide any explosiveness to the story. Bagley’s work is clean and crisp, but not over-the-top enough for a story that stars two of the Marvel U’s heaviest hitters in a movie-worthy plot.
“Original Sin” #3.1 fails to impress. The plot is well-defined and the story beats appear to be heading in the right direction, but this comic book just feels thin. I’m not saying “Original Sin” #3.1 is decompressed, but it certainly seems as though readers could have received a little more development, revelation and character moments. Now that the table has been set, Gillen and Waid are able to move forward and hopefully fill the story with action and suspense, which will definitely be needed to keep this series afloat for more than one subsequent issue.