In “Original Sins” #2, the Young Avengers continue their encounter with the Hood, Black Knight is visited by an inquisitive journalist and Howard the Duck is besieged by caption boxes. The concept behind “Original Sins” is to share tales of secrets divulged when the Watcher’s eyeball was detonated. This collection of characters are barely tangential to the actual event, but does provide a nice outlet (despite the flimsy excuse) for fans who have been itching to see characters like Howard the Duck or Black Knight.
Frank Tieri’s ten-page lead Black Knight story sends an author and historian to Dane Whitman’s door to ask him about the curse of the Ebony Blade. Whitman, understandably, is resistant to discuss his trademark weapon and artist Raffaele Ienco is tasked with showing the readers Whitman’s suffering. As this all occurs, Ienco draws up stunning imagery that covers the gamut of the story, including historical evidence of the curse and Whitman’s own struggle with it. This chapter also has stellar coloring from Brad Anderson and makes a very strong case for a Black Knight ongoing.
Ryan North’s Young Avengers adventure logs in at eight pages as the Hood tries to explain his way out of a beat down, continuing from the first installment of the story in “Original Sins” #1. North packs in plenty of action and an interesting take on the Watcher event, giving artist Ramon Villalobos plenty to play with. The artist’s figures are animated and distinct, and his collaboration with letterer Clayton Cowles fills the space nicely and affords each with plenty of room to showcase their craft.
Howard the Duck is the recipient of a two-page refresher from Ty Templeton. The writer/artist provides an expository dump that gives the readers just a sliver of an understanding of the character, but throws in a gag and a laugh while doing so. Howard’s story is all told through imagery and captions, completely devoid of true dialog or character interaction. With a two-page story options are limited, and Templeton does a fine job of filling the space with a story that is simply entertaining. This isn’t the highlight of the issue by any means, nor do these two pages by themselves make a strong case for “Original Sins” #2, but it does add a little humor to a comic carrying two downbeat tales.
So far, “Original Sins” has revisited a pair of underutilized fan favorite characters in Deathlok and Black Knight, given Young Avengers fans a new regular connection and produced a pair of two-page tales to such luminaries as Lockjaw and Howard the Duck. This series seems totally random as far as who is covered and why. The “sins” seen by the Watcher and shared by the explosion of his eye should have some relevance to the characters present when it happened, but “Original Sins” #2 is a collection of characters who weren’t there. Also, why are “normal” people getting hit with visions of super-powered characters’ sins? How is this being influenced other than a creator’s preference to drive story for specific characters? The question this series, and this comic in particular, raises is the question of who can see what “secrets” and why. I understand the fallout from the Watcher’s eye exploding hit those in close proximity, but what influenced the occurrences they registered?
In the end, “Original Sins” #2 only has enough content to tangentially be considered a tie-in to the “Original Sin” series. Yes, technically it is an anthology, but realistically, it’s a very skinny Black Knight comic with a Young Avengers back-up and a Howard the Duck advertisement. At a time when Marvel has a strong digital platform, these stories may have been better served as a pick and choose offering digitally rather than forcing readers into an all or nothing decision. Why not ignore the fact that the platform of “Original Sin” may have fallen by the wayside and simply call this series what it should be: “Marvel Comics Presents.”