It has come to be accepted that during the summer months, comic book stores are destined to be the home of big annual event books. Since House of M, every year Marvel has pushed out event after event with varying levels of success and long term effect. These events have been as discussed as who is a Skrull in Secret Invasion to the utter lack of attention paid to titles like Infinity.
But what makes one event a bigger deal than another? And ultimately, why does no one seem to care at all about Original Sin?
On the surface, the central idea of Original Sin is an interesting one. There is a murder mystery around who killed the Watcher, one of Marvel’s most iconic upper B-squad characters. But quickly you start to care really about who killed him because in comics no one stays dead forever so it doesn’t really matter since big baldy is going to come back eventually.
What really hinders the story is the supporting cast of villains behind the big bad. The Mindless Ones are a subpar evil race at best so they are easily forgettable. Next comes the Exterminatrix who is such a joke of a character it’s hard to even care enough to spell check her name. If you wanted to sum up everything wrong in 1990’s comic book character creation just take her and add some Rob Liefeld pouches to her bondage gear theme. And finally, the Orb. If Exterminatrix was everything from the 90s gone bad, the Orb is pure 1970’s storytelling at its worst. Oh, and then add Dr. Midas for good measure. Please Marvel, explain to the readers why any of this is appealing.
So you have a character that you don’t really care about that much being murdered by a group of characters you have no affinity for. Add in total random mashup teams of heroes like the Winter Soldier being matched with Moon Knight and Gamora and the story begins to feel more like something a kid would cobble together by pulling random toys out of his stash of action figures.
The only part that is still interesting of Original Sin is the idea that characters will discover something about their own pasts or that of others but that has already been done to death with books like Amazing Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl or Wolverine Origins.
In the end, this is leading to two back to back flops for Marvel events. When no one is talking about your event with Thanos as the big bad, then you certainly aren’t going to regain traction from the Orb. Go back to X-books if you want people caring about your yearly events or at the very least let everyone know what Hawkeye saw in that damn closet in House of M.