This week brings the start of Marvel’s Original Sin and DC’s Futures End, and the return of Red Claw!
Original Sin #1 (of 8) (Marvel Comics
The next big Marvel event is HERE! Original Sin, written by Jason Aaron and featuring art by Mike Deodato, kicks off today, and so far it’s a pretty cool murder mystery. Someone has killed Uatu the Watcher, and it’s up to some of Marvel’s top heroes to piece together who killed the big bald guy.
I’ll refrain from the major spoilers for this issue, but I will say that this is one of the better starts to a Marvel event. Jason Aaron doesn’t waste any time setting up this mystery, and gets to the death of Uatu fairly quickly. The stage is set for our heroes from that point, with Captain America calling on the retired Nick Fury (the old white guy one) to assemble a group of heroes to try and find the killer.
This is where Aaron’s script, and Original Sin, starts to kick into high gear, because the team ups are unlike anything we’ve seen before in the Marvel universe. Here are some of our teams: Ant-Man and Emma Frost. Moon Knight, Gamorra, and Winter Solider. Doctor Strange and The Punisher. If those teams don’t interest you, then don’t even bother picking up this book. Aaron has a lot of fun playing these characters off one another and while the interactions amongst these random heroes are all pretty entertaining, Frank Castle and Stephen Strange’s team up is easily my favorite.
Mike Deodato is one of my favorite Marvel artists, and I feel that he’s never really gotten the recognition he deserves. Hopefully all that will change with Original Sin, as Deodato presents some of the best pencils of his career. The character work is extremely strong, and the big splash page reveal of the Watcher’s dead body actually had me say “whoa” out loud. Really the only negative thing I have to say about the art is that it gets pretty dark in some places. There were many times throughout the issue that it seemed like our heroes were hanging out in the shadows. Despite this, I’m excited to see more of what Deodato will bring to the series, and unlike recent Marvel events, Deodato is able to stick to a pretty tight schedule, so there’s a good chance that Original Sin will actually wrap up on time.
Initially I was picking up Original Sin to keep up with things in the Marvel universe. I had no real excitement for the book, but I was mildly curious. However, after reading this first issue, I’m very excited to see where this series goes. I was impressed with the amount of fun I had with this issue. From the random teams of heroes to finding Cap, Wolverine, Black Widow, and Nick Fury at a diner celebrating “Meat Night”, Original Sin is filled with a lot of fun surprises. You’ve got me hooked Marvel; let’s just hope you don’t drop the ball in the next seven issues.
Red Claw #4 (Jetpack Press)
The Red Claw is back, and he’s finally bringing the fight to Black Current in Red Claw #4. Picking up after last year’s cliffhanger, Red Claw finally confronts the man who’s been framing him since issue one, and the battle is pretty awesome. Creators Richard Brunelle and Josh Belanger craft an entertaining tale that has a lot of fun nods to classic comic book battles of the past, but also puts an original spin to the action as the Fatsquad guys try to figure out the identity of the man who has been targeting their favorite hero. Seeing this group of guys argue is a ton of fun, and feels extremely real.
Belanger and Brunelle’s (or B an’ B as I’ll start calling them now) comic isn’t just a fun story though; it’s full of some awesome action sequences as well. I haven’t seen them pull of action scenes on this scale before, but I was pleasantly surprised by the images in this issue, which feature helicopters falling from the sky, a knock down drag out fight between Black Current and Red Claw, and the Fatsquad guys hilariously trying to stay out of the way of the debris. The two mix action and comedy really well, something that’s hard for even the biggest comic creators.
Red Claw #4 is available through the Fatsquad site. These guys put out a lot of great, original content, and run the hilarious Fat Guy Food Blog, so they deserve your cold hard cash! Give it to them so we don’t have to wait until next year’s Free Comic Book Day for issue 5!
Futures End #1 (DC Comics)
The other DC weekly series, Futures End, starts up this week, and while it’s pretty cool, it doesn’t feel like it has the weight that it should have. It doesn’t have the dramatic opening that Batman Eternal had, nor does it feature any of the big name characters that you might expect a universe wide weekly book to have. This is a bummer, since a team of writers that includes Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, and Keith Giffen is behind it.
I’ll warn you all now, this issue takes place exactly after the events of the special Free Comic Book Day issue that was given out this past weekend. There’s no recap page, no explanation from any of the characters over what came before, nothing. While this is cool for people who are coming from that issue into this one, anyone who didn’t get to the shop last weekend (or who’s shops ran out) will be out of luck.
Anyways, the opening finds Batman Beyond (yes, Terry McGinnis is officially a part of the DC Universe now) in the present day…well, present as in seven years from now. He’s here to prevent a future that is dominated by the Brother Eye program, but the only problem is that he’s too late, and the program has now started to accelerate its plans for world domination. The book then switches to the Stormwatch team, where we get our first casualty in Brother Eye’s attack on humanity. Oh, we also touch in on Grifter and Firestorm, the latter of which comes across the (seemingly) dead body of Green Arrow.
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough in this first issue of Futures End to really grab me, which is a bummer because I was pleasantly surprised by the Free Comic Book Day issue. I was expecting a lot more of Terry McGinnis, but what I got instead was a lot of focus on characters that I frankly don’t really care about. Patrick Zircher’s art is really solid and pretty awesome at times, but that can only go so far. If DC is going to try and put out three (THREE!!!) weekly comics this year, they have to be pretty kick ass if I’m going to shell out the cash week in and week out for them. Of course, since this is a weekly series, they have to touch in on everybody in the first issue, so I’ll definitely give next week’s issue a shot, but I’ll admit I was expecting a lot more from this issue.
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