Back Issue Bin: Original Sin (2014; w: Jason Aaron; a: Mike Deodato)

Yes, we just finished up a podcast series covering Original Sin, but frequently we referred to past crossover events, so we thought this would be a great time to open up the Back Issue Bin and look at these crossover event series.

But, in order to do so, we need some common criteria on which to judge them. You have heard of the ABCs, we came up with the PQRS. We will rate each of these 4 categories on a 1-10 scale, which will then give us a common language to discuss events!

P: The Premise and Potential of a series. How cool is the idea? How compelling and interesting and original is the concept.

Q: Quality. Yes, this is entirely subjective, but we will be looking at the quality of the art and the writing.

R: The Repercussions of the series. Crossovers often seek to shake up the status quo and increase book sales. Is the status quo changed after the event?

S: Significance. How many titles/ corners of the universe were touched upon with tie-ins? How consistent is the happenings of the title within the universe? If Character X is stranded on an alien planet, broken and emotionally scarred, but then in their own title are going on a second date with their longtime crush, this diminishes the significance. If the tie-ins are not directly impacted, this decreases the significance.

So, now we have a common language that we can use to discuss these events, and to give an example, we will jump right into Original Sin!

Original Sin was 8 issues, and original scheduled to be bi-weekly, although the last two issues were delayed. There were three all-new subtitles directly related to the series, and ten series that crossed over with the main title.

P: The Watcher is killed, and all his secrets will be revealed. Two teams of supers seek to discover who committed the murder, and why, and the whole of the Marvel Universe will feel have to face secrets long hidden.
Score: 7
It was pitched as a classic murder mystery. This didn’t particularly compel me, especially because there was no real build up, as far as I know. The Watcher had been a non-factor in the Marvel U for quite a while.

Q: I liked Deodato’s art, and as a writer Aaron had some moments, but overall, the execution was godawful. As we began podcasting this, we looked at several “rules of a mystery” and this followed very few of them. The characters involved were a true mishmash, the covers were deceptive, and although the concept had potential, it was left unrealized.
Score: 2
Where were the earth-shattering secrets?

R: There were a couple of reveals, plot points that will be felt in the MarvelU, but nothing too major. I don’t particularly feel any strong pull to add any new titles to my pull, and actually grew actively disinterested as several tie-ins progressed.
Score: 3

S: I still do not follow what most of the tie-ins had to do with the actual series. Deadpool? The Avengers (the reveal of which was a plot device that has already been used, and more effectively, by both of the Big Two in past events and plotlines). The tie-ins were a decent cross-section of the corners of the Marvel U, Avengers to X-titles to GotG to Deadpool to street level heroes and even Asgard. So it wanted to be big, but most of the tie-ins felt just marginally connected, and with the premise being that big secrets would shake everything up, not much happened. And the main villains, who were they, why were they involved, and why do I care? Seriously, even with the power of wiki-fu, I still do not understand their inclusion.
Score: 2

Final Tally:
P: 7, Q: 2, R: 3, S: 2; Total Score=14

More Back Issue Bin: Crossovers will be covered: some we loved, some we loathed!


What If…the Red Ghost planned the Watcher Heist?

From the journal of the Red Ghost, Earth-53662

Dr. Richards is no doubt intelligent, but as a scientist, I find him lacking. His thirst for the unknown, to forge ahead unto uncharted territories, makes him more of an explorer. A scientist is thorough, and methodical. His rocky-skinned ally, the Thing, has on many times expressed a desire to shed his cosmic-ray infused exterior, and Reed has failed every time, because every time it was a one-shot attempt. What kind of science is that?

It was always about the moon. After having taken to the stars, Dr. Richards left behind great mysteries and wonders. His loss, strike that, his lack of vision, shall be my gain.

This Watcher resides on the moon. It is said, he sees everything. It is also said that contained within his home are items of immense power. To have those powers. To unlock the secrets of what he has seen. With this shall come great power.

My beloved apes will be of little help to me in this expedition.  To pull off a liberation of this magnitude I will need a team, a team designed to overcome whatever obstacles we might face.

Sadly, the one called Egghead has seemingly passed from this Earth.  His intellect, while not as great as mine, would have been helpful.

No one can hear you scream in space, but artificial atmospheres beg to differ. Angar the Screamer will be a fine foil for the Watcher, as his superpowered screams bring with them hallucinations. This may very well overwhelm the Watcher and his ever-watching eyes.

Rarely does the Watcher interfere, but his power is immense, I need brutes to tie him up, should it resort to unfortunate fisticuffs. Who better than the man who defeated Thor, one Mr. Hyde, as well as longtime Avengers adversary Count Nefaria?  Both have documented Strength and Durability in the Class 100 range or higher.

Of course we will want our entrance masked, who better than the normal human who managed to defeat me and my apes, master of illusions, Mysterio! I hold no ill will towards him.

If and when we are seen, our presence noticed, we may very well need a distraction, who better than that dinner theater wannabe the Jester.

Due to the presence of gravity, even artificial, a master of this most essential force, a man who reshaped mountains on the moon, Graviton.

Some individuals can not even begin to imagine the gifts they have been given. Take Spot. Why spend your time committing petty crimes and battling the likes of that Spider-Man. Spot needs to see a much bigger picture. With the proper training, and motivation, a perfect advance scout.

As great as my intellect and vision is, the ability to process quickly is an incredible asset. Speed Demon, whose thought processes keep pace with his speed will give us the ability to improvise.

It is my job to assemble the team, and offer the big picture, I will consult on the finer details with a man known primarily for his anti-government stance, of course, when I have my way, there will be no need for patriotism, as the reign of Mother Russia shall unite us all. For now, I will defer to Flag-Smasher’s twisted sense of anti-establishmentarianism. Of course, I will share with him whatever dark truths the Watcher may hold, as I have no care for such secrets, he will assuredly find information to assist him in his cause.

Lastly, magic is not something that can be overlooked, and Satana is certainly someone who is hard to not notice, but is often underestimated. Daughter of the devil herself, no doubt her penchant for succumbing to her sinful nature will appeal to her demonic heritage.