In the first installment of this story, Nick Fury and a group of heroes found the Watcher's dead body on the Moon, his eyes gone and his armory raided. The retired S.H.I.E.L.D. director began an investigation with the Avengers. Meanwhile, a shadowy character began his own investigation with chosen groups of heroes. Spider-Man and the Thing fought the Mindless One, but the villain seemed to have gained sentience and became crazy. It eventually killed itself with the Ultimate Nullifier, which had been last seen in the Watcher's possession.
Deep within Earth, the Black Panther and Emma Frost find a group of terrified moloids. Looking around, T’Challa tells his partner that the place they’re in was never meant to be discovered. Ant-Man, meanwhile, scans the area for radiation while Frost finds that the moloids know very little of the situation.
The heroes look around and uncover the dead bodies of various creatures. T’Challa decides that they must make certain that the Watcher’s murderer is also responsible for the deaths of the surrounding monsters, and then they’ll follow the trail. Inside the bullet wound of a monster’s jaw, Scott Lang discovers a shard of a glowing, green bullet, the same type used to murder the Watcher.
In New York City, Nick Fury soars over the tops of skyscrapers with his spiffy flying car. He communicates with a group of Avengers chasing a Mindless One inside a building. Captain America says, “Tell me there’s somebody watching the backdoor.” Fury is bewildered, considering they’re on the 49th floor. That is, until a Mindless One jumps from a window of the building.
When Cap asks if he has eyes on the Mindless One, Fury replies, “Only got one eye, Cap. But yeah, I got a pretty good view.” The beast howls in the back of the lead investigator’s car. The backseat defenses initiate, and the Mindless One mentally screams, “I must outrun my own mind before it drives me mad!” Firing a shot at the monster, Fury says, “This is the most action that backseat’s seen in a long time.”
When asked about a confession, the Mindless One explains that he was on the Moon and asks, “One doesn’t deserve to die for their original sin. Do they?” Fury is about to be attacked by the beast when he initiates a jetpack and leaves the car. As he departs, the Mindless One demands ignorance, so Fury blows up his car with the creature inside. The director apologizes to the vehicle before doing so.
In Avengers Tower, Stark asks the director if he kept the Mindless One alive, and Fury instructs for a strong cell, a reliable telepath, and Doctor Strange to be arranged for the creature’s interrogation. Stark, wearing nothing but a robe and his Iron Man helmet, confirms the obtainment of Fury’s orders, except they cannot find Dr. Strange.
After listening to a news report on the situation, Stark gets back to work on the mystery with Bruce Banner. The billionaire receives conformation from Reed Richards that the Ultimate Nullifier the Mindless One from last issue carried was authentic and decides that the creatures are their primary suspects. Banner decides that, if he could isolate a Mindless One’s energy signature, he can track down the others. Looking through space surveillance, Stark discovers an unmarked ship made of gold leaving the Moon.
Banner suggests Stark, still wearing only a robe, puts on some pants and he replies, “We’re hunting a murderer here, Bruce, and you’re talking about pants. Let’s try and be professional.” On the radio, Fury tells Stark that the Mindless One is ready for the interrogation room. Stark says, “Now…Would somebody please tell me where the hell to find Dr. Strange?”
In another realm, Dr. Strange explains to the Punisher that they are in a territory occupied by man-eating shadows. Strange sends “murder-sniffing birds” to find any corpses in the dimension, and, when the fowls find something, the heroes teleport to find the eighty-five foot long corpse of “a beast king of the ancient world.” Castle looks for an exit wound, but Strange doubts that the creature was killed by a gun. As the magician begins to conjure a spell, the Punisher digs a glowing green bullet from the corpse. “Well, now I know why I’m here,” Castle explains. “You and your birds sniff out the bodies, Doc. And I’ll find your damn killer for you.”
In a warehouse on Earth, a group of Mindless Ones suffer in captivity. Two costumed, shadowed people watch the creatures evolve. (These are the same two from the end of last issue.) The man, wearing a white and red costume with a hood, tells his partner to keep the Mindless Ones away from the windows because Avengers have been flying past all day. The woman, wearing a yellow and black costume with a ponytail, tells him that another creature escaped and was caught by the Avengers. He passively replies, “Then they’ll be coming sooner than I thought.”
When the lady expresses her anger that her partner has been staring at the Watcher’s eye instead of worrying about being captured, he explains that there are things inside the eye that want to get out. A bedridden creature that looks like the Thing groans, and the woman is concerned that he’s dying. “If he’s too weak to change, then we’ll have to leave him behind,” the man explains. Incensed, the lady points her gun at her partner, but he explains she’ll need every last bullet.
Following the cue, the Avengers, X-Men, S.H.I.E.L.D., and practically every hero that isn’t already occupied announce outside the building that they have surrounded the villains and recommend they surrender. When Fury is told by Banner that there are at least a dozen Mindless Ones in the building, he orders Captain America and Magik to quicken in evacuating the area. Black Widow, judging from infrared, finds that there are other people in the building and lots of guns.
Speaking of guns, the female villain stands before a large arsenal of golden firearms. After arming herself, she jumps from the building followed by Mindless Ones, fully revealing herself to be Exterminatrix! She quickly attacks an Avengers Quinjet as her minions assault as many heroes as they can.
During the battle, Exterminatrix orders her partner to leave with the sickly, Thing-like creature as she stalls the heroes. As he follows her orders, the hooded man is told by his partner that she doesn’t expect to live. He replies that she won’t need to die once he opens the eye, and she blusters that she hopes the eye gives him cancer. After falling from an exploding Quinjet, Exterminatrix and the Mindless Ones launch a straightforward attack against the heroes. Sadly, the minions are quickly defeated, leaving their leader alone.
Meanwhile, the Thing-like creature tells the hooded man that he needs to get rid of the eye because it knows what they did. He replies that they need the eye for the secrets it may contain. The beast asks him how to retrieve the secrets, and he replies that’s what he questions it every night. Sadly, it simply watches him as an answer.
When they escape the building, the hooded man and the Thing-like beast find that Exterminatrix has fallen and the heroes are waiting for them outside. The hooded man finds that the eye desires to watch the event before them, and it finally tells him the information he has desired. The heroes order the hooded man to drop the eye and surrender. The man replies that they aren’t the murderers they’re looking for.
“This isn’t an eye, not anymore. It’s a bomb. A bomb full of secrets. And what do bombs do? They go boom,” the man explains as he pulls his hood off, revealing himself to be…the Orb. He holds the Watcher’s eye to the sky, with electricity erupting from it.
This installment to Original Sin is a typical second issue to an event of its nature. Meaning not much really happens. The events that occur could have been easily fit into the first part of the story. The heroes simply track down a few B-list villains who aren’t even the Watcher’s killers. Still, there are enough entertaining elements to this story that makes its uneventfulness bearable.
The writing tone and direction of this series is very unique and interesting to me. It’s a cross between a typical superhero event and a mystery thriller. While practically the entire Marvel Universe is compacted in, Aaron manages to insert very interesting character interactions between Strange and Punisher, and Panther and Frost. The two factions of heroes, those assembled by the mysterious boss and Fury’s followers, continue in slowly uncovering clues. I’m a bit disappointed to see that no major secrets have been revealed, but I’m sure something will come up next issue after the cliffhanger.
I found Aaron’s personification of the heroes here to be spot-on. I’ve heard many people complain that Aaron’s writing lacks depth and emotion, but I don’t see that here. Character moments such as when Fury apologized to his car before it exploded and Stark wore a robe during the serious investigation entertained me. As I mentioned above, the character interactions between Strange and Punisher, and Panther and Frost are highlighted.
Of course, the main reason to read this issue is Mike Deodato’s art. He captures so many different moods and tones in this issue and the panel layout is gorgeous. The scene with Fury fighting the Mindless One reminded me of a James Bond movie, while the trippy, Ditko-esque vibe of the Strange/Punisher sequence was brilliant. Also, with so many extremely stylized heroes to draw, Deodato’s art is very consistent.
Not enough happens, but there are some interesting character moments and I like the tone of the issue. Deodato's art is gorgeous.