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Original Sin: Nobody’s Watching

“I’ve been looking for an original sin
One with a twist and a bit of a spin
And, since I’ve done all the old ones
‘Till they’ve all been done in
No, I’m just looking
And, I’m gone with the wind
Endlessly searching for an Original Sin”

So sang Taylor Dayne in the theme to the ill-fated 1994 film adaption of The Shadow starring Alec Baldwin. The movie may have been a flop, but the song still rests comfortably in my iPod.

Original Sin is also the name of Marvel Comics’ summer event set to pull the rug out from under comicdom with an epic crossover involving the entire Marvel Universe (whatever that is any more). Not to sound like a fuddy duddy, but all of these reboots, restarts, and retoolings of the Big Two’s universes have left me really exhausted. I wasn’t going to pick up the first issue, but Jason Aaron is a good writer and I have enjoyed Mike Deodato, Jr.’s art long since Wonder Woman. But, what really got me was the premise: “Who shot the Watcher?” Anyone old enough to know what “Who shot J.R.?” means knows why this is too juicy to pass up. I like a good murder mystery. I’m in.

The Watcher. Created by Lee and Kirby (with a heavy on the Kirby methinks), the big, bald alien on the dark side of the moon who is pals with the Fantastic Four and whose sole (Soul?) purpose is to watch and observe, but to never interfere. So, “Wouldn’t it be a really cool idea if we killed him and made it a murder mystery?” Yes! And, no.

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On the surface, it’s a really good idea. An entertaining popcorn flick for sure. But, what about after that? I can only imagine how these Marvel pitch meetings go. People yelling out random ideas, “No more mutants . . . senior citizen parking rights . . . who shot the watcher?”

At first, I was bummed. I always thought The Watcher was cool. He was BFFs with the FF and looked like Buddha and Liberace’s love child. What’s not to love? Well, the creepy, voyeuristic watch-but-don’t-touch element maybe. But, I digress. Then, I thought – who gives a crap? He’s kind of useless anyway. He doesn’t do anything.

Then, I realized why killing The Watcher is a really bad idea. Why? Because it’s not what he does, it’s what he represents. He’s like the collective consciousness of humanity. It’s like Santa or Jiminy Cricket. As young children, we learn accountability for actions, because we may be seen or caught. Imagine what humanity would be like without a degree of responsibility? Well, guess what? Nobody’s Watching.

Marvel Comics’ Original Sin is in stores now.

Michael Fitzgerald Troy, Fanbase Press Contributor



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