Original Sin #3.1: Hulk vs Iron Man #1 (Comics Review)

With Marvel’s latest event Original Sin having hit the half-mark last week with Original Sin #4, it is now time for the event to start on the official tie-ins. Up until now this has been quite a rewarding event that has gone suitably epic and has really changed the status quo in a lot of ways. First with a zero issue from Mark Waid and then the regular series from the pen of Thor: God of Thunder scribe Jason Aaron, Original Sin has been a leader in the age of events that Marvel has ushered in with the launch of Marvel NOW! back in 2011, showing that such big events can truly be done justice if they are paced properly.

Hulk vs Iron Man #1 is the first of the new tie-ins for Original Sin and it deals with a revelation learned by the two titular characters when the villain known as the Orb unleashed a psychic attack powered by the stolen eye of the dead Watcher Uatu. Uatu’s death launched this whole event at the end of Original Sin #0 and in this new issue we see go back to the early days of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, when they were both genius inventors rather than superheroes. Mark Waid and Kieron Gillen tell a fairly decent story, and the artwork by Andrew Hennessey, Mark Bagley and Jason Keith is also really good.

Original Sin - Hulk vs. Iron Man 001This is an issue that focuses on origin stories. Specifically, the origin stories for Iron Man and the Hulk. The cover by J. G. Jones pretty much lays it all out, particularly once you read that the premise of this tie-in is that Tony Stark was involved in the accident that turned Bruce Banner into the Jade Juggernaught. The cover is fairly decent but I don’t really get why we see Tony Stark in the Mark 1 Iron Man armour as shown in the first Iron Man movie. Or appears to be similar in any case. I like how the Hulk stands out here, but not that Tony Stark/Iron Man is barely featured here at all. And this is definitely nowhere near enough the great covers for the main series itself.

With everything that has happened in Original Sin up until now, I expected the revelations in this issue to flow fast and heavy, but we didn’t get any of the kind. In fact, most of this issue is a very slow-paced story that delves into the shared history between Tony and Bruce from when they were collegemates and when they worked together on the Gamma Bomb, the bomb which led to the event that created the Hulk. Like I said, the outcome is very ambitious and hardly any less obvious even.

Given the incredibly slow pace of this issue, not to mention all the flashbacks, it is tough to really get into the story here. It is just not as fun as the main event series, and by a considerably margin. Don’t get me wrong, I loved getting to see much of Bruce and Tony together before they both went their own way, but at the same time the experience was a bit baffling and confusing. and that largely has to do with how the characters are portrayed.

Mark Waid is one of my favourite writers and I was really looking forward to this issue, but things are much different now, and therein lies the rub. This issue plays fast and loose with the origin story for the Hulk/Bruce Banner and as we see in the final page, nothing is as it seems, it is all merely a sham, if it comes to that.

With Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessey and Jason Keith on the pencils, inks and colours respectively, the promise of this issue was great and it certainly delivered. The big fights between Hulk and Iron Man where they are going at it full-on are totally fangasm-worthy. The action is very dynamic and is certainly the center attraction of the issue in general. There were a few panels here and there where there was a distinct lack of consistency in the overall art, and that is what I found to be the worst thing about this issue. Bagley, Hennessey and Keith really do a number on this tie-in issue, and I can’t wait to find out how it all comes together.

Somewhat of a disappointing installment of the Original Sin storyline, but the art is mostly good and there is indeed some good twist here and there.

Rating: 7/10

More Original Sin: #0, #1, #2, #3, #4.

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Posted on June 27, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

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