Original Sin Annual (Comics Review)

Marvel’s last event, Original Sin was billed as one of the biggest events of recent times. And it certainly was, though it didn’t quite match up to the grand epicness of either Age of Ultron or even Infinity. It started off well enough, but towards the end it lost its way and became just another mandated event rather than something that felt natural and exciting. The only really good thing about the ending was that Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier was now Earth’s shadow protector instead of Nick Fury, who died during the event, with many of his biggest secrets and conspiracies exposed.

This week’s Original Sin Annual tells the tale of the man we saw die during Nick Fury’s flashbacks in the event, when he was the one to become the “Man on the Wall”. Writer-artist Jason Latour tells a rather moving story of Woodrow McCord as he comes to be the “Man on the Wall” himself and then later his final battle. Howard Stark also gets in some screen-time and his interactions with Nick Fury are rather interesting. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the issue when I found out that it had been released this week, and I’m quite happy with it, as the art is as good as the story is.

Original Sin Annual

When he showed up in passing during Original Sin, Woodrow McCord was an unknown character, about whom we knew next to nothing, and he soon passed out of my mind. Though I did wonder who he had been and how he came to have the job that he did. That is what Jason Latour explores in this issue, and the extra page-count of the annual really lets the story have its time and just breathe.

Jason Latour has only recently shown up on my radar, thanks largely to the Edge of Spider-Verse #2 issue he did with Gwen Stacy as an alternate-world Spider-Girl. His writing there was solid then, and borne out of the surprising success of the show he has also gotten the go-ahead for an ongoing with Gwen Stacy and it is great. Now with this issue, he kind of repeats the same magic, telling a heart-felt story of a boy who came to revere a warrior named Stafford, the last of the original “Men on the Wall” and eventually took over his place in Earth’s shadow history.

The role of men like Woodrow McCord and Nick Fury and now Bucky Barnes has been to carry out a constant pre-emptive war against any and all threats to Earth. Of course, this kind of doesn’t jive with things like last year’s Infinity event or other things, but then the “Man on the Wall” only deals with threats that he can manage on his own, since he is the only one to know of these threats, whether we talk alien invaders or something else.

Woodrow McCord’s story in this issue is a beautifully-executed tale about the man as he grows into his role and also the reflections of Nick Fury and Howard Stark as they explore his history, particularly the former who saw Woodrow fight his final battle and give his life for the world that would never know his name or his deeds. That’s what really struck me about this issue, and it created a bond between the two men across the times they lived in.

This is a very different Nick Fury than I’ve seen before and I think I kind of like it too. And I wish that I could see more of him, to be honest, exactly because of that uniqueness.

Enis Cisic is the artist here, with Chris Chuckry on colours along with Chris Eliopoulos and Clayton Cowles on the letters. The cover is by Original Sin cover artist Julian Totino Tedesco. Cisic’s art can, at first, be a bit of a put-off, but it really does grow on you. It is very different in style from the Original Sin main series, what with the male characters all having these big oversized bodies and strong square jaws all throughout, but I liked it. There’s a certain simplicity to Cisic’s style and the pages are never cluttered, often having no more than five panels max, which shows a certain economy of style.

I liked this one well enough, and would recommend it as a background piece to the event itself.

Rating: 8.5/10

More Original Sin: #0, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8; #3.1 (Hulk vs Iron Man) #1; (Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm) #1, #2-4, #5.

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Posted on October 17, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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