(CBR) For a character introduced during Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's legendary "Fantastic Four" run, there really haven't been that many stories that featured Uatu, The Watcher, as a major component. Sure, he was the narrator of "What If?" and generally shows up a few times a year to break his non-interference vow and to signify that the Marvel Comics title you are reading is a big deal, but he's rarely front and center.
That changes starting in May 2014 with "Original Sin", Marvel's freshly announced event series for this year, from the creative team of writer Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato Jr., with covers from Julian Totino Tedesco. And all it took for Uatu to garner all of this attention was to get murdered.
The eight-issue "Original Sin" -- which will also include multiple tie-ins and a #0 issue out in April by Mark Waid and Jim Cheung -- is described by Aaron as a murder mystery played out over a cosmic scale, with the original Nick Fury leading a group of Marvel heroes on a manhunt to both find Uatu's killer, and to preserve the many secrets The Watcher had been keeping over the years.
We spoke with Aaron in-depth about "Original Sin," asking readers, "What does it mean for the Marvel Universe when suddenly no one is watching?"
CBR News: Jason, ever since the first "Original Sin" teaser image surfaced last November, folks have speculated that this story is connected to the "Point One" short from 2011 by Ed Brubaker and Javier Pulido. Is that indeed the case?
Jason Aaron: This is one of those stories that grew out of our retreats that we have a few times a year. "Original Sin" was something that had been in the ether for a couple retreats, and floated around. There are always stories that are out there that we know we want to get to at some point, it's a matter of figuring out how things fit and how things line up. "Original Sin" was floating around for a while, Ed was attached to it at one point. Some time last year it was floating around again, and I just kind of reached out and grabbed it.
What was it about the story that appealed to you?
The idea of doing on one hand a crime story -- it's a murder mystery -- but played out on very much a cosmic scale. I had a lot of fun writing the "Thanos Rising" miniseries, which was kind of my first taste of Marvel cosmic. But it was still a very dark and gritty story. I think the first couple arcs with "Thor: God of Thunder" were the same thing -- Thor chasing a serial killer, but it was this grand, epic, cosmic sci-fi/fantasy kind of story.
"Original Sin" is the opportunity to do something else like that, but on an even bigger scale. This is me getting to do that kind of story, that kind of murder mystery, but played out with all the major players of the Marvel Universe. This book has all the big characters, the A-listers, but also I get to play with some characters who don't normally find themselves at the center of Marvel events. We see characters like Punisher, Ant-Man, Emma Frost and Black Panther all playing a big role.
Along with the big name Avengers, surely.
Right. Of course, the main Avengers are there right from the get-go. But I wanted it to be more than just an Avengers story. I wanted to reach out to all different corners of the Marvel Universe. We don't always see the X-Men and the Avengers in an event together -- unless they're fighting each other. This one really pulls characters from all different corners, and a lot of them haven't been a big part of Marvel events before.
Nick Fury is a big part of this. He sort of becomes the Marvel version of a homicide detective for the sake of this story. He's leading the investigation.
The new Nick Fury? Old Nick Fury.
What can you share about the significance of the title "Original Sin"?
Well, it's certainly significant. But I can't say anything more or [Marvel senior vice president of publishing] Tom [Brevoort] will have me laid out next to The Watcher.
Well, you've written big events before -- you were one of the main writers on "Battle of the Atom," and one of the five writers on "Avengers vs. X-Men," but this is your first time doing something on this scale at Marvel solo, which has to feel pretty cool.
It's been great so far. I'm glad I dipped my toe in this sort of thing before by doing it as part of a team; being involved in X-Men events and, of course, "Avengers vs. X-Men." I'm glad I had a taste of that before diving into it on my own.
But this has been great. I love working with Tom and [Marvel editor-in-chief] Axel [Alonso]; I've worked with them on these kinds of projects before. It's nice to sit back and know you've got every toy in the toy box at your disposal. You can really play with all of it. With this, I'm trying to throw everything I want to be able to use into this one story. It's a big, action-driven story. There are tons of mysteries that are woven in this. It takes us to different corners of the Marvel Universe -- a big, sprawling, epic, cosmic story all tied around a murder mystery.
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