Graphic Novels/Comic Books, superheroes
Other things that I read this week, were all tie-ins to Marvel’s Original Sin cross-over; Hulk vs. Iron Man, Fantastic 4, and Thor & Loki- the Tenth Realm. Some quick back story, in the Marvel Universe, there exists a character the Watcher. He lived on the Moon, and as you can probably guess, watched the events of the Marvel comic book universe(at least everything that happened on Earth). In the Original Sin cross-over someone killed the Watcher, and took his eyes, because reasons. In his eyes were all the secrets and hidden histories of Marvel characters. In the investigation, something happened, and suddenly all of those secrets spilled out and you have many secrets of Marvel’s history leaking out.
Spoilers to follow.
Original Sin:Hulk vs. Iron Man – This is an obvious nod to the Avengers moive where Tony Stark and Bruce Banner and science buddies. As you can tell from the title, they have those two interacting here, but as frenemies. The Original Sin between these two is that the giant gamma bomb made Banner into the Hulk was altered without his knowledge by one drunken Tony Stark. This leads the Hulk to rampage through Tony’s stuff, blaming him for all of the destruction that the Hulk has caused. The artwork is alright, not as clear as the recent Matt Fraction runs of Iron Man or the Indestructible Hulk have been. Mark Waid does a good job with writing, both characters personalities are pretty clear in their actions, but the whole story seems shoehorned in from the larger arc.
Fantastic 4 – This was my least favorite, but that might stem from my distaste of many Fantastic Four stories. The Original Sin in the book is that Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) messed with equipment that Reed Richards had made to cure Ben Grimm (the Thing)of his monsterism. Johnny and Reed have kept this secret from him ever since (it’s not clear when this happened, but it seems fairly early on in the F4’s career). That is less interesting as it seems more of a regression for the character of Ben Grimm, back to where his monsterism is his gift and curse. Overall, as an independent story not my favorite, but more as a step in the current F4 arc where they are moving more towards four independent heroes instead of a singular family.
Thor & Loki – The Tenth Realm. This was the most straight forward of the books, and served one primary function. Going way back, in the early 90’s Neil Gaiman introduced a character in Todd McFarlane’s Spawn comic books called Angela. She’s an angel, bounty hunter and opposite/sometime’s ally of Spawn. Eventually it came to light that McFarlane didn’t hold the full rights to Angela, Gaiman did, but Gaiman wasn’t getting paid for her usage. As part of the settlement Gaiman gained full rights to the character, and he sold her to Marvel where she appeared a few years ago.In the Marvel Universe Angela was one of Odin’s children, sister to Thor and Loki. As baby she was kidnapped by Angels from the Tenth realm (of the Nine Realms of Asgard, of which Earth/Midgard is one) and presumed dead. In response Odin burned the bridge to the 10th Realm, and tried to erase all record of it ever existing. Thor learns that he had a sister and the Angels kidnapped her and goes there to get his sister back and get’s his ass kicked by Angela (she doesn’t know that she’s Asgardian, and has been raised to hate them). Eventually Loki tricks the Angels to get Odin back from exile, and rescues Thor and Angela.So in the end, Odin (who was missing presumed dead) is back, and Angela has a back story in the Marvel Universe (self-loathing Asgardian) . (It really is clearer then it sounds)
Overall some interesting stories, I liked Loki’s scheming, the introduction of Angela’s Marvel backstory is handled well. Iron Man and Hulk are a decent story, I’m personally kind of amazed they waited this long to introduce the possible conflict between them. Definitely not stand alone stories, you really need to know what’s going beforehand to have a clue to what is happening in the books.