Part of Nick Fury’s job involves killing people; he’s not a murderer, but as a spy and government agent fighting villains, madmen and tyrants, it’s part of the job. But there’s one mission where he was tasked to eliminate someone but he didn’t. After thinking that digression and disobeying of a direct order was carefully tucked away for no one to find, the fallout from the murder of the Watcher in Original Sin brings the young Fury’s secret back into the light and now he must face the consequences. Because the person he let live has the ability to change the world, and Hydra is on their tail.
This tie-in to the Original Sin summer event series will play out in in a two-part Infinite comic Marvel is releasing titled Original Sin: Secret Avengers. Written by Secret Avengers scribe Ales Kot and drawn by guest artist Ryan Kelly, Original Sin: Secret Avengers will be available for free with purchase of Original Sin #2 and #3 by redeeming a digital code enclosed in each issue. We spoke with the writer.
Newsarama: Ales, what can you tell us about the story of Original Sin: Secret Avengers?
Ales Kot: Nick Fury didn't kill someone. That alone is pretty special – but in this case, he also disobeyed a direct order. We'll find out why, and we'll see what he set in motion.
In basic terms, the first part is the investigation – and the second one is the chase. And when I say the ocean parts at one point, I mean exactly that.
Nrama: Ryan, what made this a story you wanted to do?
Ryan Kelly: The editor, Wil Moss, explained Original Sin to me: The Watcher gets murdered and the villain takes his eyes. I thought that was a really cool idea, since the Watcher is all-knowing and all-seeing and whoever holds possession of his eyes, has power and secrets. In this Secret Avengers tie-in, Ales has crafted a thriller focusing on a computer scientist that young Nick Fury wants to "contain" before Hydra can get to him. And, it ties into the main Original Sin story in a neat way. So, for a short tale, there's a healthy dose of espionage, science fiction, and action. I get to draw some explosions, car chases and fight scenes.
Nrama: So you have Nick Fury, but who else can readers look forward to in this miniseries?
Kot: Nick Fury. Phil Coulson. A scientist Fury was supposed to take care of. Chameleon. Hydra? Hydra!
Nrama: So this dwells on a secret from young Nick Fury's past, before he knew he was Nick Fury's son. What can you tell us about the young Fury in this early point in his life?
Kot: If he had to answer this question, his answer would most likely be very laconic: “dumber.” I would say that he was more willing to question himself and the orders he got. He was also prone to potentially misreading a situation because of his lack of experience. But then again – experience is not everything.
Nrama: And now Chameleon and HYDRA are looking to take advantage of that secret somehow -- what's their game plan, and what is their ultimate goal?
Kot: The game plan is secure the scientist and establish world domination!I really admire the simplicity of it.
Nrama: How does this tie in with the main Secret Avengerstitle?
Kot: We explore Fury's and Agent Coulson's relationship in more detail. Which helps us going forward, because...well, that would be a spoiler. In basic terms, we see a gentler side of Fury – before things start going explode. And then he finds himself contemplating how he can right the old wrongs – if they are wrongs after all.
Nrama: Ryan, which character are you looking forward to drawing most in this project?
Kelly: I thought it would be great to draw Spider-Woman and Black Widow, but it doesn't look like they're in on this mission. Our specific story is more of a "buddy cop" movie with Agent Coulson and Fury, and they are a lot of fun to draw. After I took on this job, I went to see Captain America 2: Winter Soldier and I adored it. It gave me some inspiration. I've drawn a few M.O.D.O.K. sketches in my life. Maybe I'll get to draw him for real someday.
Nrama: Ales, Original Sin and the idea of an information leak sounds like up your alley in terms of subterfuge, espionage and drama. What's it like bringing that to bear with your larger Secret Avengersrun?
Kot: You are very correct – I dig the ideascape Original Sin evokes. It's not necessarily because of espionage, but because of my interest in data, in privacy, in secrecy. After all, we're immersed in constant public exploration and discussion of these themes, you, me, everyone else – these themes are here to stay, probably at least for a few hundred years.
The story connects with the larger run as a tangent of sorts. It's useful, but not necessary for understanding the primary Secret Avengers story. What it does is it explores a couple of characters from it in a way that can add something extra to the overall picture.
Nrama: This will be your first shot at doing digital comics, especially Marvel's Infinite Comic format. How's it compare with writing traditional comics?
Kot: It's full of opportunities. The method is not that different, because I usually describe pages in a hybrid of open style (also known as Marvel style) and full script style. Here, I throw out the page numbers and go very open, tossing out most dialogue, mostly describing scenes – and then writing dialogue and narration and such when the layouts come back.
What this does, if the team connection is right, is a new openness – new ideas emerging. There's less control in the act of creation, and that's fine, because everyone on the team, if they are picked right, should be able to have full control of what they are creating. And dealing with an unexpected page or panel, something that worked out differently than I assumed it would – that's usually joy for me. I love exploring and inventing new ways of telling stories.
Kelly: I've never done a comic like this, so I was very slow with it at first. I've drawn an endless amount of comic books in my time, but this Marvel Infinite project is more like a motion comic. I have to think of it more like a flipbook, with each page representing something akin to an animation cel. I had to learn to call them 'screens' and not 'panels'. But, I have the hang of it now and I've enjoyed working on it.
Nrama: You’re also working with storyboard artists Mast and Geoffo, who are providing the rough breakdowns of the series; how would you describe the artistic component of this project?
Kelly: Those guys are great. I really appreciate the work they have done--breaking down this whole story--since it is no easy task. They really know their stuff and they don't miss a beat with the key story details. Remarkably, they keep everything readable, and do some really inventive stuff with forms. In the panel transitions, they will make a Hydra ship turn into a panel border or slowly reveal a key visual element over a sequence of screens. It's very engaging, you'll see. I draw over their loose designs, but the critical part of my job is to keep all the pieces in place so the proper visual flow of the comic functions from screen to screen.
Nrama: Working with you on this is Ryan Kelly, a surprising but great choice by Marvel. I know it's still early on, but what are you anticipating once Ryan grabs ahold of your script and starts drawing?
Kot: Ryan was my pick – the primary reason being, he can draw anything and he's a consummate professional. I am seeing his art come in, and I love it. I mean, we're talking about an artist who drew DMZ, Three, Local, Lucifer, Star Wars… all very different comics, and he nails them every time. Ryan is a dedicated storyteller.
Kelly: Ales Kot asked me if I would be interested in drawing this, and since it's always nice to hear his lovely voice in my inbox, I said yes. I have never done anything for Marvel, believe it or not. Well...I inked a small story a million years ago, but I don't think it made much of an impression on the world. I got the opportunity to draw one page in a Grant Morrison comic once because it slipped under the penciler's radar. But, that's it. That's my claim to fame. I loved Marvel as a kid, so I'm always up for a fun new job, and Ales is never short on creativity and ideas.