With next week’s Original Sin #8, questions will be answered, characters will be changed and eyes will be lost. After last week’s Original Sin #7, series writer Jason Aaron and artist Mike Deodato’s finale promises to show the true killer of Uatu the Watcher as well as what Aaron calls “Nick Fury’s last stand.”
In an interview with Newsarama, Aaron debated on whether Fury could be considered a true “villain” considering his actions in Original Sin as well as the final fate of Uatu and the possible intervention of his fellow Watchers. In addition, the Thor: God of Thunder scribe talks about Thor’s loss of Mjolnir (and loss of worthiness), as well as how it’ll dovetail into the forthcoming female-fronted new Thor series.
Newsarama: Original Sin #7 came out last week, and contained a lot of action and perhaps even more questions for fans’ minds. How was it putting this issue together and its story beats, for you?
Jason Aaron: Well, you know it’s a challenge, doing a book like this, with so many characters involved. In the previous two issues they were in smaller groups, but with this issue things kind of explode as all of the Avengers come back into play. There’s still a lot of character stuff, and still a lot of mystery going on. It’s a lot to juggle, but as you can see the story is heading into Original Sin #8 to focus on a smaller group of characters; some players are taken off the board or pushed to the side, and things are coming to a head.
Nrama: This past issue shows Nick Fury really going full bore against the heroes, making him the series’ main antagonist and in some light the a villain. How’d you come to figure out that aspect of the story – Nick Fury at odds with the Avengers?
Aaron: Certain things like this were always headed to this point from the get-go.
Nick Fury would argue the point about him being a villain. Yes, he’s butting up against the Avengers, but only because he’s so committed to doing what he said he’d be doing for all these years – keeping earth safe by whatever means necessary. He’s doing things that Captain America, perhaps, the world’s greatest hero, could never do; he’s going to the darkest places imaginable, both actually and metaphorically, to keep the planet from harm. When the Avengers show up and find out what he’s been up to, they clearly have a lot of questions about it all but Fury doesn’t have time to answer them; there’s still a threat that has to be neutralized.
From the get-go, Original Sin was always as much a Nick Fury story as anything else. We knew that once we hit #7, it would kind of be Nick Fury’s last stand – and standing against the Avengers. Original Sin started out as a murder mystery where you don’t know who’s involved or what’s going on, but even then in the beginning everything started with Nick.
Nrama: And was there any hesitation by you to put Nick Fury against Marvel’s heroes, or by Marvel for you to do it?
Aaron: I think with everything Nick Fury has done in this book, none of it should seem particularly unusual. All of it fits with what we kind of know about Nick Fury; he’s always walked his own path and done his own thing in the shadows; it’s just now we’ve found out he’s been a lot busier than we ever thought he was. Original Sin isn’t about trying to change Nick Fury into a mustache twirling bad guy; Nick is doing the same thing he’s always been doing. Not everybody will understand or agree with the choices Fury makes, and he knows that. That’s one of the reasons Fury takes the job; he feels like he has to, as he’s one of the few people who can make those hard choices.
You can argue at the end of the day if these choices have made him a “villain” or a “hero.” I think you could argue both; from the current perspective of the Avengers, he’s a bad guy – but not everybody thinks the way they do.
You asked about any hesitance by Marvel at this story, and I have to say there’s never been any pushback as far as I know. None of this story comes out of the blue. There’s been stories in the past of Nick Fury secretly assassinating foreign dignitaries and dictators, as well as manipulating foreign governments. What we’ve learned about Nick from Original Sin is that he is still doing that, but on a much grander scale than previously unknown. Before he’s been known to be involved in politics in the Middle East; now it’s just broader, with him assassinating alien leaders, preemptively blowing up planets, and generally doing covert ops throughout the galaxy.
Nrama: And watching has been the Watcher. Uatu’sbeen looked at as the MacGuffin of this tale, in #7 we began to see more of his final moments. Is there more story for Uatu coming up?
Aaron: He’s dead, so not much more. [laughs]
Nrama: Point taken.
Aaron: But yes, we will see more of him in flashbacks. As readers saw beginning in #7, we’re seeing flashbacks to the day he was killed and how his final fate came to be. In Original Sin #8 you’ll see Uatu’s final moments, his ultimate murderer, and who took his eyes to begin with.
Nrama: And in the present day and the final page of Original Sin #7, we see Uatu’s fellow Watchers floating above the moon. Given the murder of Uatu, can you say if they’re going to be doing more than just ‘watching’ in this final issue?
Aaron: Well, you can clearly see that big things are going to happen in #8. When one Watcher shows up to an event, you know something important is happening. When an entire group of them shows up, it’s only that much more. As to how involved they’ll be, you’ll have to wait and see. Their code says all they’re supposed to do is watch.
Nrama: Original Sin #7 also has a moment wherein Nick Fury renders Thor incapable – unworthy, perhaps – of holding Mjolnir. This sets of what seems to be the lead-in to the previously announced female Thor and new Thor series. Was the idea to go down this path independent from Original Sin to begin with and you found a way to work it in, or was it always your intention for Original Sin to beget Thor losing his hammer?
Aaron: It’s always been the plan; we knew that in the midst of Original Sin, something would happen to put Thor in a position where he wouldn’t be able to pick up his hammer.
And let me point out – Nick Fury didn’t take him down physically. He didn’t even lay a hand on Thor; he just whispered in his ear. Something happened with Thor when he heard what Nick said, and became unworthy. Whatever Nick Fury said struck a chord with Thor, and the next time we see him he’s dropped his hammer and can’t pick it up.
This moment brings up a lot of questions, and I like the idea of Nick Fury – now imbued with the insights of the Watcher – can take down a god with just words. Even though Fury is old and frail, having the Watcher’s eyes makes him a very dangerous enemy. It’s not about what he can do when wearing his battle suit, but about what he sees and knows.
Nrama: I would assume this would be followed up on in Thor, but is some might say Original Sin #8 might have some answers. Where will the next wrinkle in story be revealed – and will we ever learn what Nick Fury said to Thor?
Aaron:It’s one of the ongoing questions in the new Thor series. Readers aren’t going to find out the answer right out of the gate in Thor #1, but it’s certainly a question a lot of people have.
Nrama: We’re going on a tangent here, but let me ask – since there will be a new Thor whose female, will the man we know as Thor now be appearing at all in the new Thor series?
Aaron: Definitely. I said all along that I’m not killing off the previous Thor. This is all part of the same story I’ve been telling since we began with Thor: God of Thunder #1. Yes, there’s a brand new female Thor who picks up the hammer and carries it when the other guy can’t, but the other guy is still in the picture. The first issue of the new Thor will feature them both, and that will continue going forward. A few issues will focus mostly on the new Thor, but the other guy will always be coming back and be a continual part of the series.
Nrama: Okay, let’s refocus on what we’re here’s for. Big picture, what can people expect with Original Sin #8?
Aaron: Like I said earlier, readers will see the exact moment where the Watcher died and there will also be a kind of final confrontation on the moon with all the various figures who’ve been involved in this story from the get-go. There’ll be an ending that takes multiple characters in new directions, and it’s all drawn by Mike Deodato.
I have to commend Mike for being about to power through and draw the entire story – all eight issues. I haven’t seen that happen on too many event books, and it makes me really happy Mike was able to do it.
Nrama: That being said, is there anything you hoped to do inside Original Sin that you couldn’t, either due to time constraints, page constraints, or something else? Perhaps more Strange/Punisher team-up?
Aaron: I certainly could have written more of Doctor Strange and the Punisher, other-dimensional beat cops… I absolutely could have done that. I would have also liked to do more of the Punisher and Rocket Raccoon hanging out, comparing guns… that’s be a lot of fun.
Nrama: Last question: Tom says you had a firm outline for Original Sin – but since you’re done writing and Mike’s done drawing, is there anything about doing the book that surprised you? Maybe a character you understand differently now, or things writing this that spurred inside of you?
Aaron: I don’t know, honestly. This is the first event story I’ve done by myself, and it was a lot of work… a lot of characters there to juggle. I have a pretty good handle on most of them as I’d written then before, but it was still a lot of work and a lot of moving pieces.
I’m happy with what I did on this book, but at the same time I’m always critical of my own stuff. I don’t go back and read my own stuff too much, but there are times where I second-guess myself and said I could have done something different like a line of dialogue.
But overall, I’m happy how Original Sin has come together. It’s an amalgam of all I’ve done at Marvel, mixing the gritty, violent Punisher MAX stuff with the zany, light-hearted Wolverine & The X-Men work. If you looked at the totality of my Marvel work before Original Sin and asked ‘what would it be like if that guy wrote a Marvel event?’ this would be it. At timesOriginal Sin is dark and gritty, and then big and crazy. It’s dark Kirby mixed with Morrison; all the kind of stuff I like to do at Marvel, all in one series and eight issues. I’m proud of that, and really happy with the response the book has gotten.
If nothing else, I’m proud to be the guy responsible for a giveaway of the Watcher’s eyeballs. I never imagined that when I started.