Upon discovering the Watcher, Uatu, slain in his lunar observatory, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes realize the killer also looted valuable artifacts and sensitive records. A murder mystery soon spirals into a race to halt the dissemination of their darkest secrets. Before Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato launch into that investigation with May’s ORIGINAL SIN #1, a special zero issue sheds light on the central victim and the burden of his confidence.
We spoke to writer Mark Waid and Marvel Comics’ Executive Editor Tom Brevoort about the enigmatic man on the moon and the boy who comes knocking.
Marvel.com: Mark, ORIGINAL SIN centers on the murder of the Watcher Uatu and the search for his killer. It could be anybody in the Marvel Universe, but fortunately you've got a pretty solid alibi. You've been pretty busy with DAREDEVIL, INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK and this #0 issue. Why visit the scene of the crime before the crime's even committed?
Mark Waid: You’re overlooking another reason why the murderer is unlikely to be me: I have a soft spot for bald guys with big, round heads who know a lot about the Marvel Universe. Maybe that was why I volunteered—campaigned—for the gig, actually; I pitched to Tom Brevoort that since it had been so very long since anyone had told a tale centered on the Watcher, maybe it was a good idea to preface ORIGINAL SIN with a comic that explained to new readers who he is and why he does what he does. And wouldn't you know it, when I really started to examine those aspects, I found a story.
Marvel.com: Tom, aside from their undeniable chops, what made Mark Waid and Jim Cheung the right match for this particular story?
Tom Brevoort: Their undeniable chops. Plus, Mark owns a toga and knows a lot about the Marvel Universe, and Jim sometimes walks around with a bucket on his head. Kismet!
Marvel.com: Mark, you introduced young Sam Alexander in Marvel's very first Infinite Comic. He played a big part in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN. He seems to have a knack for barreling into some pivotal moments in current events.
Mark Waid: Funny how that happens. I really like Sam.
Tom Brevoort: He’s also, as a relative newbie to being a super hero, a good set of fresh eyes through which to introduce concepts to the audience; Sam tends to have the same questions that the reader has when all of these wild things start to turn up. Plus, he’s just a fun young character, brash and awkward and a little bit dopey, but with a lot of heart. So he’s easy for people to connect with. The ORIGINAL SIN #0 story is perhaps even more relevant for how it affects Sam as how it affects Uatu.
Mark Waid: There’s not so much "common ground" between them as there is the fact that Sam, in his naivetÃ© and innocence, thinks early on in the story to ask a question about the Watcher that no one else has ever asked—and he sets out to find the answer.
Marvel.com: What does the Watcher do when he's not, ya know...
Mark Waid: Ha. There is no "not." Watching our universe, watching other universes, that's his around-the-clock vocation. But why does he do it? What is he looking for?
Marvel.com: There's a lot of room in that noggin for secrets. Do you suppose it was only a matter of time before the combination of Uatu's ethical code and constant peeping got him into trouble? Do you think he's culpable, or just an innocent bystander?
Marvel.com: So, do you know who did it? Can you tell us?
Mark Waid: Who, me? I DON'T KNOW NOTHIN'! NOTHIN', I TELLS YA! PUT ME UNDER THE LAMPS! WORK ME OVER! I AIN'T SAYIN' NOTHIN', YOU HEAR ME? NOTHIN'!
Check in with ORIGINAL SIN #0 by Mark Waid and Jim Cheung this April!