Original Sin #1-8 (2014)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

The Watcher is found murdered on the moon and Captain America gathers some of Earth's finest to investigate the crime, amoung them, Nick Fury. Meanwhile a mysterious figure gathers together a second group to investigate the crime. Clues eventually lead to the discovery of a greatly aged Nick Fury who reveals he is seeking someone to replace him as Earth's first and foremost defender.

Killing Nick Fury is nothing new. His many "deaths" have always sat in remarkable counterpoint to the fact he has something called the Infinity Formula running through his veins. Nothing invites more cynicism from the average Marvel Comics reader then another "Nick Fury is dead" moment.  So it's remarkable that even though the current attempt to kill everyone 's favorite Howler in the 8th issue of Original Sin does feature the venerable line (it's Captain America who says it this time), the comic does far worse damage than just killing Fury.

For the first couple issues, the story was turning out to be a great spotlight for Fury. Writer Jason Aaron gives us some great character moments in #1 with the diner scene where Fury, Wolverine, Captain America, and Black Widow recall their best meals.  Artist Mike Deodato showcases Fury in a beautiful full page layout reminiscing about a WWII meal. It was an unexpected surprise in the event title of the year to see such a focus on Fury. It reminded me of the lovely George Perez introduction of Fury long ago in Infinity Gauntlet, there just for the sake of having it there. But the modern cynical reader in me knew that this was just a last beauty shot before bad things come Fury's way. Later, in issue #2 there is a great action sequence where Fury fights a Mindless One on his flying car that is one of the standout sequences of the whole story. I loved it because it was Fury in his element, drawn and dialogued perfectly. His inclusion in the plot as the lead investigator, at the behest of Captain America raised my spirits for this story. Everything before the inevitable LMD reveal was like reading classic Fury. Its why what follows is so frustrating. These people had it so right. It's so hard to hate a story with such great art. The page on the left is just a taste of eye popping art from Deodato and his team.

Fury becomes the "man on the wall" (Game of Thrones anyone?) who's been zipping around the universe killing anyone who might even think of  harming the Earth on weekends, while still saving the world as Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the week. For unknown reasons, he feels he can't trust anyone with this secret gig, despite the fact that his close personal friends include the likes of Captain America, Thor, and others who quite frankly are above reproach. Not to mention that if there is anything a reader of the old Sgt. Fury comics walks away from, is that the bond of brothers that the Howlers share is something undisputed and part of the enduring appeal of the character. Original Sin poses the scenario that Fury had an army of LMDs that would impersonate him as his activities grew and grew. The awesome ridiculousness of this scenario to the long time Fury reader is almost too large in scope to grasp in one sitting. The overuse of the LMD to explain away Fury's less rational actions is something that by now is the most irritating element of the average Fury story, but what Original Sin suggests suddenly calls into question just about every story after the 60s. Stripping Fury of the Infinity Formula, leaving him old and a bit crazed and telling tales of reviving his ole Walrus, Dum Dum over and over again as an LMD (see Original Sins #5) is not exactly the "send-off" as Axel Alonso described it, I was expecting, nor wanted to see. Captain America's reaction in the final issue echoes mine when he's wandering around the moon in shock, asking "…who can tell me why one of my oldest friends suddenly went crazy and died." It seems it wasn't enough to simply kill Nick Fury, as we've seen this undone often enough, Marvel sought to reboot his origin for a third time and now casts him as a cursed soul walking the Earth.

Looking back on the history of Nick Fury, it's easy to see his best stories are set in the spy/war genre, as the recent Secret Warriors just recently proved. That anyone would think this what Nick Fury needs, is the real crime.