There's a murderer at large in the Marvel Universe and it's not the killing that has heroes in an uproar.
The death of Uatu the Watcher, long a sentinel soaking up every event that has happened -- big and small -- has heroes like Nick Fury, Black Widow, Thor and more seeking his killer but also striving to find out who has his secrets and how they can be kept from exploding into public view for all to see.
Editor-in-chief Axel Alonso says "Original Sin," which begins with a zero issue in April written by Mark Waid and drawn by Jim Cheung and followed by an eight-issue limited series in May penned by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Mike Deodato Jr., is a "murder mystery" spanning from near and far, with many suspects and so many secrets.
"It's a whodunit with lots of action," he said.
At the center of the event is the death of Uatu the Watcher, a cosmic figure who observes the earth, its trials, tribulations and victories.
With a vow of never interfering -- broken only to signify a story is really important -- he has collected information on everyone, good and bad, for as long as Marvel's heroes have been righting wrongs and avenging the downtrodden.
"This is basically a crime story. A murder mystery. A manhunt. But with the entirety of the Marvel Universe as its backdrop," Aaron said in a statement. "We're taking all the toys out of their packaging for this one. Everyone and everything is in play. For some characters, life will never be the same again. And it's only a matter of time before more bodies are popping up."
The Watcher's death, Alonso said, is the impetus for the story.
"The Watcher is an eternal figure who is very familiar to Marvel fans, new and old, but, beyond that, really what is relevant is that his death is the inciting incident for our story," he said. "Once this eternal figure is dead, the secrets of the Marvel Universe, what he's seen, are loose, are in the air."
And that has everyone mindful of things said, and unsaid, and will leave some classic friendships in ruins, destroy long-standing partnerships and drive new wedges between old teammates, too.
"You'll see original sins that link characters, their faters intertwined in ways they never knew," Alonso said of the story event that will branch into core titles over the course of the story's run. "Some relationships will be changed irrevocably. There'll be no going back."
Moore reported from Philadelphia. Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/mattmooreap
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