Spoiler Warning - if you plan to read the Original Sin Marvel series at a future date, then you will want to avoid this post. I'm going to discuss the ridiculous retcon of Nick Fury in issue 5, so if you don't want the details revealed, go enjoy your 4th of July in some other manner.
For those of you who stayed, here's the synopsis:
The Original Sin mini-series revolves around a mystery of the death of the Watcher which involved his eyes being plucked from his head. Said eyes seem to be giving off vibrations that cause people to remember things about their past. As story devices go, that's working well enough.
The problem is the other plot line in the event (which I've been sort of ignoring. You'll see why.) It's been revealed that someone has been going around the Marvel universe (in Space, the Dark Dimension, the Mole Man's underworld, etc...) and killing aliens, demons and giant subterranean monsters with magic god-killer gamma bullets.
Your brain is probably reeling from that last bit, so let me repeat it:
Yep. Bullets. Like what come out of a gun. And these MGG bullets are capable of killing an entire living planet.
Again, I considered this (sub?) plot sort of rediculous, so I was mostly ignoring it. Unfortunately, in issue 5, the MGG Bullets plot gets a twist that makes it even dumber. Who is the guy running around shooting demons and aliens with magic bullets for the past 50 years?
It's Nick Fury.
See, apparently at the end of WW II, Nick Fury was saved from an alien attack by a old guy in a space suit named Woodrow McCord. McCord was part of some secret alliance that protected Earth from alien/demonic threats. McCord was fatally wounded in the battle...
Whereupon Howard Stark (Tony's dad) showed up and offered Fury a position as McCord's replacement.
Fury agrees and for the next 50 years Fury leads a double life as a guy who jumps around space and magical dimensions killing threats to Earth with Magic God-killer Gamma Bullets.
And his work as Director of SHIELD was basically, as he puts it, a Day Job.
And while I try to shrug off modern comics dumbassery like guns that shoot swords, this just was too much to bear.
Don't get me wrong - I see where writer Jason Aaron is getting his inspiration for this story:
I'm sure, at one point Aaron saw that cover and thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if Nick Fury was a secret Space Agent who went around killing planets with magic god-killer bullets" Note: Aaron has sort of a bullet fixation. In Spider-Man and Wolverine, he made a splash with the idea of a bullet filled with the Pheonix Force.
As a What If Story, that might have been cool (I guess.) but I feel it's a bit outlandish to completely redefining the current continuity Nick Fury like this.
See, this is my idea of who Nick Fury is...
What Original Sin 5 would have you believe is that all these years that Nick Fury was defending Earth against AIM and Hydra (globe spanning threats that would have been too pervasive for a single superhero) he had access to hyper advanced alien detection equipment and magic god-killer bullets AND was able to jump from space, to the Dark Dimension and the Mole Man's underworld kingdom with no trouble at all.
That's just stupid.
For one, how many alien threats have shown up on Earth? Oh, just about a million. In Fantastic Four alone. In the Marvel Universe as a whole, alien threats have been a backbone of almost half of every major event. So, if Fury was the Man on the Wall, he was doing a cruddy job.
The fundamental problem is that they retconned a character when they could have just made up a new one altogether and it would have worked better. Part of me wonders if they didn't want to use Ulysses Bloodstone, but due to a possible rights issue, that direction was nixed?
There was some early rumors that Bloodstone would be in the series. And I seem to recall reading an interview with Bloodstone Co-creator John Warner where it was suggested the ownership of the Bloodstone character wasn't cut and dry. (Which may be why he has been sort of replaced by daughter Elsa Bloodstone in the Marvel Universe.)
As it stands now, retconning Fury diminishes his previous adventures by saying that was just his day job. His REAL job was when he was shooting up giant demons in Dormmamu's backyard and nobody noticed for the last 40 years! I think it's far fetched that no one (Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, Professor X, etc...) never knew Nick Fury was out there jumping from planet to planet, dimension to dimension shooting aliens and monsters, and just leaving the bodies behind, and no one ever noticed and said anything about it.
The Anatomy Lesson this ain't!