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Monday, May 12, 2014 

Original Sin puts Watcher through nightmarish gore

Newsarama interviewed the now unendurable editor Tom Brevoort, and they brought up what kind of violent imagery was injected into the story:
Newsarama: Much occurred in Original Sin #1, but let’s start at the end and that haunting look of someone holding a giant bloody eye in their hand. How did the idea for Original Sin pivot to be on the possession of a person’s bloody eyes?

Tom Brevoort: That kind of came along later. Original Sin all begins with the idea that our assorted heroes and characters would have to face secrets and skeletons in their closets; things from their past, or from the pasts of people in their immediate circle, that create a profound change and put them into difficult positions when they came to light. The first question that naturally led us to was that if all these things are so secret and spread amongst disparate characters with their own lives and live in vastly different places, who would possibly have access to all of this information? That led us to the Watcher, who has seen everything and recorded everything.

Once we had the Watcher in mind, that led us to figuring out where he would have it. It’s not like Uatu kept a journal or anything, so how do you access it? That led us to the idea that since the Watcher has seen everything and his physiology as a cosmic being is so profoundly different than our own, maybe some way to get to see all the things he’s seen is through his eyes. It’s a fairly simple sort of idea, and it harkens back to the idea of a mystic “third eye” and that kind of thing.

Nrama: Were there any conversations internally at Marvel debating about centering a Marvel event on bloody eyes ripped from a dead body? I’m not criticizing, but curious about it being literally a fresh body part as the crux of the story.

Brevoort: Not to the extent that we didn’t do it, obviously. We manufactured bouncing rubber eyeballs! [laughs]

It’s certainly a potentially gruesome image, but it’s also kind of abstract as well. The Watcher wasn’t a human being like you or I; his eyes are much larger, as well.

One of the things we did fail to take into account was that typically when we see the Watcher, he has no pupils; but for these eyes we added pupils as artistic license, so the eyes don’t look like simple white spheres.
Who cares about abstract? Is Brevoort saying that being a non-human entity makes it perfectly fine to mutilate an alien? And this is nothing to laugh about, though he obviously doesn't think so. He's also missed at least a few moments in past Marvel history where the Watcher can be seen with pupils: in Fantastic Four #188 from 1977, George Perez did draw Uatu with pupils. Why should they need "artistic license" when there's already an example of the Watcher drawn with eye pupils? There's also nothing artistic about what they've done to Uatu now.
Nrama: And the Watcher’s murdered body is first discovered by a group of heroes led by Captain America, and right away he asks the retired Nick Fury to lead the investigation – not S.H.I.E.L.D., not S.W.O.R.D., not any other active hero. What does Fury have that others don’t in Cap’s eyes?

Brevoort: Well, it certainly helped that Nick was right there. And also Fury’s no longer running S.H.I.E.L.D. and has functioned as an agent of nothing, so to speak, for the past couple years. And he’s the closest thing the Avengers have to someone who is used to operating in the mold of ‘murder police’ as Cap puts it; he’s been in this position to investigate a high-profile killing before. Also, because he’s an agent of nothing he’s not connected to any particular group or bureaucracy that might cause complications. Bringing in S.H.I.E.L.D., for example, brings in all the questions of what S.H.I.E.L.D. is, who they report to, their trustworthy-ness, and the question of if they should have this kind of thing.
They're keeping up the modern PC notion that SHIELD is untrustworthy. And what's this supposed to mean Fury represents "nothing"? It sounds ridiculous; maybe a hint that he's no longer representing America?
Nrama: A man with one eye on the case of a murder with eyes stolen – coincidence, or is there something to that?

Brevoort: It’s not like Nick lost his eye yesterday. [laughs] So on that level its pure coincidence. Fury has been wearing an eyepatch for a long time, but yes there’s perhaps some irony that the one-eyed man is the best investigator for a murder involving eyeballs being removed. But there’s not anything more to it than that.
It's not like Fury's loss during WW2 is funny either. Again, Brevoort's acting like this is something hilarious, when it's not.

And look at what they're doing with the Punisher:
Nrama: One additional thing people noticed in their scenes together was the caption box billing Frank Castle as “the World’s Most Successful Mass Murderer.” Readers know full and well the Punisher kills people and Jason wrote him extensively in Punisher MAX, but that phrasing certainly adds a more malicious light to his actions. What can you say about that?

Brevoort: Again, I sort of hate to discourage conjecture about stuff, but it is an interesting way to frame things. It certainly offers a new way to look at the Punisher for people, and actually it’s pretty accurate to what he has done, what he does now, and what he will presumably do tomorrow. Certainly Jason has a history with Frank going back to Punisher MAX as you mentioned, and spent a lot of time in that character’s headspace. But I don’t think Jason hangs that nametag on Frank lightly.

It’s also just a funny line. He’s the world’s most successful mass murderer, and there’s some truth in that.
This whole dialogue reeks of just the kind of leftism that's destroyed Frank Castle ever since Garth Ennis got his mitts on the Punisher. It completely misses the point: Frank wiped out criminals like murderers, and they're smearing him with what the lawbreakers he went after usually did, including those who wiped out his family? And if memory serves, Frank usually avoided terminating lesser criminals like robbers; I think there was an issue in the early 90s where he let some shoplifters go without threatening their lives. I won't say Frank's MO is literally justified, but Brevoort and his Newsarama interviewer aren't helping by obscuring the reasons why Frank's killed. It's offensive they should be calling a character they're still bound to market with his own solo books a "mass murderer", and doubly so if they start turning him into that for real, while absolving his quarry of any crimes they've committed.

In fact, it's stupid how they're dragging characters like the Punisher into a story with cosmic elements they were never suited for co-starring in. And the advertising line they used isn't funny.

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World's Most Successful Mass Murderer - If you ignore Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro, etc. Mostly people who share Brevoort's politics to a large degree.

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