I see Brevoort is listed as editor of this mini. Of course, he isn’t going to miss a chance to promote NINO (Nova In Name Only). He actually believes NINO is the best embodiment of the Nova concepts. As usual, he’s dead wrong.
Waid delivers an interesting tale about the background of The Watchers, borrowing heavily from Star Trek’s Prime Directive mythos and the mythos of other SF efforts about the dangers of advanced civilizations interfering in the natural evolution of primitive civilizations. In a way it is well-treaded ground both in the history of SF and in the history of Western Civilization on Earth. However, it does kind of give a foundation to the reason for what the Watchers do. Hardly as groundbreaking as some reviews would suggest, but not silly or completely implausible either.
The real weakness of this story is NINO. I realize NINO is only present in this story to try to reverse the flagging sales on his own book, and that Waid is using NINO as the gateway character for the reader to gaze in “wide-eyed wonderment” into the awe and majesty of the Watcher’s technology and mission. And he uses NINO to provide some energy and drama for this otherwise downbeat and introspective story via NINO’s teen antics/dialogue and his family problems.
Frankly, I would’ve preferred a more fleshed-out story focusing on The Watchers without the addition of NINO into the mix. As usual, NINO’s annoyance factors and implausibility factors vastly outweigh his entertainment value. NINO’s wide-eyed wonderment, teen antics, teen dialogue, and contrived family drama were hackneyed right out of the gate and have only become more annoying and hackneyed with the passage of time. The Avengers actually approving his actions sets off all my implausibility alarms. This is not the best embodiment of the Nova concepts, Mr. Brevoort. This is an inferior re-tread of what Wolfman did back in the 70’s. NINO isn’t innovative, interesting, or entertaining.
Turning now to the art and coloring, I’m happy to say that the art and coloring for this book are truly eye-pleasing. I especially enjoyed the manner in which the alternate universes monitored by the Watcher were portrayed.
In short, Original Sin #0 was a mildly interesting though hardly innovative explanation of the motivations and history of The Watchers. Sadly, it was sullied by the completely un-necessary addition of the annoying NINO character. Supposedly this mini and its tie-ins will explain the fate of the Earth’s true Nova, Rich Rider. With Brevoort and Bendis handling it, I’d say there’s cause for all true Rider Nova fans to be worried. It’s a foregone conclusion that with Brevoort’s and Bendis’ involvement, Rider’s return will be un-satisfying to his fans and Rider’s fate will follow some typical comic book cliché. I’m guessing he’ll either be brought back as a Shuma-Gorath possessed villain, be heroically killed off for good to solidify NINO in place, and/or it will be revealed that NINO/Jesse are really time and alternate-universe displaced versions of Rich. Any of those cliché’s sound good to you Rider Nova fans? Me neither.