Marvel's latest Event Comic has been a cracking mystery, with plenty of action to keep readers riveted. As for chapter 8: the artwork, the story, the action— they're all on par with the series as a whole, which is impressive. The pacing has been tight. So why does it seem... not quite as good? (Spoilers below.)
Early gripe: I have no idea who told Frank Martin to put Captain Marvel, Daredevil, Wolverine, Mr. Fantastic, or Iron Fist on the cover. That's five characters who don't appear in the comic. At all. Sheesh.
All right. So there have been clues since the beginning that Nick Fury killed the Watcher. There was some tension and question as to whether he pulled the trigger when Doc Midas, Exterminatrix and The Orb showed up to burglarize the Watcher's joint, in a flashback in issue 7. Only to reveal... that yeah. Nick Fury killed the Watcher.
It's a bit of an anti-climax to learn that this guy who's been keeping secrets from you... is keeping secrets from you. Granted, I'd rather an ending that makes sense, vs. an arbitrary twist out of left field.
Anyway! Back to the story proper. A small fleet of Watchers showed up to, you guessed it, watch. Doc Midas, Exterminatrix, and The Orb are back on the moon for a second round of Rob-The-Watcher. Old!Fury is on hand to stop them single-handed. Fury's got the best of his arsenal on hand— literally.
The old war horse can still take care of himself. In his flashback, Fury calls out Uatu for never lifting a finger. The Orb continues his single-minded task: getting his mitts on Uatu's eyeballs. Yech. He seems to be making progress, until the tendrils attached to the peepers turn the tables and start strangling him. Turnabout's fair play, I guess?
The Orb writhes around in agony as the eyeball digs itself through his sternum. The other Watchers watch, coldly.
Fury eventually zaps Doc Midas with Uatu's remaining eyeball, bringing the whole house down around them.
Aaaand I think I just sorted out what I think is lacking here: The heroes don't actually do anything. For all their investigations, digging up Fury's old handiwork as Marvel's black ops assassin with a heart of gold, they don't change anything. It's Fury's story, start to finish.
He shows up on the moon to finish what Doc Midas and the Orb started, he kicks off the investigation, he's waiting for our heroes to find him at his private satellite, so he can tell them all about his side job (and recruiting one of them for it). He flies to the moon to fight the bad guys single-handed.
After the explosive finale, the heroes fly back to Earth... having forgotten Thor. He's a bit occupied, trying to lift Mjolnir. (He somehow lost his worth last issue.) The Winter Soldier's taken on a new side job as Fury's replacement, sniping potential threats. And Fury himself is stranded on the moon, wearing some version of the Watcher's get-up, shackled to the rubble of the Watcher's castle.
So yeah. A bit of a disappointment in ways, but it's small potatoes. Well drawn, well written, well paced, buckets of comic book action, and it kicked off plenty of revelations for Marvel's top heroes— resulting in tie-in comics I actually wanted to read.
What do you think?
Casey Jones is a voiceover artist and screenwriter. You can check out his work here.