Rave : 2014 : ORIGINAL SIN #5 and Dirty Hands

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I just read Cody's review of Original Sin #5. Thanks to Cody's recapping work, I know now that I don't want to buy it.

As per the recap, Nick Fury has spent decades keeping Earth safe by engaging in all sorts of black-ops espionage: extraordinary rendition, torture, assassinations, false-flag operations, etc. If we take him seriously when he says he "burned worlds", then I suppose he committed genocide as well.

All of this, if I understand correctly, is framed as analogous to American espionage in the Cold War era, except rather than destabilizing foreign nations, Fury was destabilizing foreign galaxies.

And if the arc is going where I think it is, one of the ultimate takeaways is that this sort of behaviour is so necessary to Earth's security that another person must start doing it once Fury is unable to continue.

This sort of thing makes me very, very angry.

This sort of realpolitik, Henry-Kissinger-style, appeals to adolescents and people with adolescent sensibilities, which is why, I suppose, it's appearing in this comic-book story. Look, I get my hands dirty! I do terrible things so you don't have to! I'm the one who keeps you safe, but don't ask me how I do it! It allows one to feel like a dangerous badass, while also being virtuous and moral. I get the appeal.

But in the real world, this approach doesn't keep people safe. It leads to blowback, anti-American sentiment, and future terrorism. And along the way, it results in the spilling of buckets of innocent blood. See Allende in Chile; Mosaddegh in Iran; the Contras in Nicaragua; the mujahideen in Afghanistan; the Bay of Pigs in Cuba (which set off a chain of events that nearly led to a nuclear war and the end of human life on Earth); and on and on. See also Abu Ghraib, where, we now know, the USA tortured innocent people (and yes, some guilty ones too) for no strategic or intelligence benefit.

At least Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight film acknowledged that this sort of behaviour is at best only a simulacrum of heroism. If Original Sin glorifies this style of politics and warfare, but fails to acknowledge how deeply morally blameworthy, as well as ineffective at achieving its stated goals, it is, then the miniseries is contemptible. I know Cody gave it one web on the grounds of how ludicrous this plot twist is, and he's right about that. It's also worth one web for its moral fatuousness.

I expect better from Marvel than this.