REVIEW: ‘Marvel Action: Origins,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marvel Action Origins #1 - But Why Tho?

Marvel Action: Origins #1 is a retelling of two classic Marvel Comics origin stories written by Christopher Eliopoulos with art by Lanna Souvanny, letters by Elizabeth Brei, and published by IDW Publishing. The first issue of this new mini-series retells Peter Parker’s origin as the amazing Spider-Man and the Mad Titan Thanos’s collection of the Infinity Stones.

Spider-Man’s origin story has been told and retold time and again for decades through comics, movies, tv shows, and more, and, you know what, this retelling still feels as fresh as any. It’s a slightly abbreviated rendition, moving at a slightly more brisk tempo than the original, but it hits every note. Peter is a genius who is bullied in school, lives with his loving aunt and uncle, and suddenly finds himself with spider powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. This rendition of the story adds a bit of its own flair and character though. It’s geared towards a slightly younger audience, so the dialogue is rather simple. It also shows a dynamic between Peter and his Uncle Ben that makes the story’s conclusion hit a little differently than usual.

I also adore the artistic direction. It’s very modern, not attempting to facsimile the original story in any way. The lines are thick, the formatting for the panels is loose and creative, and the characters are drawn with so much personality. I especially appreciate that, for once, Peter looks like an actual teenager, the way he is meant to. The colors are on-point, filling in most scenes rather sharply. There are a few occasions where the coloring feels a bit dark or muddled though. And the lettering is well-done, especially in how it distinguishes between types of speech, narration, and SFX.

Thanos’s origin story in Marvel Action: Origins #1 is less his origin as a villain and more the origin of the Infinity Stones. This story starts off with a tad of background on the Mad Titan but quickly gets into his discovering these gems of boundless power. It’s a very truncated version of the story that somewhat mixes things up between the original comic version and the movie version. Unfortunately, in its rapidness, the story becomes a little hard to follow. There are moments where you can’t tell if the story is moving forward or if it’s flashing back, and it just moves so quickly that, if I didn’t have a familiarity with the story, I wouldn’t be sure I was following it completely. I do appreciate its conclusion though. It includes a very key piece from the comics that holds perhaps some of the most emotional weight out of the whole story.

Nonetheless, the illustration, colors, and lettering equally strong in the second story as they were in the first. In fact, there are a few especially strong moments of bright, cosmic colors and excellent SFX. Thanos in particular is drawn really well. The stylization taken in this series had me wondering whether the proportions would look weird on him or not, but he ended up being perhaps the best-looking character in the whole issue.

Marvel Action: Origins #1 is a great introduction to two famous Marvel characters for new readers as well as a nice, albeit truncated, retelling for longtime fans to enjoy. The stories, especially Thanos’s, may miss a couple of beats, but the art is particularly excellent and really plants these decades-old stories firmly in modernity.

Marvel Action: Origins #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Marvel Action: Origins #1
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TL;DR

Marvel Action: Origins #1 is a great introduction to two famous Marvel characters for new readers as well as a nice, albeit truncated, retelling for longtime fans to enjoy. The stories, especially Thanos’s, may miss a couple of beats, but the art is particularly excellent and really plants these decades-old stories firmly in modernity.