Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… I am on vacation so I might not get to do a review for the coming week. So for now, here is the first part of the ‘Astonishing Wolverine/Spider-Man’ series. Hope you enjoy it.
Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1 (preview)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inks: Mark Morales w/Dexter Vine
RECAP: The issue opens with a bearded and dirty Peter Parker studying the primitive sky and declaring that this is the end. He returns to his hand-built house where he had been studying the prehistoric flora and fauna. His biggest regret is never knowing who a mysterious woman is. Someone whose face he keeps seeing in his dreams.
Peter does not want to die alone, so he travels to a valley where the only other person he knows lives. He has avoided the area because the person frightens him and promised to kill Peter if he ever saw him again. That person is Wolverine.
Logan is in the midst of a fight between tribes. He has adopted a group of smaller ape-like men called Small Folk and they are killing a bunch of larger Neanderthals. After the battle, Peter appears and chastises Logan for messing with the time stream. Logan orders him out but Parker says that they are about to be killed by the same asteroid that ended the dinosaurs’ reign. Peter then leaves and each man prepares for his fate staring at the stars and wishing they had found out what had happened to transport then to the past and why.
A flashback shows Spider-Man swinging through the city while Wolverine is stalking a killer in an alleyway. They are both led to the same bank after the murderer kills himself. The bank is being robbed by a villain called the Orb. His henchmen are going through the safety deposit boxes when they find a strange glowing item. Spider-Man and Wolverine arrive at the same time to foil the heist and the glowing item falls to the ground. The next moment the heroes are stuck in the past.
Back in his hut, Peter releases all his specimens and and destroys his work except for the statues he made of the woman from his dreams. He questions his sanity as the space rock nears. Wolverine releases the prisoners from the fight and sits in quiet contemplation as he waits for the end. Neither remains stoic for long, Parker tries to figure a way out and Logan gives into his inner rage
Wolverine finds a hidden person in the moments before impact. The odd stranger begs for his life but does not have time to explain who he works for before the meteor strikes and everything goes white. But Peter and Logan are not dead. They wake up in an alternate present where a cybernetic Devil Dinosaur and a group calling themselves Small Folk rule.
MY TAKE: I really wanted this to be an enjoyable issue and there are parts that are very good, but overall I thought the bad outweighed the good. Very little happens, pretty much the entire issue is taken up by Peter and Logan waiting to die. There is some good drama to this but, for me at least, it got old after a while. I did not see anything really new or revealing in their characters and I am not sure I agree with the ultimate breakdown of their personalities. I do not read Spider-Man so I do not know how much science and intelligence plays in his life, but I do not think Wolverine’s ultimate core is the raging berserker.
Also, I am not sure why Logan and Peter’s relationship is being portrayed with such disdain between them. While they are certainly not best friends, they are a lot closer than showed here. They have been teammates for years and had some intimate heart-to-heart discussions but here they seem more like enemies. I could understand if they had a falling out during the issue but they seem to dislike each other even before they had been sent to the past. I am sure this is to add tension and make a story plot out of working together, but it just does not fit.
On the other hand, my favorite part was actually the brief bank heist in the present. The Orb and his henchmen were pretty amusing and added a much needed note of levity to the proceedings. The underlying mystery is interesting as well. I like how the two heroes are being manipulated on multiple levels for the amusement of another party.
The biggest problem was that this was simply too heavy and dense to really suck you in the way a first issue needs to. It is hard to really care about the loneliness and desperation before the plot is even set up. It seems to be an ambitious story and there is definite potential here, but it not realized so far. The next issue, however, looks to be pretty fun. Devil Dinosaur is very cheesy but I like the idea of a robot dinosaur. Hopefully there will be more action and clues to the mystery next time.
Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.