Marvel's two biggest stars are together again for a new mini from Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert. Is it Amazing? Spectacular? Sensational? No way man, it's Astonishing!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Artwork by Adam Kubert, Mark Morales, Dexter Vines and Justin Ponsor
THE HEROIC AGE IS HERE! Spider-Man and Wolverine! Everyone’s favorite wise-cracking web-spinner and ferocious furball come together in their first major series ever! The super-star creative team of Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE: WEAPON X, PUNISHERMAX) and Adam Kubert (ULT. FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN) send Spidey and Wolvie to the edges of the Marvel Universe as they face such awful beings as The Czar, Big Murder and Doom the Living Planet! But who is the major Marvel villain pulling the strings? And can Spidey & Wolvie refrain from killing one another long enough to find out? Rated T …$3.99
Marvel don't really have a 'Big Two.' At DC, it's easy; you just throw Batman and Superman together, and story sparks fly (Superman/Batman is at like#60, how did that happen?). But their competition across the street don't have a go-to 'World's Finest'. Maybe it's Cap and Iron Man. maybe it's Howard The Duck and Forbush Man.
But my vote would go to the characters who are also the most bankable and well-known: Spider-Man and Wolverine. The characters have teamed up over the years (that famous one-shot) and are New Avengers together, so I suppose it only makes sense to try and spin something more long-term out of this partnership.
Only they don't actually like each other. Throughout this issue, in both Spider-Man and Wolverine's interior monologues, we see just why a team-up between the two doesn't work. The characters are trapped back in Caveman days, and we learn that they'd rather be there with their worst enemies than each other. It's chalk and cheese really, and it's a lot of fun.
I mentioned they are back in Caveman days, and that's where the book picks up. Peter and Logan have been transported back in time, and have been there for a few months. Spidey is being responsible (with his great power) and trying not to effect the timestream, but Logan... well, he's helping some weak-ass Cavemen fight the stronger guys.
There's an interesting mystery as to why they've been sent to the past: they were solving a robbery by Ghost Rider villain The Orb (who was hilarious, well done to Aaron for re-using him after his GR run) and some mysterious jewels zapped them into the past. There's also a mysterious woman who Spider-Man sees in his dreams.
In the book's climax, the dynamic duo are transported back to the present, only it's not the present. Wolverine has fucked with the timestream and there's a giant Robot Devil Dinosaur.
You read that right.
This is a pretty off the wall story, not what you'd expect from Spider-Man and Wolverine. It's not street-level. Jason Aaron is setting up what looks to be a wild ride, an epic journey across the MU and beyond. Aaron is often seen as a grim n' gritty crime guy, but readers of his Ghost Rider have seen him unleash the crazy, and this looks to be following that tone.
We all know that Aaron knows the character of Wolverine better than almost anyone (read Weapon X people!), but I was surprised by how strong his take on Spider-Man was. He was funny and glib of course, but there's hidden depths. It's fun to see two contrasting personalities bicker back and forth, and on the basis of this issue, Aaron should do some solo Spidey stories.
Artwork for this issue is provided by Adam Kubert, who is probably my favourite Kubert, and it's really good stuff, a step above his Action Comics for me. He draws a kick-ass Wolverine, and even manages to make Spider-Man look good with a beard. He's the perfect, traditional superhero artist for such a fun, unpredictable, comic-booky story.
This issue comes highly recommended, if you're a fan of Spider-Man and Wolverine you were going to get it anyway, but I feel this is a really good issue for a new reader or a casual reader. You only need to know the basic details of both characters. It's continuity-lite really, and I suppose that's the point of this Astonishing line: to provide hassle-free introductory books for curious readers. But there are nuggets here for more experienced Marvel fans: the Orb, Devil Dinosaur, and hopefully more to come. Aaron, Kubert, Spider-Man and Wolverine have a wild ride for us up ahead.