Comics : Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #3

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This story is part of an Arc: "Another Fine Mess"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

This review was first published on: Nov 2010.

Background...

Spidey and Wolverine are still time-tripping, for unknown reasons. Lastly, they ended up in a dimension run by ape-men, due to Wolverine altering the timeline in the past. The world they found themselves in was threatened by Doom, the Living Planet. Spider-man unearthed the Phoenix force and found a way to craft it into a bullet that’ll destroy planets (hey, it’s comics). Since whoever fires the gun will be atomized, Wolverine has decided to step up, knocking Peter unconscious and taking the gun to finish the job himself.

In Detail...

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #3
Sep 2010 : SM Title
Arc: Part 3 of "Another Fine Mess"
Editor:  Nick Lowe
Writer:  Jason Aaron
Pencils:  Adam Kubert
Inker:  Mark Morales
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Review

Wolverine is reflecting on a life where he’s “fought in pretty much every war there’s been”, and killed more people than he could count in a day. The ape people who worship Wolverine as a messiah bring him the “sacred liqid”, prepared just as Wolvie taught them—beer (a funny callback to the first issue). Wolvie takes a healthy swig, deeming it a “damn good I.P.A.”.

Wolverine goes on to reflect that he’s done it all, had enough sex and killing and drinking to last ten whole lifetimes, maybe more, but wonders where all the time went now that he’s facing his end. He says he’ll die like he’s always lived, like he’s seen it all before—cue an impressive 3-page foldout of Wolverine standing before Doom.

Spidey awakens, and quickly swings over to stop Logan, who thinks just his luck, the last thing he’ll ever hear is “Parker”. Wolverine fires, and is engulfed in the flame of the Phoenix force as Spider-man looks on. The bullet shatters Doom the Living Planet. Later, Wolverine’s followers are mourning his loss. Peter is back in his makeshift lab, thinking he has to put things right, that they shouldn’t even be in this time in the first place. He has the melted remains of Logan, and thinks he can use the cosmic cube to make him whole again. He is unsuccessful as time passes, marked by the growth of Peter’s beard through panels.

Meanwhile, Logan is fetally floating in the ether, thinking being alone is what he deserves for his past sins. He hears a voice call his name—his mother. She reaches out a hand to him, promising to make everything alright. Right at that moment, Peter has got the cosmic cube working—and brings Logan back to life. Logan is obviously enraged at this, and he and Spider-man begin to fight. The two figures covered in diamonds from the end of last issue watch as the two fight. They say the “big man” will be pissed if one of them should actually die. With a whack of one of the watcher’s diamond-encrusted stick, Wolverine and Spidey are lost in time again—this time Wolverine is backstage, unclear where he is, and is having a wrestler’s mask put on him as he’s shoved through the stage curtains where he is to face—The Amazing Spider-man, in his pre-costumed days as a wrestler. Spider-man, meanwhile, wakes up in a snowy setting, wrapped in a garb of meat. Wolverine stands before him with wolves.

In General...

This is a 22-page story that is mostly padded out with splash pages, and contains such story macguffins as bullets that destroy invading planets and cosmic cubes that bring back the remains of a character. That it ends up being eminently more fun and readable than Spider-man’s main title (and even perhaps Wolverine’s own, though I don’t read it) is just par for the course. Kubert’s layouts are as dynamic and crisp as ever—the foldout page with Wolverine standing down Doom is very epic. Jason Aaron does great work with the scripting once again.

We’re also left on a cliffhanger of sorts, as the two are displaced in time again. It’s time to start filling in readers as to what’s happening to Spidey and Wolverine, which we’ll probably start to get next issue.

Overall Rating...

Great stuff once more, though this issue came off as a bit filler-ish. With no impending catastrophe like the imminent destruction of a planet, the story has slowed--though the quality of the issue more than makes up for it. I really have no idea where this tale is going, but can’t wait to see what happens.