Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine # 2 review

Posted by Combustible Pumpkins 01 August 2010

Wolverine becomes Neanderthal's messiah. Spidey works out how to defend the planet while teaching the little ape-folk science.

~The Story~

Devil Dinosaur rampaging was not, I repeat, not responsible for the large scale demolition of NYC! Rather, he is merely a defender, nay, ruler of the wasteland. A wasteland brought about not by a building-sized mechanical T-Rex, but an immense moon-sized war machine sphere known as DOOM, THE LIVING PLANET!

Let's go directly to Spidey's narration courtesy of writer, Jason Aaron:

"The Legends say an aging Doom, sensing death was near, managed to transplant his consciousness into the only thing big enough to contain his massive ego. An entire planet. In the process most every little thing on the face of the Earth was wiped out."

So in this particular issue Spidey doesn't entirely blame Wolverine for the time line they're stuck in. Spidey admits that teaching the ape-folk how to survive (thereby outliving the dinosaurs) was a noble act. If Wolverine didn't help Neanderthal 65 million years ago, Spidey would be witness to a lifeless world where every intelligent being perished because of Doom. (Apparently throughout their history, the Neanderthal hid away in nature like Bigfoot or something...)

Yet, Wolverine has little to do with the Ape-Folk at this point. He's too busy smashing up giant danger-roomesque robots, and loathes the very notion of being regarded as savior...

You know, I can tell you about everything that happens in this comic, but I feel I'd be robbing you folks of the experience. The comic should be read by everyone remotely interested in Marvel comics. The bottom line is Wolverine has little patience for a wise ass and Spidey can't help but be one. Jason Aaron understands this, and not only does he write snappy dialog, but he knows how to direct the artist to show more than Aaron actually tells. Here is a comic that really invites you to be present, to pick up on all the little nuances that are very significant to the plot's forward thrust.

Anyway, the humor never ceases. Spidey actually swipes his new suit from Garbonzo's Super Heroes Wax Museum off lifelike sculptures that read 'History's Lamest Heroes.' The suit has the word 'lame' spelt across the buttocks, so literally he has LAME written on his ass. And this is funny, not because I'm telling you it's funny, but because the actual execution, the panel layouts of the details is funny.

Also, Spidey has a weapons storehouse from former Marvel super types (i.e. Goblin glider, Mjollnir, Magneto's helmet, etc.) and is at a complete lose as to fire up the Cosmic Cube.

Oh, there's the return of The Orb who is buffed out like Rambo and even wears a bandanna as such and fires lasers from something resembling a machine gun. He attacks Spidey demanding he hand over the diamonds which are responsible for the time traveling, and even blames Spidey for the mess he's in. Suddenly, arms protrude from light spheres which yank The Orb backwards into another dimension as he yells "Aaaaah. Oh God, they found me! No stop! It's not me you want, it's The Czar!"

Spidey's puzzlement is interrupted, however, by an electric ox horn, sounding off an emergence! Apparently diggers have found an underground bunker with strange writings on the wall which the reader immediately identifies as the X-Men insignia.

It's there that Spidey finds Phoenix Force bullets and a gun to fire them. Just the sort of thing needed against Doom Planet, I'd say. The problem is the wielder of the weapon, according to Spidey's calculations, gets reduced to subatomic particles. All the more reason for Wolverine to knock Spidey out, which he does and takes the gun for himself stating "Jeannie and I got this."

As Wolverine steps outside to confront Doom with the new weapon, we see the mysterious Czar and his gang in silhouette spying on Wolverine from a high vantage point. We don't get a good look at The Czar although we get a close up of the diamonds responsible for the time traveling studded to The Czar's club and, in total gangsta style, his teeth.


Aaron's writing style is crisp, and right to the point. He has the characters state obvious irony for comedic effect and it works. In fact, Spidey's unique and keen awareness of irony is what makes him funny; not the goofy, awkward, wise-cracker that is so often portrayed as him by other writers. Aaron's dialogs are loaded with info, he reveals a lot of the story events this way which is fun and never verbose.

He also understands connections which add depth to the plot twists, firing the Phoenix Force is rightly a Wolverine task for example; and of course he continues to righteously write Spider-Man as a scientist. In this moment he's one of my favorite Spidey writers, and that's saying a lot since I've been reading Spidey for almost thirty years.

Adam Kubert's panel layouts, perspectives, and splash pages are one of the best in the business. Owning his work for a measly four bucks is an absolute steal. Definitely worth abstaining from a trip to McDonald's for.

10/10, much cooler than what we've been receiving from ASM as of late. Even better than Grim Hunt.

Favorite line in the book (from Spidey to Wolvie): "Maybe I love these little chats of ours. Almost as much as I love ingrown toe nails and explosive diarrhea."


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