Published on June 20th, 2012 | by Mike Harding0
Mikey’s Library Hot Picks: Astonishing!!
In 1993 Adam Kubert was dazzling fans with his work on Wolverine and X-men, In 2011 Jason Aaron started writing “Wolverine & the X-men”. In 2010 these titans of the X-universe teamed up to give the world Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine.
This week there is only one book being reviewed, largely due to the fact that I am working on a larger upcoming review, and can only have so many books out of the library at once. As you have already seen that book is Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine, which was a six part limited series that originally ran bi-monthly from May 2010 – May 2011.
I remember when I heard there would be another “Astonishing” title added to Marvel’s line up, and thinking, “well it doesn’t matter, they’re largely continuity free” and with this thought in mind, I ignored the series entirely, guffawed at some of the covers at the time, whilst being very aware that this series was getting quite a good, and positive following. So when I saw the chance to read this, I figuratively jumped at the chance (I don’t jump~bad knees).
The story begins with scenes set on prehistoric Earth, a ragged and bearded Spidey has used a cobbled-together telescope to chart the course of an asteroid heading on a collision course for the planet, which, of course, is the same asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Reluctantly, he visits a colony of primitive ape creatures, ruled over by Wolverine, ignoring Logan’s long-held warnings, that he does so on risk of death. Spidey confronts his fellow Avenger with the news of the imminent catastrophe, and despite facing certain death, they still can’t get along.
The narrative then flashes back to present day New York, where the two heroes interrupt a bank robbery, only to find themselves catapulted into the past by the power of a mysterious hoard of diamonds. Needless to say, the Cretaceous Period isn’t their only stop on their journey through time. They face new challenges, and very different versions of old challenges. The reveals in this book take a while, and when they do come, there is a part of you that wishes that the villain was someone else. Despite that, this book is a great read and a lot of fun.
As the, then current writer of Wolverine’s main solo series, Aaron has a very good handle on the character, but what is evident here, is how much more of a grasp he has on Spider-Man. Whereas many writers ignore Peter Parker’s intelligence, and portray him merely as a wise-cracking adventurer, Aaron recognises, that should the wall-crawler find himself stranded in the past, then it would be his genius level intellect that he would call on to make life more bearable. As always, Adam Kubert draws a brilliant version of Wolverine, and an equally good depiction of Spider-Man, his designs for villains are clever, and even his handling of the main villain is well done (not an easy feat considering the character in question)
There should be no surprises that two of Marvel’s leading characters don’t end up living out their days in another era, but, what is important here, is the journey they take and the lessons they learn in doing so (almost none what-so-ever), which leaves the reader happily satisfied without the need for continuity-shaking twists at its conclusion. Although I would like to know if the final page was ever followed up, as it was a very interesting premise
Well, that’s all for this week, hopefully I will have finished reading the story I want to review, and can write a larger article next week, it may even be a two parter. Don’t forget to take your books back!!