Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Astonishing Spider-man & Wolverine #1 of 6
Aaron & Kubert
Just when you thought these two characters weren't in enough comic books on a monthly basis they pop up in their own team-up title. Marvel managed to put on some A-list creators to help build some interest in the title and help justify the $4 price tag, but is it any good? Well, the comic book is in fact a good start to a mini series. However, the story finds itself in a difficult spot because a) it could easily be an elseworld's-like story and b) it could appear anywhere in either character's continuity creating a label that could easily be "for the completists". I enjoyed the story but I am going to have a tough time selling the idea that this is for people that aren't either a fan of the creators or characters.
The comic opening threw me for a loop. Peter Parker is bearded and ragged looking, hanging out in some cave. That's correct, it appears he's in some sort of dystopian future. Well, we come to learn he's stranded in the past with Wolverine. While Spidey has taken to living in the caves by himself, Wolverine has decided to lead one tribe's quest for a peaceful existence among the other belligerent tribes.
While the two characters have interesting stories to tell about where they are and what they are doing, something feels out of place. For the most part, Peter Parker is almost too much of a nerd. In theory, he's grown in a different way being stranded and left to his own devices but it doesn't feel natural for him to be the Nature Boy version of Reed Richards. On the other hand, his character falls back into more familiar territory when he interacts with Wolverine. So, in that regard, the characters have their moments of familiarity and their moments of strangeness.
Eventually we learn some of the background about how they came to be in the past and as the plot develops we find out that them being in the past led to consequences in their normal timeline, like something out of Back to the Future. The set up is good for the next issue.
Adam Kubert fans will not be disappointed. All of the regular staples of his work are in here, like the four equal sized panels across two pages for three rows, a personal favorite. He's got quite a good bag of tricks to tell stories and he uses many of them in this issue. Also, the trademarks of many of the Kubert School graduates are in here with the layering of the pencils when drawing backgrounds that drop off focus the further back the objects go. Kubert was a big reason I sampled this issue and I feel he left his stamp on it in a big way.
This issue provides about twenty-five pages of story and a bunch of pin ups for $4. You get top-notch artwork and some great character work from Aaron. The story is a good science-fiction romp but does it fit in with the characters? I suppose it could, but it is very hard to see someone picking this up that aren't targeting the creators or characters. However, I'm willing to guess that if someone does sample this issue that they will thoroughly enjoy the story.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles