Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #3

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #3

B

I’m not quite sure exactly what Marvel is going for with this “Astonishing” line of books. Trying to catch lightning in a bottle again after the runaway success—both critical and commercial—of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s original Astonishing X-Men line? Seems like they’ve already tried that already with limited success, as evidenced by Warren Ellis’ less than inspiring follow-up run on that series.

Though not up to the par of Whedon and Cassaday’s creation, the first three issues of Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine have certainly been fun and with its share of memorable moments.I mean, c’mon, how can you not crack a smile when this issue opens up with Wolverine standing upon the ruins of the Statue of Liberty in a dystopian future—is there any other kind—facing down a planet-sized, and angry, version of Doctor Doom, armed only with a gun that fires a weaponized version of the Phoenix Force?? That same Phoenix Force that once possed the body of his one-time mega-crush, Jean Grey. That’s just good writing. Well, at least in that instance. The plot of this series still seems to be trying to find its footing.

And while we don’t quite know all the particulars of what exactly is going on, it is the characterizations of Jason Aaron that have saved this series thus far. My only complaint is maybe that we’ve had one too many angry Wolverine versus Spider-Man spats? Though, I must say, the fight between the two that we get in this issue is certainly well-founded, at least from Logan’s perspective. Jason Aaron certainly has a way about him in the witty banter department. He’s proven himself well in the past of being able to find Logan’s voice, but it is his treatment of Peter Parker in this series that I’ve enjoyed the most.

The end of this issue offers yet another twist—or two—in the whole skipping through time motif that this story has been built on. Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone is skipping through time lately? Batman, Captain America, all those people on Oceanic flight 815… anywho… I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the art of Adam Kubert. This whole issue is filled with dynamic panels, and his depiction of a villainous Doctor Doom planet is certainly awe-inspiring, but really, what else would you expect from a Kubert? His family is practically comic book royalty.

So why did I only give this issue a B? Well, I guess part of me is just waiting to see how the plot fills itself out in the remaining three issues and part of me still wants to compare it to the original “Astonishing” series from Whedon and Cassaday… and in that comparison this series—fun as it may be—just comes off as trite in comparison to the big ideas and flawless art of Astonishing X-Men.

tags: adam kubert, jason aaron, spider-man, wolverine

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