Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4 Review

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Adam Kubert

Another Fine Mess Part 4 of 6

Ridiculous. I think you can sum up this issue with one word. You can probably sum up this series with one word. Ridiculous. Of course this is not always a bad thing, and such is the case of Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #4. We get a few doses of ‘shake your head’ ridiculous to go along with a good helping of ‘laugh out loud’ ridiculous. We are now past the halfway mark of the series and it is clear that this story was not meant to be taken seriously. That being said; let us begin.

Wolverine and Spider-Man have been separated. Czar and his vertically-challenged sidekick B, are pulling their shenanigans throughout time. They are basically time-travelling to different eras and using their “timestick” to displace people just for the Hell of it. It’s like when you give a 10 year old a hand buzzer for the first time, only in this case instead of just getting annoyed, the victims end up hanging out with cavemen. So Czar runs into himself at some party at the end of time (a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference?) and talks to his past self about the Wolverine and Spider-Man $@#*. If this is really possible, Back to the Future just became A LOT less suspenseful.

So where are our good buddies Wolverine and Spider-Man right now? Czar must have thought it would be hilarious to match them up again, but this time with the younger version of their counterparts. Wolverine is stuck with the teenage, pre-Uncle Ben’s death Peter and Spidey is on the run from feral Logan and his pack of friendly woodland critters. You decide which is worse, but I was just about ready to punch teenage Peter in the face myself…but then I realized it was a comic book. Through some deus ex machina (Czar popping out of nowhere and smacking them with his bat), the pair are now tied up and set to burn at the stake in what looks like colonial America. Wolverine suggests that someone is doing this for their own amusement and he’s wrong, someone is doing this for everyone else’s amusement (and his own as well I guess, so I take it back). It’s Mojo! And he’s made Wolverine and Spider-Man the subjects of his latest reality show for Mojovision. Ridiculous. Luckily Spider-Man has something up his sleeve, literally.

So there you have it. There seems to be no limit to the craziness in this issue. When Jason Aaron said we were in for something different with this series, he meant it. As far as Kubert’s art goes, it’s perfect for the tone of the story with its fun cartoony feel and the sometimes exaggerated bodies. The dialogue is very good and makes for some hilarious moments as well. Now I won’t say it’s a bad thing, but the story has been taking the back seat to humor in this series and this issue is no exception. It’s a fun read, but I wouldn’t recommend this to just anyone. I have mixed feelings for it myself, mainly because I was hoping for more out of this series, but maybe I was just looking for something completely different. Maybe a little less…ridiculous (yes I like to beat dead horses).

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