On Wednesdays We Wear Ink: THE BEST SPIDER-MAN STORY EVER!
Posted on February 11, 2015
February 11, 2015 | by Andy Waterfield
On Wednesdays We Wear Ink is a weekly column about comics and comics culture. For past columns, click here.
I was gonna write about something else this week, but late at night on Monday, BIG TIME SORT-OF COMICS NEWS happened.
Basically, Marvel Entertainment have made a deal with Sony to co-produce Spider-man movies, and include Spider-man in the now 10-film strong MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Why did they do this? Because they sold the Spider-man movie rights to Sony back in the ‘90s, Sony haven’t been quite sure what to do with them since Amazing Spider-man 2’s disappointing performance, and both businesses know that they stand to make a lot more money if they work together.
Capitalism, eh? What are you gonna do? Aside from overthrowing the corrupt institutions of the neo-liberal, late-modern state in favour of a global network of anarcho-syndicalist collectives, obviously.
A Spidey pin-up by the mighty Ryan Stegman
Anyway, seeing as this is now World Talking About Spider-man Week, we’re going to do exactly that, but we won’t be covered all the stuff you can read elsewhere. This is not the place for Hollywood realpolitik, or what this means to Sony’s fortunes, or how many lunchboxes they can expect to sell when Spidey pops up in Captain America 3: Fighting Round The World.
No, we’re going to talk about the greatest Spider-man story of all time: Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert’s Astonishing Spider-man and Wolverine.
SPOILERS (AND AWESOMENESS UNBOUND) AHEAD!
Spider-man and Wolverine: You ain’t getting a film about this, mate!
Imagine the greatest buddy movie ever. For the sake of argument, we’ll call that movie Turner & Hooch. Circumstances throw our protagonists together, and they don’t get on at all, but gradually they come to respect one another, before finally becoming firm friends. Now imagine that perfect buddy movie (Turner & Hooch), but instead of a wise-cracking police bloke, it’s fucking Spider-man, and instead of a giant stinky dog it’s… Nevermind.
Now imagine that the circumstances which throw Spidey and Wolverine together aren’t something as pedestrian as a dead old bloke on a pier, but TIME TRAVEL DIAMONDS! They both happen across the same bank robbery, when a bloke with a giant eyeball for a head drops some time travel diamonds, and inadvertently sends our two heroes hurtling into the past!
You might be asking yourself, “What are time travel diamonds and how does that make any sense?” There’s only one answer to that question: Who cares?
Once they’re in the past, they fall out with each other, and both go a bit doo-lally-tap from the isolation. Also, an ancient tribe called the small people decide that they must be gods, because OF COURSE!
They might be gods, but they’re not friends.
Just as they’re getting geared up to get squashed by a bloody great asteroid Peter has noticed (because he built an awesome observatory out of bamboo and stuff), they go careering through time again, and find a geezer riding on the back of a bloody great red dinosaur. The dinosaur is called Devil Dinosaur, because why not?
Cue Devil Dinosaur!
As the story continues, there’s a lot more jumping about in time, the bloke with an eyeball for a head shows up with a massive gun and arms the size of tree trunks (for no apparent reason), the small people start brewing beer, and some street criminals turn up with the time travel diamonds inlaid into baseball bats, jewellery, and their teeth!
Accessories make an outfit, darling.
THIS COMIC IS INSANE!
There’s so much mind-blowing stuff in this thing, but amongst all the chaos, all the wild mash-ups of great Marvel concepts, and all the violence across space and time, there’s a really great story here. While Peter’s constant talking annoys the piss out of Wolverine, they learn a good deal about each other as their adventure goes on, and by the end of it, Wolverine, the bloke with six massive knives sticking out of his knuckles, actually comes off as sensitive, protective, and paternal toward Pete.
Similarly, Peter, whose moral compass is very much of the ‘the ends cannot justify the means’ variety, which makes him judgemental at times (especially toward a bloke who kills more people than the rest of us have hot dinners), gradually comes to understand Logan’s motivations a little better. There’s also a love story (not between Peter and Logan, more’s the pity) that will stab you in the guts and strangle your heart with your own severed vocal chords. Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert are master storytellers, at the absolute top of their respective crafts, and they are absolutely on fire here.
I cried a bit when I first read it, but don’t tell anyone.
If perfectly told, genuinely touching character moments aren’t your thing, there’s also a bit where they fight A GIANT EVIL PLANET WITH A FACE!
All in all, Astonishing Spider-man and Wolverine is probably the best thing that has ever happened, including, but not limited to:
The Beastie Boys
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
If you doubt this in any way, I implore you to acquire a copy, sit back, and get your face blown off by the sheer, undiluted, awesome of the thing, while spectacular creators turn your hardened, cynical heart into a fluffy ball of cute, before drenching it with your tears!
Will the next Spider-man movie have living planets, dinosaurs, and Wolverine breaking all the rules of time travel by teaching ancient peoples how to brew a perfect IPA? Will it bollocks.
“We are all born naked. The rest is drag.” – RuPaul
Comics are awesome, even when they’re completely batshit insane. Especially then. Movies can’t begin to come close to this level of radness. To quote the great Becky Cloonan, “Comics rule everything around me.”
Now piss off and read some. Have a good week!