Finally, after more than six months of not having a single new comic book featuring Peter Parker as Spider-Man, I have to dip into a Wolverine title of all places to find flesh-and-blood, old-school, wise-cracking Spidey. And unlike the story we were all fed during the first few issues of Age of Ultron – where Brian Michael Bendis’ characterization of the character was clearly Peter (and since the comic was originally written before ASM #700 this would make sense) but Marvel denied it profusely – right there on the intro page of Savage Wolverine #6 Marvel tells its readers not to be confused by the continuity since the story takes place last October. So take that Dan Slott, you can’t kill Peter forever!!!
And yet, rather than popping champagne and going on random internet message boards where I wish bad things to Marvel’s creative forces for having to endure six whole months of Otto Octavius masquerading as Peter Parker (is there a sarcasm font for WordPress? I would hope by this point most of you know I’ve been a huge fan of the Superior-era) I’m actually a touch disappointed in the circumstances behind Peter’s resurrection.
Savage Wolverine #6 reunites the creative team of Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira, who I thought did a bang-up job on the first few issues of Avenging Spider-Man, transforming what initially appeared to be another inconsequential secondary title designed to suck cash from hardcore Spidey fans’ wallets into a fun little romp that adeptly highlighted the superhero characteristics that set the Web Slinger apart from the rest of his Avengers. As such, this Wolverine/Spider-Man arc (which will run in three parts) was slated to run in Avenging, but then was tabled when the status quo switched up in late December.
So while I’m thrilled to get the comic book equivalent of the Beatles anthology albums – lost footage that’s been repurposed and remastered – I’m a little bummed that Marvel choice to shoehorn this story into a Wolverine series rather than its own independent mini or one-shot (three-shot?). While Spider-Man has some great comedic moments in this comic – him trying to explain his powers to Elektra was especially hilarious – this arc is clearly going to be focused on Logan (and Wells and Joe Mads have admitted as such in interviews).
Late next month, I intend to do a post dedicated to the Spider-Man/Wolverine relationship (could I possibly be saving this write-up for a certain movie coming out in a few weeks? Ain’t I a stinker) because I think there’s a decent amount of interesting things that can be said about those two. I actually really like the pairing, because they both go about their business so different: Spider-Man the hero whose moral code and crippling guilt give him a certain naïve purity, and Logan, the anti-hero of all anti-heroes, a guy who will kill if necessary and not feel any pang of guilt about it. Additionally, there’s a mysticism to Logan that I think contrasts well with Spider-Man’s brainy, city-boy persona (in Savage Wolverine #6, Peter slices up Wolverine’s bed sheets with one of his samurai swords).
But I’ve also long been a fan of this relationship when it’s featured through the lens of Spider-Man. If Spidey is really only going to be a secondary character in this arc, that means he’s primarily going be deployed for some levity and comic relief. And that leaves me just a little bit deflated about the fact that I’ve waiting six months for a glimpse of Peter Parker again, and the version I’m going to get is the guy who annoys the more “serious” heroes like Wolverine with one-liners and sarcasm. As Spidey himself admits in this issue, he can be serious.
Still, I intend to enjoy the ride, and if I think there are some worthwhile Spider-Man moments (one of the main antagonists of this arc appears to be Kingpin, which is always a good time), I’ll prepare some write-ups on those comics and share them with you here. While I don’t get the sense that this storyline is going to have any long-term consequences for Spider-Man, I can’t resist an opportunity for some much-needed Parker time, and I’m assuming some of you feel the same way.
All images from Savage Wolverine #6: Zeb Wells & Joe Madureira
Even more reason for you to read Ultimate Spider-Man: the first issue of Ultimate Marvel Team-Up is Spider-Man and Wolverine. 😉