The Closest Marvel Has Come to Perfect in a Long Time
Over the past year that Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine has been coming out I've been hearing a lot of people complaining about how crazy and whacky it is, and I hate to be one of those guys who defend something by saying "You just don't get it," but seriously, if you don't see what's good about this movie, then you're just not getting it. This is a series that is supposed to be goofy and out there, which is way harder to pull off than people think and when you don't do it right it's just flat out sad. But trust me when I tell you that Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine did it exactly right. In chapter two of this book we see Doctor Doom as a living planet and the last issue ended with "Dark Phoenix Wolverine." Now if that doesn't make you either laugh or say "Holy crap that rocks" then you don't need to read this series, it's not for you.
However, I'm not here to review the entire series, I'm here to review this one issue. However I have to mention the insanity of the rest of this series in order to tell people why this issue was the (near) perfect end to it. Many people had been complaining about the pure insanity of this series, however throughout this we had been getting little sprinkles of a bond forming between Spidey and Logan. These two characters had always had some kind of friendship that was a little undefined, like comic book fans got their friendship but if they ever had to explain it to folks then it would be hard to sum it up, you could pull out examples or quotes relating to their friendship, but it couldn't really be defined. This final issue is all about Wolverine and Spidey just sitting down and saying "Hey man, after all we've been through, this is what you mean to me, we're brothers now," and you totally believe every word of it.
But beyond the friendship between Wolverine and Spider-Man we also have another big moment in the heartbreaking saga that is Peter Parker's life, and I have to say that honestly it is probably the first time in years I have read something in a Spider-Man comic that just made my heart sink and I seriously felt pained by it. It's so powerful that it almost made me forgive "One More Day" (I repeat, "almost") simply because not to give anything away, but it wouldn't have been able to happen if Spidey and Mary Jane were still together.
And I also have to give credit to this last issue for just going out there and having the guts to address what so many comic fans and critics were saying, which was "What does this have to do with anything?" They already knew that this series was going to be so crazy people would complain about it, but also with any mini series you'll always get those folks who come out and say "It's just a mini-series, nothing is going to happen." And in this book they actually address this and come out and say, "What is the point of all this," and I don't mean in a breaking the third wall Deadpool kind of way, I mean in a philosophical "Sometimes life just wrecks you and you learn nothing from it and you don't win," kind of way, which just adds to the heartbreak and bonding that goes on in this book.
There is only one complaint I have about it, and sadly it is a large one. This one issue is pure perfection... until the final page. The final page is a one page epilogue and what it reveals is just flat out bad. I know a lot of folks are going to think its cool and are going to like it, but really it just made me roll my eyes and go "Please don't be doing this." And it wouldn't have been as big of a problem, but the "end" of the book on the page before that is the perfect spot to go out on, so having this last page really just leaves you on such an annoying note. And if they had just hinted at this turn, then it would have been one thing, it could have been decent, but the fact that they hint at it, then they don't leave it up to you but rather come right out and shows you this twist it really is sigh-worthy.
However, despite how bad the final page is, it can only take a small fraction away from how enjoyable the rest of this book is. The rest of this book was so good that I could have turned to that final page and a fist could have come out of the book and punched me in the face, and I still couldn't have gone down more than 4.5 stars. It really is the perfect end to one of the best mini-series in years.